Category: making money


Moist had always been careful about disguises. A mustache that could come off at a tug had no place in his life. But since he had the world’s most forgettable face, a face that was still a face in the crowd even when it was by itself, it helped, sometimes, to give people something to tell the Watch about. Spectacles were an obvious choice, but Moist achieved very good results with his own design of nose and ear wigs. Show a man a pair of ears that small songbirds had apparently nested in, watch the polite horror in his eyes, and you could be certain that would be all he would remember.

– on disguises |
Terry Pratchett, Making Money


“Watchmen in our bank? Shut the door on them!”
“Times have moved on, Auntie. We can’t do that anymore.”
“When your great-grandfather pushed his brother over the balcony the Watch even took the body away for five shillings and a pint of ale all round!”
“Yes, Auntie. Lord Vetinari is the Patrician now.”
“And he’d allow watchmen to clump around in our bank?”
“Without a doubt, Auntie.”
“Then he is no gentleman,” the aunt observed sadly.

– on Vetinari’s failings according to the wealthy |
Terry Pratchett, Making Money


The money looked after itself. It sailed down the centuries, buried in paperwork, hidden behind lawyers, groomed, invested, diverted, converted, laundered, dried, ironed and polished, and kept safe from harm and taxes, and, above all, kept safe from the Lavishes themselves. They knew their descendents – they’d raised them, after all – and so, the money came with bodyguards of trustees, managers, and covenants, disgorging only a measured amount of itself to the next generation, enough to maintain the lifestyle with which their name had become synonymous and with a bit left over for them to indulge in the family tradition of fighting among themselves over, yes, the money.

– on old money | Terry Pratchett, Making Money


And she left, taking the wretched golems with her.*

The dwarfs
didn’t think to count them and see if any had been left behind. It
wouldn’t have made any difference, but later on the king might not have shouted at them so much.

– on attention to detail | Terry Pratchett, Making Money


Ah, yes. It was all about the city, right? Underneath, he wrote, in large ornate letters: 

Ad Urbem Pertinet

And, in smaller letters, after some thought:

Promitto fore ut possessori postulanti nummum unum solvem, an apte satisfaciam.
Signed, Moist von Lipwig pp The Chairman

– It’s all about the city | Terry Pratchett, Making Money



He saw her write that down. Then she tucked the notebook in her handbag.
“This is going to be fun, isn’t it,” she said, and Moist thought: Never trust her when she’s put her notebook away, either. She’s got a good memory.
“Seriously, I think this is an opportunity for me to do something big and important for my adopted city,” said Moist, in his sincere voice.
“That’s your sincere voice,” she said.
“Well, I’m being sincere,” said Moist.
“But since you raise the subject, Moist, what were you doing with your life before the citizens of Ankh-Morpork greeted you with open palms?”
“Surviving,” said Moist. “In
Überwald the old empire was breaking up. It was not unusual for a government to change twice over lunch. I worked at anything I could to make a living. By the way, I think you meant ‘arms’ back there,” he added.
“And when you got here you impressed the gods so much that they led you to a treasure trove so that you could rebuild our post office.”
“I’m very humble about that,” said Moist, trying to look it.
“Ye-ess. And the gods-given gold was all in used coinage from the plains cities…”
“You know what, I’ve often lain awake wondering about that myself,” said Moist, “and I reached the conclusion that the gods, in their wisdom, decided that the gift could be instantly negotiable.” I can go on like this or as long as you like, he thought, and you’re trying to play poker with no cards. You can suspect all you like, but I gave that money back! Okay, I stole it in the first place, but giving it back counts for something, doesn’t it? The slate is clean, isn’t it? Well, acceptably grubby, yes?

– she didn’t mean arms | Terry Pratchett, Making Money


“The world is full of things worth more than gold. But we dig the damn stuff up and then bury it in a different hole. Where’s the sense in that? What are we, magpies? Is it all about the gleam? Good heavens, potatoes are worth more than gold!”
“Surely not!”
“If you were shipwrecked on a desert island, what would you prefer, a bag of potatoes or a bag of gold?”
“Yes, but a desert island isn’t Ankh-Morpork!”
“And that proves gold is only valuable because we agree it is, right? It’s just a dream. But a potato is always worth a potato, anywhere. Add a knob of butter and a pinch of salt and you’ve got a meal, anywhere. Bury gold in the ground and you’ll be worrying about thieves forever. Bury a potato and in due season you could be looking at a dividend of a thousand percent.”

– Rincewind has always known potatoes are worth more than gold |
Terry Pratchett, Making Money


“No dashing around on mad stallions? Nothing to make us cheer? No wild dreams?” said Sacharissa.
“Well, I’m already tidying the foyer.”
Sacharissa’s eyes narrowed. “Tidying the foyer? Who are you, and what have you done with the real Moist von Lipwig?”
“No, I’m serious. We have to clean up ourselves before we can clean up the economy,” said Moist, and felt his brain shift seductively into a higher gear. “I intend to throw out what we don’t need. For example, we have a room full of useless metal in the vault. That’ll have to go.”
Sacharissa frowned. “Are you talking about the gold?”
Where had that come from? Well, don’t try to back away, or she’ll go for the throat. Tough it out! Besides, it’s good to see her looking astonished.
“Yes,” he said.
“You can’t be serious!”
The notebook was instantly flipped open, and Moist’s tongue began to gallop. He couldn’t stop it. It would have been nice if it had talked to him first.

– the old game is back on again |
Terry Pratchett, Making Money


But, he had to admit, Sacharissa Cripslock was fun.
“Sacharissa! This is a should-have-been-expected surprise!” he declared, as he stepped into the room.
“Mr. Lipwig! Always a pleasure!” said the woman. “So you are a dog’s body now?”
That kind of fun. A bit like juggling knives. You were instantly on your toes. It was as good as a workout.

– she really found her calling |
Terry Pratchett, Making Money


This march was against the employment of golems, who uncomplainingly did the dirtiest jobs, worked around the clock, and were so honest they paid their taxes. But they weren’t human and they had glowing eyes, and people could get touchy about that sort of thing.

– ah, escapism |
Terry Pratchett, Making Money