Hell Money

I’ve always liked this joke.

Paddy O’Brien died and as is the Irish custom the mourners were throwing money into his coffin.  The town miser, whom everyone despised, cried out "I loved Paddy O’Brien.  Whatever anyone else puts into the coffin, I will double!"  Thinking the miser a little bit drunk the townspeople took this as an opportunity to teach him a lesson.  Gathering all their money they showered the coffin with $3012 in bills and coins, more than had ever before been given at a funeral.  The miser then gathered the money, wrote a cheque for $6024 and threw that in.

The Chinese have a similar custom of burying the dead with money but like the miser they understand monetary economics (if not perhaps signalling theory).  Big white guy explains in his interesting post on Chinese hell money.
Hat tip to Marcus at the Mises Economics Blog.


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