Who says bankers can’t have fun?
KLM : Source: NRK News
Norway’s central bank is issuing new currency notes, with advanced security features. In the process, they updated the pictures on the front and back. In the past, these notes pictured artists, authors, and scientists. The new notes will feature scenes from the sea: lighthouses, ships, and fish.
To promote the new notes, the Central Bank produced a lighthearted video: a take-two version of a popular song from the ‘80s, “The Cod is Coming.” The video features a comical trio in rain-suits, real cod, a rap breakdown by Norwegian hip-hop artist “DJ Codfather,” and a cameo from the bank’s Governor, Øystein Olsen.
Don’t try to find a translation for video. The Bank has said that there are so many Norwegian rhymes and local pop-cultural references that the meaning would be lost in translation. For my part, I couldn’t stop laughing, despite the fact that the only word I got was “torsk” – a poached-fish recipe that my Swedish mother used to serve for dinner.
“DJ Codfather.” Source: YouTube.
Of course, managing the currency – its design, security features, paper, and production – is a minor, technical task. As the economies become more and more digital, cash becomes less and less important. Sweden is almost cash-less. A mobile phone app, Swish, allows anyone with a smartphone to make bank-to-bank account transfers in real time. Swedish churches now display their phone numbers to parishioners when they pass the collection plate.
It’s encouraging to see monetary officials take their duties seriously – seriously enough that they don’t mind having a little fun, or looking a little silly. Security is important, as a way to fight counterfeiting and to maintain confidence in the banking system. In our modern, fiat-currency world, confidence is the only thing the central banks have. And this educational video has gone viral, so they’re doing their job. It’s a fair guess that Norwegians understand and appreciate their new banknotes.
New Norwegian 200 Kroner Note. Source: Norges Bank
There was controversy when the US Treasury wanted to update our $10 bill. Instead, Harriet Tubman is about to take Andrew Jackson’s place on the twenty. We can only imagine the outcry that would take place if we replaced one of our founders with a fish.
Douglas R. Tengdin, CFA