Chapter 1254: A Currency Reform
Translator: Transn Editor: Transn
Roland passed through a few heavily guarded gates and entered the treasury in the castle district.
Back when he had still been in the Border Town, he had only had a few cases of gold royals that were sufficient to maintain the operation of the small town. Since the sale of the steam engines and other magical artifacts, his revenues had increased rapidly and soon reached a peak.
With the expansion of his territory, the expenses incurred also increased correspondingly. For the convenience of the Administrative Office, a treasury was built between the castle and the Administrative Office. Although it has heavily guarded, all the directors had access to it as long as they followed an appropriate procedure. This decision had indeed sparked a heated discussion in the beginning. It was unprecedented that a noble spent all his money on the expansion of his territory, let alone allowing other people to access it.
At that time, nobody except Barov had known that Roland did not give a damn about his treasures. All he had cared about was the urbanization of the city. For a very long time, the revenues in Neverwinter had been greater than the expenses. Barov had not had a financial issue for quite a while.
“Your Majesty,” Barov, who had been waiting in the treasury, said respectfully. “You see, we only have 12 cases of gold royals left.”
Normally, there were around 2,000 gold royals in a case, which meant that they currently only had 20,000 gold royals in total. The treasury now looked pretty empty compared to the past.
Although there were mounds of silver royals and bronze royals, they were not worth much.
“How long will they last?” Roland asked.
“Based on the current situation, two months at most.”
“It’s faster than I thought,” Roland commented as he raised his brows. “Are most of the spendings on the payrolls?”
“Yes. The payroll expenses take up more than half of the total expenses. As the population grows too fast, there’s a big increase in the payroll of the construction team and the welding unit. Plus, we have to pay the Chambers of Commerce from the Fjords 4,000 to 5,000 gold royals every month. If we stop this payment, the Administrative Office will be able to manage until we receive the profit of the sale from the Joint Chamber of Commerce — ”
“We need people,” Roland cut across Barov.
“Then…” Barov said as he massaged his hands nervously. “I remember you said in the last meeting that there was a permanent solution. Is it true?”
“You still remember,” Roland said smilingly as he surveyed the treasury. He had anticipated that this day would come. The treasury was quite spacious and bright. It would be almost the same as an ordinary residence if without the iron bars and the shelves. Therefore, it would be a perfect place to produce notes. “When’s the next payroll due?”
“In a week.”
“Store away these gold royals. We don’t need them for the time being,” Roland said while nodding. “Come with me to my office. I need to found a new department, and I’ll discuss the details with you when we get there.”
Although it was a little earlier than Roland had expected, Roland had started preparing for this day half a year ago. He had actually conducted a pilot project by distributing notes to the Witch Union and the Sleeping Spell. The result showed that the witches had no way to forge those testing notes, which indicated that it was now time to replace metal currencies with paper currencies. He could put them into use anytime.
“Yes, Your Majesty,” Barov responded. It was obvious that this old governor feared that he would sink into poverty again. After receiving the confirmation, his face lighted up, all the wrinkles around the corner of his eyes smoothened. “By the way, Your Majesty, what’s the name of this new department?”
“Bank,” Roland replied.
Five days later, a new notice posted on the bulletin at the central square in Neverwinter created an uproar among the public. The Administrative Office, very surprisingly, sent a person to further explain the notice, which was very rare after the implementation of universal education.
The notice also made the headline on the Graycastle Weekly. According to the notice, the king was going to distribute a new type of currency to replace gold royals, silver royals and bronze royals.
For the next couple of days, everyone in the kingdom was discussing this currency reform.
So were the customers in the hotel where Victor stayed.
Victor had planned to return to the Port of Clearwater after the magic movie. However, the appearance of the Bloody Moon disrupted his original plan. Due to disorder and the unstable situation, he immediately changed his plan and decided to stay in Neverwinter for a while. He made this decision not out of his loyalty to the king but because he believed that it would be only worse in other cities. Since the Bloody Moon represented the end of the world, the safest place on this continent would be Neverwinter.
Peace was soon restored after the king and the queen came to sooth the masses. With the the police and the garrison cracking down criminals, order was quickly re-established. Victor, as the witness to the incident at the movie theater, was summoned by the police several times for investigation purposes. When he was about to leave the soft arms of his maid and head back to the south, he heard the news of the currency reform.
The shock brought about by this new policy was far greater than that by the Bloody Moon.
The king was going to abolish the currency system that had been in use since the foundation of the four kingdoms!
As a businessman, Victor had not believed it when he had first heard the news. He had thought that they were delirious ramblings of some drunkards. Gold was the most precious metal throughout the four kingdoms as well as foreign countries. How could the king abolish the currency system all of a sudden?
Nevertheless, he later confirmed the validity of the information after reading the newspaper brought in by the maid. The rumors circulated among various taverns and pubs also further confirmed the news.
The first reform policy was that “All the old currencies shall be replaced by the new currencies. It is mandatory to use the new currencies to conduct transactions in accordance with their face values”.
This meant that the king could use a piece of paper to purchase all the goods brought into Neverwinter, which was pretty much like robbery.
“I saw many people flee the city with their cargo when I came back,” Twinkle, who was lying on her stomach on the bed, said apprehensively. Victor was not sure if she was worried that he would leave the city like everyone else or about the Rainbow Stone clothes.
Victor managed a bitter smile. Twinkle did not know that his fortunes had been closely tied to the King of Graycastle. Without Miss Leaf providing him with the seeds, he would not be able to expand his brand.
Whatever happened next, Victor would not abandon the business in Neverwinter easily.
He knew Roland Wimbledon would soon implement this policy throughout the whole nation.
The king himself was an excellent businessman with an acute business sense. He had no reason to rob people at the moment to maintain the status quo. At this thought, Victor calmed himself down and read on.
The second and third policies concerned the livelihood of the community.
“All the salaries in Neverwinter will be paid in the new currencies.”
“All the transactions in the Administrative Office and the Convenience Market, including but not limited to food and real estates, shall be carried out through the new currencies.”
The fourth policy was regarding the number of paper notes distributed to the public.
“The Administrative Office will offer a long-term currency exchange service that enables residents to exchange their old currencies, namely, gold royals, silver royals and bronze royals, for the new currencies, and vice versa. The Administrative Office will charge a 5% transaction fee for each transaction when residents exchange the new currencies for the old ones.”
Victor saw the underlying implication behind this policy.
It seemed that this policy was made to force foreign merchants to use the new currencies.
“Also, the transaction fee could be waived for merchants who have permission from the Administrative Office to run business and who have submitted the application for same.”