On the subject of money

I wonder… how much could an Echo be worth in modern pounds… could be hard… I myself for example assume, that the payment you get, is actually what is left AFTER living expenses like food, rent and such and actually represents your savings… so, I checked, to see how much a echo could be. A goldfish costs… 40 pence. A REAL goldfish, costs 4 pounds, according to E-bay. So, an echo could be… 10 pounds? Seems like a lot, especially given, that would make a hotel room cost 16000 pounds or 8000, potentially, more than a house, which costed something around 500 Pounds… are the masters trying to mix up my mind? Can somebody help me with counting the value of an echo? Any other ideas?

Well, I assume the hotel you’re referencing is the Royal Bethlehem, which costs so much because it is no ordinary hotel…

True… still, the worth of money gets confusing… makes dead rats cost the same as metal, which COULD probably be used for heating… perfect for a sauna, actually… not to forget WINE costs deffinitely more than four pounds, even if it is really awful one… that would make it be… 10 pence per bottle? Unlikely… So, we need more comparisons… and I agree to the Bethlehem. It is an EXTRAORDINARY one… so, prices like a 7-star hotel (if there is one)

Ok, the bethlehem seems quite cheap… given a 5 star in London costs 359 GPB… per night am I starting at the wrong corner? So, a reservation there costs either… 20 nights or a bit over a month… no… how else could I find the value of the Echo?

I think that it’d be a very hard conversion, in part because many items have more value in London than they do on the surface, regardless of currency exchange. On the surface, for instance, dead rats aren’t worth anything, let alone used as a currency substitute by disreputable sorts. If I were you, I’d find an object that seems to be valued about as much in Fallen London as it was in London on the surface - maybe one of the gemstones? - and work out the currency conversion with that.

The echoes don’t really seem to have a good conversion rate to pounds, this is even more insane if you compare Fallen Londont to Sunless sea, oh, and the developers confirmed Sunless Sea doesn’t take place in an alternate universe(except when you get endings, I would guess), so you can’t just use that as an argument since it was confirmed by Failbetter.

Either way, even if mushrooms were common I don’t think that buying a cane is the same as buying 500 bottles of even crappy wine, and I don’t think even exceptional drums are worth… the same amount as buying 2560 bottles of wine.

Let’s not forget that rats are a currency both sold and accepted by the Bazaar, and apparently it’s worth just as much as things like moon pearls…

Well rats in Fallen London can talk and stuff, so I would hope they’re more expensive.

They’re also one of the few non-mushroom sources of food that can be grown locally, which probably impacts their value a great deal. Keep in mind the entire economy was greatly upheaved, due to the mushroom agricultural economy being totally different and anything from the surface being a good deal harder to import.

I can get wine for \$2 that is surprisingly fit for human consumption, and high-end drum kits definitely run in the thousands. So a drum being worth 2,560 bottles of wine is well within the bounds of reason.

Not when they’re dead they don’t

I thought the dead rats (the cheap ones that are worth a penny each) were just ordinary rats, not the talking kind.

Nope! Not unless rattus faber can’t tell the difference. There’s a card in watchmakers hill where you can mourn a dead rat and all the other rats there act like it was one of them.

[quote=The Master]
Either way, even if mushrooms were common I don’t think that buying a cane is the same as buying 500 bottles of even crappy wine, and I don’t think even exceptional drums are worth… the same amount as buying 2560 bottles of wine.[/quote]
That would explain though why London has so many alcoholics and nonstop drinking parties.

Fallen London and the Neath in general have their own micro-economy with some rahter exotic goods for the normal sundweller. Some coveted trade goods are only of value there.
Which brings me to the question: Has London some important imports and exports? Do they have some common accepted currency for it? I can’t imagine paying some manufacturer or trade company for ship engine parts or caskets of french wine in horror stories (tales of terror) or screams of elder gods (aeolien screams).
I guess diamonds and spider silk as exports still work?

[quote=The Maltese Raven]Fallen London and the Neath in general have their own micro-economy with some rahter exotic goods for the normal sundweller. Some coveted trade goods are only of value there.
Which brings me to the question: Has London some important imports and exports? Do they have some common accepted currency for it? I can’t imagine paying some manufacturer or trade company for ship engine parts or caskets of french wine in horror stories (tales of terror) or screams of elder gods (aeolien screams).
I guess diamonds and spider silk as exports still work?[/quote]

If Sunless Sea is anything to go by, the trade in Darkdrop Coffee is incredibly lucrative.

[quote=The Maltese Raven]Fallen London and the Neath in general have their own micro-economy with some rahter exotic goods for the normal sundweller. Some coveted trade goods are only of value there.
Which brings me to the question: Has London some important imports and exports? Do they have some common accepted currency for it? I can’t imagine paying some manufacturer or trade company for ship engine parts or caskets of french wine in horror stories (tales of terror) or screams of elder gods (aeolien screams).
I guess diamonds and spider silk as exports still work?[/quote]

…echoes are the currency?

There is part of the problem. A great deal of trade down in the Neath is done by barter, or at least, shall we say, with alternative media of exchange. How many economic interactions in this town actually involve Echoes? Most of the time it’s jade or moon pearls or rostygold or what have you. You can’t even get a place with Echoes. I would go so far as to say that the Echo is not the currency of Fallen London; it is the currency of the Bazaar, and the Bazaar alone. London hasn’t had its own currency since the pound went the way of all Surface-dreams. This makes the situation yea more complicated, as the Bazaar treats all of London’s alternative currencies as simple commodities, and there’s a pretty stark difference between what they’ll give you for them and what you’ll pay. This scenario does explain why items bought exclusively at the Bazaar are often so out-of-line with prices in the city outside. If, through whatever labyrinthine restrictions the Bazaar imposes, Nassos is the only place licensed to sell you an Araby fighting-weasel or a cheery goldfish, then their prices will reflect the Bazaar’s own bizarre micro-economy, not that of London as a whole.

With all these complications, the best way to compare Echoes to pounds (ignoring the century’s difference in prices and commodities) would be a cost-of-living analysis, and the only thing I know of in London stable enough to do that with is probably housing. Converting the necessary items into Echoes based on their sale price gets the ranges of 2.0-3.0 E for terribly poor lodgings, 3.0-4.0 E for a just-out-of-town cottage, 4.2-4.5 E for a decent flat, and a spike to 50.0 E for a townhouse, which from the price I hope is somewhere in Mayfair (or whatever Mayfair is called down here). Converting based on purchase price at the Bazaar yields ranges of 6.0 E for terribly poor lodgings, 6.0-8.0 E for a just-out-of-town cottage, 9.0-12.6 E for a decent flat, and 100 E for our townhouse. (I had to figure the townhouse from honey, as the Bazaar sells romantic notions like the Brass Embassy sells souls.) There’s another massive price spike when you get to the top lodgings, but I don’t know that the Brass Embassy, the Bazaar, or the Royal Beth have any real equivalents in modern London with which to compare.

I realize this doesn’t give perfect grounds for comparison. For one thing, you have to choose which scale to use. For another, what does purchase in London mean, in comparative pricing? In effect it’s a perpetual lease, but I don’t know that everyone’s favorite bookseller is all that likely to lease in perpetuity up topside. If it’s outright sale, well, a few years back the Canadian embassy sold 1 Grosvenor Square for £306m. Is an Echo really worth £3m in modern pounds? Even excluding such an upscale town address, it’s probably fair to say that either lodging prices should be compared to a period lease, or else the Neathy real estate market has bottomed out.
edited by Siankan on 1/31/2017

[quote=Siankan]it’s probably fair to say that either lodging prices should be compared to a period lease, or else the Neathy real estate market has bottomed out.
edited by Siankan on 1/31/2017[/quote]
Real estate values have probably seen a steady deterioration over the past few decades as London’s population has apparently been falling since, well, the Fall? I know there are quite a few abandoned buildings that have just been left to the sorrow spiders and the Contrarian mentions this population loss in his debates with the Photographer?

Is it not canon that prices fluctuate all the time according to the whims of the bazaar? So the price of an echo would just be whatever the bazaar decides it is?

Even if that were canon, that’s not canon. The value of an echo is what it will buy, but it’s also what you can get one for. If echoes really have no stable values- which i kind of doubt- then the question is still a valid question, just in the vein of stocks in google, or something similar.

More likely, it just means prices move more frantically than in normal london; like the difference between a stock market and a grocery store.

I may be mistaken, though.
edited by Grenem on 2/1/2017

I always assumed it was kind of a double edged sword. In the neath, a lot of things are in constant flux. Transportation is expensive and I’m not sure goldfish either thrive in or are native to the neath. On the flip side, I suspect that the old saw of &quotbuy land, god’s not making any more of it&quot doesn’t apply quite as much down here; london may be huge and sprawling, but it doesn’t have the constant pulse of new immigrants that it did on the surface, or not in quantity. In addition, while land is often unkind or even hostile, there’s more of it unclaimed than you’d think.

So, I’ve been assuming land is cheaper and accomodations are what sells a building. Keep in mind that the brass embassy comes with free heating, the bazaar probably has some features I can’t explain besides &quotcentral&quot, and the beth has prestige. I suspect that the majority of the price comes from the facilities.

A [unknown time period] labor for a man or clay man goes for around 13.50 echoes, though? If you want to estimate the cost of living, guess what the time period for strong backed labor is, and then you have a reasonable daily income. In addition, a skilled doctor makes 70 echoes a [time period] by doing the job, where that’s your guess as to how long the TTH represents.

I suspect food is overpriced, and many other things are underpriced; the markets have been thrown into flux. I mean, rubies are 0.12 pence down here; that might align with your estimate our world now, but I don’t believe rubies have always been that cheap.
edited by Grenem on 2/1/2017

That’s certainly cheaper than rubies go now, even synthetic, even if they’re very small. Natural rubies of any size are extraordinarily expensive, and in larger sizes they pass up diamonds.

Of course, the rubies up here don’t kill you if you lick them, so that too must be taken into account.