I've been trying to get a grasp of currency in the Empire.
I know about the technical values of each degree: 1 sequin = 20 guise; 1 sou = 16 sequins, or 320 guise; 1 Billion = 1.5 sou, 24 sequins, or 480 guise; etc. I also remember that in the Empire, the social value of a higher degree of money is greater than the equal value of a lesser degree. For example, a 1-sou note is preferred over a bag of 16 sequins, even though their technical value is equal.
However, what is the worth of a guise? We've seen some exchanges of money for goods in MBT, but it's still difficult for me to grasp its worth. I could tell right away what exchanges are fair or not in USD. In Imperial currency, I don't know how much a daily wage would be or what should be paid for common items. While re-reading Factotum, I did come across a part when Europe talked about a gift from a would-be suitor. She claimed it was worth an average man's earnings for a year, to which Rossamund exclaimed that it would be worth 30 sous. Then Europe replied that it wasn't exactly that expensive ("Oh, no, Little Man. Not quite that average.").
I compared yearly incomes of Empire citizens with real-world people:
(Based on 30 sous/year vs median yearly income per country. All real-world translations are calculated by Google, then rounded.)Australian Income:The average income(as of 2011) is A$66,820/year. Add a bit, bringing it to A$79,300.00 to match Rossamund and Europe's conversation. Based on Australian yearly income:1 guise = AU$8.26£5.59US$8.48British Income:The average income (as of 2011) is £21,300/year. Add a bit, bringing it to £25,300 to match Rossamund and Europe's conversation. Based on British yearly income:1 guise = £2.64AU$3.85US$4.00American Income:The median (roughly average) income (as of 2005) is $32,000/year. Add a bit, bringing it to $38,000 to match Rossamund and Europe's conversation. Based on American yearly income:1 guise = US$3.96AU$3.80£2.61Note: 30 sous is (technically) equal to 9600 guise.
I'd recommend posting any exchanges you can remember or find in the books as a reference. Would you agree with any of these representations, comparing them to the exchanges in MBT? If not, do you think it's because of the difference in social value between the degrees, an oversight in the concept, a miscalculation on my part or something else?