(noun, etymology Dutch from ‘boedel’: estate, possession, inheritance, stock.). 1. Crowd, pack, lot, as in ‘the whole boodle.’ 2. a. Counterfeit money b. Money acquired or spent illegally or improperly, particularly when used in bribery for political purposes. 3. Slang for money in general.

Chapter One: Money Has No Value

by Ronnie Kahn with Kyra Ryan

One September day in 1859, Joshua Norton, a San Francisco businessman who had recently lost his fortune and apparently his mind, issued an edict in which he declared himself Emperor of the United States. Norton, who as a younger man had emigrated from Britain with $40,000 in capital, had rapidly amassed a quarter of a million dollars in real estate and imports, then gambled and lost, sinking most of his money into a ship full of Peruvian rice. It could have been a shrewd calculation that, given the Asian population of his adopted city, the prices of the commodity were poised to rise dramatically. Demand for rice did indeed spike. But what Norton did not anticipate was the unexpected arrival in San Francisco harbor of two other ships filled with rice. With the supply ample, demand decreased and Norton, whose venture had been backed by a number of banks, went bust…

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