Moist von Lipwig is bored with his job as the Postmaster General of the Ankh-Morpork Post Office, which is running smoothly without any challenges, so the Patrician tries to convince him to take over the Royal Bank of Ankh-Morpork and the Royal Mint. Moist, content with his new lifestyle, refuses. However, when the current chairwoman, Topsy Lavish, dies, she leaves 50% of the shares in the bank to her dog, Mr Fusspot (who already owns 1% of the bank, giving him a majority and making him chairman) - and she leaves the dog to Moist. She also made sure that the Assassins' Guild would fulfill a contract on Moist if anything happens to the dog or if he does not do as her last will commands.
Faced with no alternatives, Moist tries to take over the bank and in doing so finds out that people do not trust banks much, that the production of money runs slowly and at a loss, and that people now use stamps as currency rather than coins. His various ambitious changes include making money that is not backed by gold but by the city itself. Unfortunately, neither the chief cashier (Mr. Bent, who is rumored to be a vampire but is actually something much worse) nor the Lavish family are too happy with him and try to dispose of him. Cosmo Lavish tries to go one step further - he is attempting to replace Vetinari by taking on his identity - with little success. However all the while, the reappearance of a character from von Lipwig's past adds more pressure to his unfortunate scenario.
Moist's fiancée, Adora Belle Dearheart, is working with the Golem Trust in the meantime to uncover golems from the ancient civilization of Um. She succeeds in bringing them to the city, and to everyone's surprise the "four golden golems" turn out to be "four thousand golems" (due to a translation error) and so the city is at risk of being at war with other cities who might find an army of 4000 golems threatening. Moist discovers the magic words that control the golems, and manages to order them to bury themselves outside the city (except for a few to power clacks towers and golem horses for the mail coaches) and then decides that these extremely valuable golems are a much better foundation for the new currency than gold and thus introduces the golem-based currency. Eventually, an anonymous clacks message goes out to the leaders of other cities that contains the command that the golems respond to, thus making them unsuitable for using in warfare.
At the end of the novel, Lord Vetinari considers the advancing age of the current Chief Tax Collector, and suggests that upon his retirement a new name to take on the vacancy might present itself.
Ideas and themesEdit
According to Pratchett, Making Money is both fantasy and non-fantasy, as money is a fantasy within the "real world", as "we've agreed that these numbers of conceptual things like dollars have a value."
In this book the century on the Discworld has changed, and is now the Century of the Anchovy. This had been noted in the epilogue of the previous Moist von Lipwig novel, Going Postal.
Adora Belle Dearheart and the Golem Trust return.
Promotional Items in the UK Hardcover 1st Edition Edit
Some High Street booksellers have additional exclusive promotional material glued under the inside of the dust jacket:
- Borders include an Ankh-Morpork cheque book
- Waterstone's include a few Ankh-Morpork bank notes