The Denkmark is the currency issued by the Bank of Sober Thought, symbolized by the dash-D or Ð and divided into 100 Cents. It is legal tender throughout the Gemeinde of Sober Thought for all debts, public and private.
The Denkmark floats freely against all other NationStates currencies inside and outside the International Democratic Union. According to NS Economy, it fares little better against the US$, typically trading at more than two hundred dinky Denkmarks to the almighty Dollar.
In fact, it performs so poorly that no sensible traveller or business person would bother taking the currency out of the country, except perhaps as a colourful memento which is cheaper than the postcard it could buy, or less charitably something to use after the last page of the Sears catalogue in the outhouse.
And while citizens of Sober Thought may bemoan the cost of travel abroad, most are happy exploring the natural and cultural beauties found within Sober Thought or close by its borders in its IDU neighbours like Mikitivity, Groot Gouda and Pagemaster. Consequently, some young (or even not-so-young) people arrange working holidays abroad, financing their trip by trading their labour for foreign currencies on the mostly white or grey labour market.
The president of the Bank of Sober Thought/Banque de Pensée sobre, in consultation with the general director of currency at the Ministry of Community Prosperity, sets monetary policy for Sober Thought. Since the country's economic performance rarely exceeds Imploded, one quickly learns that -- whether for good or ill -- the central bank and ministry value domestic jobs over foreign investment in keeping with the country's centre-left tendencies.
Interest rates are low, which discourages foreign investors while encouraging domestic capital spending and home ownership. The low exchange rate is good for the export business but not for import business, meaning that domestic manufacturing and national self-reliance is encouraged. All of these factors help ensure that the people of Sober Thought have a strong tie to the smooth functioning of their economy and, considering the high level of unionisation and the rhetoric of the extremist political parties, there is a high degree of labour peace with few strikes, lockouts or forcibly concluded contracts.
The Denkmark uses a recurring sequence of decimal fractions of 1s, 2s and 5s for both its high denomination currency notes and its low denomination coins. They are issued as legal tender under the authority of the Bank of Sober Thought.
All coins feature the Sober Thought owl on the obverse and the denomination in Arabic numerals on the reverse, with the names "SOBER THOUGHT" and "PENSÉE SOBRE" alternating positions around the outer ring of the obverse and reverse. Small denomination (Ð0.01, Ð0.02 and Ð0.05) coins are minted in a dark coloured base metal alloy resembling copper and have a diameter of 10 mm. Medium denomination (Ð0.10, Ð0.20 and Ð0.50) coins are minted in a light coloured base metal allow resembling silver and have a diameter of 12 mm.
Large denomination (Ð1 and Ð2) coins are minted in a bimetallic form with the faux silver forming an annulus 4 mm wide and the faux copper a centre circle with a diameter of 10 mm. Large denomination coins are also twice the thickness of either the small or medium denomination coins. While a Ð5 coin does not yet exist, and Ð1 and Ð2 denominations circulate as both coins and notes, it seems likely that low denomination bills will be fully replaced by low-grade specie in the medium or long term.
Paper currency shares many features among its denominations, but like its metallic counterparts, it is divided into groups based on the recurring decimal fraction series. All notes issued by the government-operated Bank of Sober Thought use tools or implements of some sort to represent the various sectors and sub-sectors of the economy.
Low denomination (Ð1, Ð2 and Ð5) bills use primary industry motifs representing fishing, farming and mining; medium (Ð10, Ð20 and Ð50) secondary industry representing food, construction and manufacturing; and high (Ð100, Ð200 and Ð500) the tertiary or services industry representing commerce, banking and clerical work.
Should a thousand series be needed, the quaternary or government industry representing education, emergency services and bureaucracy would be employed. Should a ten thousand series be needed, it is certain that the low denomination bills would be long gone so their motifs for the extractive economy could be reused here.
Role in popular culture
As with many countries, residents of Sober Thought have a deep if complex relationship with their country's currency. Since on average the population is centre-left on the political spectrum and tends towards egalitarian Democratic Socialism, it tends to view the wealthy with suspicion and more than a touch of smugness. Among the extreme left, such as supporters of the Liberal Democratic party, are those who refer to the currency as the Dark Mark, i.e., each unit of currency is a dark stain on the soul of those who exploit the hard working proletariat who rightfully deserve all the fruits of their labours and not just the scraps left on the table after the greedy capitalists have gorged themselves on a multi-course meal.
In contrast, those on the far right such as Libertarians or Free Traders empathise with the hard-working, risk-taking individuals who as entrepreneurs make it possible for lazy “workers” to go through the motions for 7.75 hours a day -- assuming its not on one of the many mandatory paid public holidays or generous paid vacation periods -- and drink themselves into oblivion at night. The Libertarians have incorporated the dash-D into their party's logo, equipping it with wings so that it may be liberated as Free Traders think it should. Slightly more moderate and ruder right wingers call it the Dinkmark, making a mildly offensive reference to its embarrassing rate of exchange against any regional, United Nations or real world currency.
Outside these small extremes, however, people are happy with both the intangible currency and its tangible representation as money. They call specific banknotes or money in general the Denk', the 'Mark, the Mark (as used in the common moocher's plea: "Can you help me with Mark?"), the D-Mark, the Dash and the Dash-D. Small coins -- regardless of denomination -- are referred to as sous, francophones pronouncing it "sioux" and anglophones "sues."