I have been reading a book (don't know how to italicize, sorry) called THIRTEEN MOONS which is set a couple of hundred years ago and long story short, an orphan boy is bonded to a trader who puts him in charge of one of his trading posts. As the story progresses he is freed a couple of years later and becomes owner of the store and this is his reaction to commerce:
"As for the business, I knew something about how credit worked in such a fluid and uncertain economy. It was nothing more than paper stacked on paper, varieties of hope and speculation, handshakes and promises, moonbeams and horse sh__, trust and risk layered one atop the other in thin strata like cards in a deck. And not much different from betting all you had on a shuffle and a deal."
Charles Frazier wrote the book and I recommend it for the way he uses words and the pleasure of reading them. When real life gets more than a bit trying, there's nothing like the escape to be found in the pages between two covers that takes one far away or long ago. Circumstances change, but human nature seems to stay the same and politics and commerce control our lives more than we should allow.