A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from June 07, 2018
“What’s the exchange rate between pounds, rubles, dollars?"/"A pound of rubles equals a dollar.”

A joke about the small value of the old Soviet Union’s currency was posted on the newsgroup net.jokes on November 24, 1983:

Q: What are the relative values of the British pound, American dollar, and Russian ruble?
A: A pound of rubles is worth a dollar.


A similar joke about the currency of Venezuela was published in the Washington (DC) Post on December 12, 2016:

Q: What’s the exchange rate among pounds, bolivars and dollars?
A: A pound of bolivars equals a dollar.



Google Groups: net.jokes
Authentic Russian Joke ( correction - (nf)
r...@hpcnoa.uucp
11/24/83
#R:pyuxvv:-18100:hpcnoa:20800002:000:250
hpcnoa!rdg Nov 21 09:51:00 1983

My thesis advisor was Russian and told me the following ‘joke’ which was a favorite in the Soviet Union:

What are the relative values of the british pound, American dollar, and Russian ruble?

A pound of rubles is worth a dollar.

Google Books
The Jokes of Oppression:
The Humor of Soviet Jews

By Izrail Rabinovich
Northvale, NJ: J. Aronson
1988
Pg. 195:
Question: What is the ratio between a dollar, a pound, and a ruble?
Answer: In Odessa for a pound of rubles you can get a dollar.

17 June 1990, Boston (WAS) Globe, “Reality Hits U.S. Firms in Soviet Union” by Jonathan Kaufman, pg. A1:
The difficulties of doing business aside, a major factor holding Americans back is how to make money in the Soviet Union. The Soviet rubles that a company receives for selling products to Soviet consumers or factories are virtually worthless and cannot be converted into dollars. A joke that foreign businesses like to tell here asks: “What is the relation between the pound, the dollar and the ruble? Answer: A dollar is worth a pound of rubles.”

Google Groups: soc.culture.soviet
Rub - dol! Ukr coupon
cs461139
6/1/93
(...)
Yeah, I know, it reminds me of an old joke:

Q. What’s the correspondence between a pound, a dollar, and a ruble?
A. A pound of rubles is worth a dollar.

The scary thing about it is the fact that I’ve heard this joke when the ratio was still 1:6 (about 10 years ago).

Google Books
The Secret Book of CIA Humor
By Ed Mickolus
Gretna, LA: Pelican Publishing Company
2011
Pg. 118:
What is the ratio between a dollar, a pound, and a ruble? In Odessa, a pound of rubles is worth a dollar.

Washington (DC) Post
The Volokh Conspiracy
What’s the exchange rate between pounds, rubles, and dollars?

By Eugene Volokh
December 17, 2014
A pound of rubles equals a dollar.

Reddit—Jokes
What’s the relation between a pound, ruble and dollar?
submitted January 6, 2015 by [deleted]
A pound of rubles costs one dollar

Reddit—Jokes
What’s the relationship between the pound, the dollar, and the ruble?
submitted January 22, 2016 by [deleted]
A pound of rubles is worth one dollar.

Washington (DC) Post
The Volokh Conspiracy Opinion
What’s the exchange rate among pounds, bolivars and dollars?

By Eugene Volokh
December 12, 2016
A pound of bolivars equals a dollar.

Okay, okay, it’s an old joke (I first heard it about rubles, about 20 years ago), but it seems apt.

Reason
When Life Gives You a Venezuelan Judgment in Bolivars ....
... enforce it in the U.S. using the official bolivar-dollar exchange rate—but you can’t, at least in New York.

Eugene Volokh | May. 30, 2018 6:33 pm
(...)
The exchange rate between pounds, bolivars, and dollars, however, is that a pound of bolivars equals a dollar. (OK, an old joke, but apt.)

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityBanking/Finance/Insurance • Thursday, June 07, 2018 • Permalink