Freud himself who was to declare to Fliess in a letter dated 16 January 1898, that money did not form the object of an infantile wish which is why, as the well-known saying puts it, money proves incapable of "making one happy" as an adult. Yet, it can nevertheless give the impression of doing so, to the extent that it is capable as we know from Freudian metapsychology of functioning as the unconscious substitute and equivalent for any "object" whatsoever that is invested by the libido of the subject, be this oral, phallic or, especially, anal. Indeed, it is because infants view their faeces as the first tangible proof of their capacity to produce something meaningful, on both a material level and a "relational" one, that money stands in a relation of symbolic equivalence, for the unconscious of every subject, with the notions of faeces, gift, penis, and baby.
On a material level, faeces represent for children their first possessions of value. Indeed, if children tend at first, roughly between the ages of 2 and 3, to take an auto-erotic pleasure in defecating (the first phase of the anal stage), they subsequently discover, around the age of 3 or 4, that they can obtain a more intense excitation by holding back their stool (the second phase of the anal stage). This is the source of the pleasure adults take in holding onto money, valuable objects or, yet again, time (as shown by the character-traits of avarice and parsimony, as well as the pleasure of hoarding or saving), in accordance with the equation of money and excrement. As regards the relational point of view, it is not long before the child comes up against a parental injunction usually expressed by the mother to "do" when and where it is necessary. The child thus finds himself or herself faced with an alternative: either to obey and defecate in the pot upon which he or she is placed, and thereby secure maternal satisfaction, along with rewards and caresses; or to disobey, in a show of defiance directed at the beloved mother, by "doing" anytime and anywhere (in bed, for example) or by refusing to perform when asked to, and thereby annoy, or even anger, his or her mother.
The first option consists in the child's presenting his or her first real gift to the mother namely, the gift of his or her stools, capable of extracting cries of joy or surprise from the latter and in thereby taking up an attitude of object love. The second option amounts to the child's preferring a narcissistic position -- refusal, stubbornness, obstinacy, opposition, etc. -- and his or her obtaining an aggressive satisfaction (the anal-sadistic aspect of which Freud speaks). This would form the source of the pleasure that adults can take in refusing demands made by other people -- such as demands for a pay rise made by employees in a firm, with such a refusal being all the more significant, on the symbolic level, when the rise in question is almost negligible in strictly financial terms. In the most extreme case, according to the psycho-analytical argument that is often put forward, an overly active or precocious repression of the child's psychosexual development during the anal stage -- especially at the moment of toilet training -- can lead to the development, in later life, of a veritable obsessional (or, as it was sometimes called, anal) neurosis. Since the pathbreaking work of Oskar Pfister on the psychical structure of classical capitalism and the financial mind (Borneman, 1978), an entire current of thought (Reich, Fromm, etc.) has endeavoured to locate within the capitalist system the indices of a collective obsessional neurotic syndrome.
The anal phase corresponds to the following period when an infant is 1 and a half to 3 and a half years old. During this period, an infant becomes more independent. It is the period when parents are the authority determining when the infants should defecated as they try to discipline their infants. Having found a new erotogenic zone, the anus, which gives a pleasurable sensation when turds are let go, the child often disobeys and holds back the faeces when put on the pot. The accumulation produces a violent muscular attraction with as much pain as pleasure and this habit is usually found in a child. The distinction into the masculine and the feminine is not yet developed but rather as the active and the passive. The object of satisfaction here is not identical for the active and the passive unlike the case of oral phase. The active wants to have a control of its own and to be the authority whereas the passive has to submit to the authority. The anal phase can manifest itself later in adults in authoritarian and rebellious personality.
Also in this period, the infants will be preoccupied with anus and faeces. Children often treat faeces as a gift and they also like to play with them. Being told by their parents not to, the children then play with something similar like mud or clay. Adults who regress to the anal phase are sometimes found to play with their faeces in confined cells or hospital. Money is also a symbolic substitute of faeces, deriving from being a substitution of gold, a substitution of faeces. So playing with money in the adults is an acceptable substitution for the unconscious desire to play with faeces.