Means that money will persuade people to do as you like, while cheap talk will get you nowhere.
Of course if someone offers you money to do something and says he doesn’t have money with him, but will pay you later, I’d say that was the bullshit talking.
The saying can be traced back to G. Torriano’s ‘Italian Proverbs’ in the Saturday Evening Post (September, 1903).
In 1980, the FBI pulled off its first major sting operation aimed at members of Congress, using front men posing as Arab businessmen willing to bribe any members willing to accept it for doing favors. They nabbed half a dozen, with the cameras rolling. One of them was Michael Myers, who urged the “Arab businessmen” to cut to the chase with the words: “Money talks, bullshit walks.” He ended up spending a few years in jail.
By the way, this sting went under the code name “Abscam,” that is, it was a scam with pretended Arabs. I remember hearing that word on the news, but never knew what it meant.
Money Talks Bullshit Walks: The Entrepreneur’s Guide To Productivity And Making More Money By Eliminating Distractions, Time Thieves And People Who Are Full Of Shit
This is the title of a book for sale on Amazon.com. Yes, that whole thing is the title.