Monday, January 10, 2011

The Invention of Money: Money is Fiction

There was a time when I was obsessed with money, then I realized how irrelevant it can become, if there is no desire to acquire it.

An amazing story of money and how its value can be created - MONEY IS FICTION.

A guide for every Finance Minister and people managing economy.

Originally aired 01.07.2011
Five reporters stumbled on what seems like a basic question: What is money? The unsettling answer they found: Money is fiction. Photo: Stone money on the island of Yap.

This episode is produced by the Planet Money team.

Ira Glass speaks with several members of the Planet Money team, who all found themselves—in the course of their reporting—independently asking the same stoner-ish question: What is money? Ira and Planet Money producer Jacob Goldstein discuss a pre-industrial society on the island of Yap that used giant stones as currency. The book that Jacob read about Yap is called The Island of Stone Money. (10 minutes)

A trip to a country where the fiction that is money completely fell apart. And in this same country, through a truly incredible piece of policy making, the government tricked a 150,000,000 people into believing their money had value again. Chana Joffe-Walt reports. (16 minutes)

Though the name of the Federal Reserve includes the word "federal," it's not actually part of the government. It's an independent institution tasked with something very simple, but very huge: Creating money out of thin air. And during this last financial crisis, the leaders of the Fed did things that they would never have considered doing in the past. Alex Blumberg and David Kestenbaum report on what the Fed usually does, and how, since 2008, it's taken a trip to what amounts to Fed Crazytown. (26 minutes)
Song: "We Do (The Stonecutters' Song)", The Simpsons

PHOTO: Paul Williams

1 comment:

crasshopper said...

After reading The Region's interview with Gary Gorton, I think I have a good parallel to "Where did all the money go?"

It's just like if all of a sudden, your bank and a bunch of banks went insolvent without FDIC insurance. "Where did my money go? I had $10,000 on deposit here! I want my $10,000. Where did my money go?"

The question and its answer are the same for the repo market and for commercial paper.