What Is Money?

No, seriously, what *is* money? 

More

One of our favorite questions from readers for Economics in Plain English was deceptively simple: What, after all, is money? And what sets it apart from something that's simply valuable? A big abstract idea like this called for a hands-on experiment.

In this episode, business editor Derek Thompson  pays a visit to a branch of EagleBank in Arlington, VA, to bother the world's friendliest bank teller with a series of dumb requests. As goofy as it seems, this little experiment is a helpful way to illustrate three essential functions of money: a store of value, a unit of account, and a medium of exchange. But you'll have to watch to see why.  

Don't miss Thompson's introduction to the project and the previous installments, which you can watch here.

Jump to comments

Kasia Cieplak-Mayr von Baldegg is the executive producer for video at The AtlanticMore

Cieplak-Mayr von Baldegg's work in media spans documentary television, advertising, and print. As a producer in the Viewer Created Content division of Al Gore's Current TV, she acquired and produced short documentaries by independent filmmakers around the world. Post-Current, she worked as a producer and strategist at Urgent Content, developing consumer-created and branded nonfiction campaigns for clients including Cisco, Ford, and GOOD Magazine. She studied filmmaking and digital media at Harvard University, where she was co-creator and editor in chief of H BOMB Magazine.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

Why Do Men Assume They're So Great?

Katty Kay and Claire Shipman, authors of this month's Atlantic cover story, sit down with Hanna Rosin to discuss the power of confidence and how self doubt holds women back. 


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Where Time Comes From

The clocks that coordinate your cellphone, GPS, and more

Video

Computer Vision Syndrome and You

Save your eyes. Take breaks.

Video

What Happens in 60 Seconds

Quantifying human activity around the world

Writers

Up
Down

Just In