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Is money today anything like it was in the early development of man?
Today we discuss the origins of monetary systems. This discussion stems from an age old…or at least a couple year old argument between Mike and John in which they disagree about whether or not a barter system ever existed. Starting from there, we look at methods of accounting for wealth in ancient societies that varied from large stones to shiny rocks, to beads, to cash money, to today’s currency of data.
What people consider to be currency today is vastly different than what was considered to be currency even just a couple hundred years ago. In fact, if you asked people ever 30 years ago what Federal Reserve Notes were, many of them would have told you that each dollar you held in your pocket was backed by a set amount of gold held by the United States government. While that hasn’t been the case for quite some time, it has taken quite a while for the perception to reach the people. Today most people realize that our money is backed by debt instead of by any hard asset. With this realization, a discussion of the history of money and what money means today is certainly timely.
If you haven’t listened to it, I would encourage you to check out our Fractional Reserve Banking episode and listen to it in conjunction with this one as it provides some interesting insight into the practices of today’s banking system.