What Is Money?

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.

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

Cieplak-Mayr von Baldegg joined The Atlantic in 2011 to launch its video channel and, in 2013, create its in-house video production department. She leads the development and production of original documentaries, interviews, and other video content for The Atlantic. Previously, she worked as a producer at Al Gore’s Current TV and as a content strategist and documentary producer in San Francisco. She studied filmmaking and digital media at Harvard University.

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