A sweeping history of the American invention of modern money.
Economists endlessly debate the nature of legal tender monetary systems—coins and bills issued by a government or other authority. Yet the origins of these currencies have received little attention.
Dror Goldberg tells the story of modern money in North America through the Massachusetts colony during the seventeenth century. As the young settlement transitioned to self-governance and its economy grew, the need to formalize a smooth exchange emerged. Printing local money followed.
Easy Money illustrates how colonists invented contemporary currency by shifting its foundation from intrinsically valuable goods—such as silver—to the taxation of the state. Goldberg traces how this structure grew into a worldwide system in which, monetarily, we are all Massachusetts. Weaving economics, law, and American history, Easy Money is a new touchstone in the story of monetary systems.