I’m Jacob Goldstein from NPR’s “Planet Money.” I just wrote a book called “Money: The True Story of a Made-Up Thing,” which traces the surprising history of banks, markets, and money from clay tablets to the invention of cryptocurrency. AMA about ...
In 2011, my colleagues and I went on the radio show This American Life to ask a question: What is money? Ira Glass called it “the most stoner question” he had ever posed on the show. Maybe. But some stoner questions are good questions!
I liked this question so much I wrote a book about it. It’s called Money: The True Story of a Made-Up Thing, and it comes out today.
What counts as money (and what doesn’t) is the result of choices we make, and those choices have a profound effect on who gets more stuff and who gets less, who gets to take risks when times are good, and who gets screwed when things go bad.
I’ve been making podcasts and radio stories at Planet Money since 2010. My most recent show was about John Law, who I write about in the book. Law was a gambler and convicted murderer who escaped from prison, brought modern money to France and became incredibly wealthy -- until he destroyed the country’s economy.
Earlier in my career, I was a reporter at the Wall Street Journal, the Miami Herald, and the Bozeman Daily Chronicle.
In addition to answering questions about money, I’m happy to talk about Planet Money, journalism, podcasting, etc.
Thanks for the great questions!
One last thing: If you buy the book and want me to sign it, just DM me your receipt and address on twitter @jacobgoldstein. I'll send you a bookplate signed to you (or whoever) that you can stick in the book.