Chicago Fed Letter, October 2002

PUBLICATION - The October 2002 issue of the Chicago Fed Letter is titled 'Solving the problem of small change' - In the last hundred years, monetary systems have evolved from commodity-based, meaning their value is tied to a commodity like gold, to fiat-based, meaning their value is not tied to anything. Why did this happen? What was wrong with the old commodity-based systems? A recent book explores these historical developments and shows how the problem of small change played a crucial role in

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