For a look at the nuts and bolts of government job creation, This American Life Senior Producer Julie Snyder and Planet Money correspondent Adam Davidson attend a meeting of the International Economic Developers Council in San Diego.
Ira Glass speaks with several members of the Planet Money team, who all found themselves—in the course of their reporting—independently asking the same stoner-ish question: What is money? Ira and Planet Money producer Jacob Goldstein discuss a pre-industrial society on the island of Yap that used giant stones as currency. The book that Jacob read about Yap is called The Island of Stone Money.
A trip to a country where the fiction that is money completely fell apart. And in this same country, through a truly incredible piece of policy making, the government tricked a 150,000,000 people into believing their money had value again.
Though the name of the Federal Reserve includes the word "federal," it's not actually part of the government. It's an independent institution tasked with something very simple, but very huge: Creating money out of thin air.