In Defense of Fiat Money and the Roman Empire

This week, your highfalutin’ Sunday morning read comes to us from my friend Izzy at FT Alphaville…

So, apart from the roads — which go without saying — the aqueduct, sanitation, irrigation, medicine, education, wine, public baths and public order — what have the Romans ever done for us?

Well, as we pointed out on Wednesday, there is a growing view among some ancient scholars that the Monty Python boys could and should have included credit in that list. And in in a big way, since the Roman economy likely featured a lot more paper money assets than most ancient historians care to admit. (Something a lot of modern-day economists and strategists who like throwing Roman coinage supply charts into their research don’t often explain.)

W.V Harris of Columbia University is probably best known for having made and substantiated the argument. And in my opinion, it’s certainly a very compelling one.

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What have the Romans ever done for us? (FT Alphaville)

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