Money has taken many forms over the ages. But have certain forms of money — especially large denomination bills — outlived their usefulness? Or at least their legal usefulness? In this episode of EconoFact Chats, Michael Klein is joined by Kenneth Rogoff of Harvard University for a discussion on the history of paper currency, the amount of currency currently in circulation, and the ways in which large-denomination bills facilitate criminal activity, tax avoidance, and corruption. Their conversation also touches on the growing adoption of digital currencies, and the rise of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin.
Ken served as Chief Economist of the IMF from 2001 to 2003. He is the author of The Curse of Cash: How Large-Denomination Bills Aid Crime and Tax Evasion and Constrain Monetary Policy