Credit: Banknote from the French Revolution/National Numismatic Collection at the Smithsonian Institution.

Odd Lots: Why It's Really Hard to Create a New Currency in a Revolution

Lessons from the Assignat.

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Every week, hosts Joe Weisenthal and Tracy Alloway take you on a not-so-random walk through hot topics in markets, finance, and economics.

Creating a new form of money is always tough. Will it hold its value? Will people trust it? Will people use it? All these challenges are even tougher if you're in the middle of political chaos. On this week's Odd Lots, we speak with Rebecca Spang, a history professor at Indiana University and the author of a book about the monetary history of the French Revolution. Her book examines the disastrous attempt to create a new land-backed currency, the Assignat, in the late 1700s. The discussion sheds light on some fundamental issues that are still relevant today. 


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