What Is Money?

Money makes the world go around. Economies rely on the exchange of money for products and services. Economists define money, where it comes from, and what it’s worth. Here are the multifaceted characteristics of money.

Key Takeaways

  • Money is a medium of exchange; it allows people to obtain what they need to live.
  • Bartering was one way that people exchanged goods for other goods before money was created.
  • Like gold and other precious metals, money has worth because for most people it represents something valuable.
  • Fiat money is government-issued currency that is not backed by a physical commodity but by the stability of the issuing government.

Medium of Exchange

Before the development of a medium of exchange—that is, money—people would barter to obtain the goods and services they needed. Two individuals, each possessing some goods the other wanted, would enter into an agreement to trade.

Early forms of bartering, however,

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Finance Definition

What Is Finance?

Finance is a term for matters regarding the management, creation, and study of money and investments. Finance can be broadly divided into three categories, public finance, corporate finance, and personal finance. There are many other specific categories, such as behavioral finance, which seeks to identify the cognitive (e.g., emotional, social, and psychological) reasons behind financial decisions.

The Basics of Finance

Finance, as a distinct branch of theory and practice from economics, arose in the 1940s and 1950s with the works of Markowitz, Tobin, Sharpe, Treynor, Black, and Scholes, to name just a few. Of course, topics of finance—such as money, banking, lending, and investing—had been around since the dawn of human history in some form or another.

Today, “finance” is typically broken down into three broad categories: Public finance includes tax systems, government expenditures, budget procedures, stabilization policy and instruments, debt issues, and other government concerns. Corporate

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