Arts, sciences and humanities build healthier, more livable, vital communities. They are essential to a strong education system. They contribute enormously to our economy.
For most of the 19th Century, there was no federal control over currency in the United States. It was total monetary anarchy. Hundreds of independent banks designed and issued their own bills. Some of these banks were serious concerns, while others were just scams preying on a confused and unsuspecting populace. It was also a field day for counterfeiters who could easily fake bills from existing banks or simply create their own bogus bills. Many of these counterfeit kings become heroes to an increasingly incensed public who considered them at least “honest” crooks, unlike the banks. Tonight on Inquiry, we talk with STEPHEN MIHM, Professor in the History Department of the University of Georgia, about his rollicking and shocking history A NATION OF COUNTERFEITERS: CAPITALISTS, CON MEN AND THE MAKING OF THE UNITED STATES. Tune in and find out how fraud and conmen helped create our nation’s booming economy!