July 29th, 2014
from the Richmond Fed
Richard Timberlake has one of the longest-spanning careers of any economist. His first article was published in 1957, when he was 35 and earning his Ph.D. at the University of Chicago. His latest book, a history of the most important Supreme Court decisions affecting money, was published in 2013, when he was 90. After teaching at the University of Georgia for 26 years, Timberlake has been retired for a nearly equal length of time — he retired, he says, so he could get some work done. Timberlake is widely regarded as one of the world’s foremost experts on monetary history. The intriguing thing about money, he says, is that its existence since ancient times proves that people can use it whether or not they understand how it works or what gives it value.