Unprecedented government spending to address the Covid-19 pandemic has led to a soaring level of what we call ‘the national debt’. But does the national debt matter?

Stephanie Kelton, economics professor and political advisor, claims the United States’ debt is no obstacle to paying for expensive new programs, to deal with everything from a pandemic and economic crisis, to inequality and the climate crisis. But the inevitable questions follow: “How can we pay for it?” “Where will we find the money?”

Kelton provocatively states, “finding the money” is actually the easiest part, because Congress is the sole issuer of the US dollar.

FINDING THE MONEY captures the rise of a controversial new theory dubbed ‘Modern Monetary Theory’, or MMT. It could either represent a paradigm shift in economics and politics, or remain the laughing stock of a respectable academic field. The ideas, originating from Wall Street fund manager Warren Mosler, strike at the core of mainstream economics and are met with derision by prominent figures from across the political spectrum. But according to Mosler, “once you see it the right way around, you can never go back to the old thinking”.

In order to understand the modern debate, we take a 5,000 year exploration through the history of money. Animated interludes provide clues as to the nature of money today: Is it a real thing that we have to go out and find? Or has money always been virtual?

Will an underdog group of economists make us rethink the very nature of money in time to understand what the US government can afford in the face of unparalleled crises?



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