Laughter's Medicine

Comic books get serious about economic topics

Mili Note: Lemme guess who the superhero in these comics is…

by Steve Rosen,

Wham! Bam! Kapow!

It’s a comic book … about inflation.

And the publisher of “The Story of Inflation” is none other than the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. It’s the latest in a series of colorful and free comic-style books that the Federal Reserve System has published over the years aimed at turning the arcane and often befuddling concepts of economics into stories that young readers can grasp. Previous topics were money and banking, entrepreneurism and the workings of the Federal Reserve.

“The Story of Inflation,” which can be ordered at, starts with a cast of characters that includes a certain bearded fellow who bears a resemblance to Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke.

“Inflation is very unpopular,” the story begins. “But what is inflation?”

Over the next 20-plus pages, the authors do a good job of explaining the nuances of inflation in everyday language. There’s even a little history thrown in with an explanation of hyperinflation and how it ravaged Germany after World War I.

Of course, the inflation story wouldn’t be complete without a page or two about the role of the Federal Reserve and the balancing act that it follows to keep the nation’s economic engine running. Just don’t expect any inside secrets — even in Fed-speak.

And, hey, what’s a summer reading list without a comic book?
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