Asked by: Adam King, Huddersfield

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As with so much in finance, the answer isn’t straightforward. Economists distinguish between various types of money, ranging from individual savings deposits to the reserves held by central banks.

But taking ‘money’ to be coins and notes, statistics collated by the Swiss-based Bank for International Settlements suggests there’s over $6,000bn worth of the stuff out there. This figure does not, however, include the vast amount believed to be lost down the back of the world’s sofas.

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Authors

Robert is a science writer and visiting professor of science at Aston University.

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