Many frugal folks are geeks at heart. Now you can indulge both sides of your personality with comic books from the Federal Reserve Bank!

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York has been publishing educational cartoon-style booklets since the 1950s. “The Story of the Federal Reserve System” is one of ten titles currently available. The comic book is intended for the general public, especially students in high school and introductory-level college economic courses.

Up to 35 copies of each comic book are available free. Additional copies are 25 cents each, with exceptions for classroom use. To order, write to the Public Information Department, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, 33 Liberty Street, New York, New York 10045. These publications can also be ordered online.

Titles include:

  • Once Upon a Dime — A fable about the island kingdom of Mazuma and the growth of its economy from barter to a sophisticated modern system, with its own central bank, to iIlustrate basic concepts of barter, money, banking, and inflation.
  • A Penny Saved… — Illustrates the importance of savings — how it benefits all of us — and the various types of savings instruments and institutions.
  • The Story of Banks — Follows three young entrepreneurs as they use progressively more sophisticated bank services over a 23-year period. Also explores the role of checking deposits and lending in money creation.
  • The Story of Checks and Electronic Payments — Uses the story of two basketball-playing buddies to discuss the role of checks and electronic payments in the U.S. economy — including the role of the Fed in facilitating payments. The booklet also teaches personal finance skills such as writing a check and balancing a checking account.
  • The Story of Consumer Credit — Explains consumer rights and responsibilities and consumer credit regulations.
  • The Story of Foreign Trade and Exchange — Explains the basic principles underlying foreign trade and exchange.
  • The Story of Inflation — Describes the causes and effects of inflation and discusses alternative anti-inflation policies.
  • The Story of Monetary Policy — Explains the meaning and purpose of monetary policy, how the Fed makes monetary policy, and how the tools of monetary policy work.
  • The Story of Money — Explains the purposes of money in a modern economy, the characteristics that items used as money have, the way the banking system creates money, and the reasons the Federal Reserve influences the money supply.
  • The Story of the Federal Reserve System — Describes the major functions of the Federal Reserve System, the tools of monetary policy and how they work, and the other ways in which the Fed helps the U.S. economy and financial system to function.
  • Too Much, Too Little — Provides a history of the U.S. monetary system and events leading to the establishment of the Federal Reserve System.
  • Wishes and Rainbows — Explores the economic problem of scarce resources and society’s reactions to such problems via a children’s story. (Available online in PDF form.)

I’ll hand these out as stocking stuffers to my nieces and nephews this Christmas. I’m the best uncle ever!