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Monopoly : The Other Bad Bank

Bank error flickr/Ollie T. hide caption

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flickr/Ollie T.

We at Planet Money have been trying to find ways to explain what banks do.

And I realized one reason it's hard is that the only time most people get to play bank is in the game Monopoly. And that is just such a lousy lousy example.

The bank in monopoly is basically a cash register. It doesn't take in deposits, it has no regulator.

It does make loans though. If you "mortgage" Marvin Gardens (some form of home equity loan I guess) the bank will give you $140.

I have seen housing bubbles in Monopoly. My sister and I used to get in bidding wars over Mediterranean and Baltic Avenue. But maybe they were underpriced. I mean, $50 for a property?

Anyone know a game with a more realistic bank?