I recall this simple tale that summarizes the role of money in economy. I am looking for the original reference to its text, author and initial date of publication.
A foreign merchant reaches a wealthy town. At the tavern, the innkeeper asks for a coin of gold to stay the night, but the merchant does not own any currency accepted there. So, they produce a counterfeit coin that the innkeeper accepts, thinking it is true. The innkeeper later uses the counterfeit coin to pay the cook, who uses it to pay-off his debt to the butcher, and finally the butcher buys a knife to the foreign merchant. On the morning of the next day, the foreigner exits the town with their counterfeit coin, but it has enabled a series of transactions that would otherwise not have been possible.