The End of Alchemy

The End of Alchemy

Money, Banking, and the Future of the Global Economy

eBook - 2016
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"Mervyn King may well have written the most important book to come out of the financial crisis. Agree or disagree, King's visionary ideas deserve the attention of everyone from economics students to heads of state." —Lawrence H. Summers Something is wrong with our banking system. We all sense that, but Mervyn King knows it firsthand; his ten years at the helm of the Bank of England, including at the height of the financial crisis, revealed profound truths about the mechanisms of our capitalist society. In The End of Alchemy he offers us an essential work about the history and future of money and banking, the keys to modern finance. The Industrial Revolution built the foundation of our modern capitalist age. Yet the flowering of technological innovations during that dynamic period relied on the widespread adoption of two much older ideas: the creation of paper money and the invention of banks that issued credit. We take these systems for granted today, yet at...
Publisher: 2016.
ISBN: 9780393247039
Branch Call Number: E-BOOK
Characteristics: 1 online resource ( pages)
1 online resource
Additional Contributors: OverDrive, Inc

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wyenotgo
Jul 26, 2017

King does his best to render economics as something a lot better than the "dismal science". By illuminating the alchemy practiced by the banking sector, he comes close to succeeding. Here are two kinds of alchemy, one of which actually seems to work, while the other is purely a fraud. The late medieval alchemists sought to create gold out of base metal; clearly, they were pikers. But it's true that the banks do in fact create money -- not out of base metal but in fact out of nothing. However, in their endeavor to turn long term risky loans into currently liquid capital, they have been engaging in a fraud, one that has pushed the world economy to the brink of disaster, leaving John Q. Taxpayer to bail them out and foot the bill while they dance away to play their game another day. Clearly Brecht was right: "After all, what crime is it to rob a bank compared with the crime of creating one?!"
King's prescription for a fix of the system might or might not work; sadly, we will never find out because those who run the system like it the way it is. We will sooner or later see another liquidity crisis and the same players will survive to fight another day; and so it will continue ....

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dianembca
Jan 28, 2017

dianembca thinks this title is suitable for 18 years and over

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