The End Of Alchemy Money Banking And The Future Of The Global Economy


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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 their core both ideas were revolutionary and almost magical. Common paper became as precious as gold, and risky long-term loans were transformed into safe short-term bank deposits. As King argues, this is financial alchemy—the creation of extraordinary financial powers that defy reality and common sense. Faith in these powers has led to huge benefits; the liquidity they create has fueled economic growth for two centuries now. However, they have also produced an unending string of economic disasters, from hyperinflations to banking collapses to the recent global recession and current stagnation. How do we reconcile the potent strengths of these ideas with their inherent weaknesses? King draws on his unique experience to present fresh interpretations of these economic forces and to point the way forward for the global economy. His bold solutions cut through current overstuffed and needlessly complex legislation to provide a clear path to durable prosperity and the end of overreliance on the alchemy of our financial ancestors.

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Author by Mervyn King
Genre eBook Business & Economics
Read Book 368
ISBN Number 9780393247039

Other People S Money


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Shortlisted for the Orwell Prize 2016 We all depend on the finance sector. We need it to store our money, manage our payments, finance housing stock, restore infrastructure, fund retirement and support new business. But these roles comprise only a tiny sliver of the sector's activity: the vast majority of lending is within the finance sector. So what is it all for? What is the purpose of this activity? And why is it so profitable? John Kay, a distinguished economist with wide experience of the financial sector, argues that the industry's perceived profitability is partly illusory, and partly an appropriation of wealth created elsewhere - of other people's money. The financial sector, he shows, has grown too large, detached itself from ordinary business and everyday life, and has become an industry that mostly trades with itself, talks to itself, and judges itself by reference to standards which it has itself generated. And the outside world has itself adopted those standards, bailing out financial institutions that have failed all of us through greed and mismanagement. We need finance, but today we have far too much of a good thing. In Other People's Money John Kay shows in his inimitable style what has gone wrong in the dark heart of finance.

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Author by John Kay
Genre eBook Business & Economics
Read Book 353
ISBN Number 9781782831549

Between Debt And The Devil


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Adair Turner became chairman of Britain's Financial Services Authority just as the global financial crisis struck in 2008, and he played a leading role in redesigning global financial regulation. In this eye-opening book, he sets the record straight about what really caused the crisis. It didn’t happen because banks are too big to fail—our addiction to private debt is to blame. Between Debt and the Devil challenges the belief that we need credit growth to fuel economic growth, and that rising debt is okay as long as inflation remains low. In fact, most credit is not needed for economic growth—but it drives real estate booms and busts and leads to financial crisis and depression. Turner explains why public policy needs to manage the growth and allocation of credit creation, and why debt needs to be taxed as a form of economic pollution. Banks need far more capital, real estate lending must be restricted, and we need to tackle inequality and mitigate the relentless rise of real estate prices. Turner also debunks the big myth about fiat money—the erroneous notion that printing money will lead to harmful inflation. To escape the mess created by past policy errors, we sometimes need to monetize government debt and finance fiscal deficits with central-bank money. Between Debt and the Devil shows why we need to reject the assumptions that private credit is essential to growth and fiat money is inevitably dangerous. Each has its advantages, and each creates risks that public policy must consciously balance.

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Author by Adair Turner
Genre eBook Business & Economics
Read Book 320
ISBN Number 9780691175980

The Economics Of Central Banking


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This book offers a comprehensive analysis of central banks, and aims to demystify them for the general public, which is the only way to have a rational debate about them and ultimately to make them truly accountable. The book originates from the author’s graduate lectures on Central Banking at the University of Frankfurt J.W. Goethe. It contains an overview of all the key questions surrounding central banks and their role in the economy. It leads the reader from the more established concepts (including monetary theory and historical experience), necessary to have a good grasp of modern central banking, to the more open and problematic questions, which are being debated within academic and financial market circles. This structure enables readers without specific knowledge of central banks or monetary economics to understand the current challenges. The book has three defining characteristics, which set it apart from competing titles: first, it is pitched at the general public and uses simple and entertaining language. Second, it is rooted in, and makes frequent reference to, recent academic research, based on content for a graduate level course. Third, the author thinks 'out of the box' in order to describe the possible evolution of central banks (including the prospect of their disappearance), and not only the status quo.

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Author by Livio Stracca
Genre eBook Business & Economics
Read Book 136
ISBN Number 9781351583367

The Only Game In Town


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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • A roadmap to what lies ahead and the decisions we must make now to stave off the next global economic and financial crisis, from one of the world’s most influential economic thinkers and the author of When Markets Collide • With a new introduction by the author “The one economic book you must read now . . . If you want to understand [our] bifurcated world and where it’s headed, there is no better interpreter than Mohamed El-Erian.”—Time Our current economic path is coming to an end. The signposts are all around us: sluggish growth, rising inequality, stubbornly high pockets of unemployment, and jittery financial markets, to name a few. Soon we will reach a fork in the road: One path leads to renewed growth, prosperity, and financial stability, the other to recession and market disorder. In The Only Game in Town, El-Erian casts his gaze toward the future of the global economy and markets, outlining the choices we face both individually and collectively in an era of economic uncertainty and financial insecurity. Beginning with their response to the 2008 global crisis, El-Erian explains how and why our central banks became the critical policy actors—and, most important, why they cannot continue is this role alone. They saved the financial system from collapse in 2008 and a multiyear economic depression, but lack the tools to enable a return to high inclusive growth and durable financial stability. The time has come for a policy handoff, from a prolonged period of monetary policy experimentation to a strategy that better targets what ails economies and distorts the financial sector—before we stumble into another crisis. The future, critically, is not predestined. It is up to us to decide where we will go from here as households, investors, companies, and governments. Using a mix of insights from economics, finance, and behavioral science, this book gives us the tools we need to properly understand this turning point, prepare for it, and come out of it stronger. A comprehensive, controversial look at the realities of our global economy and markets, The Only Game in Town is required reading for investors, policymakers, and anyone interested in the future.

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Author by Mohamed A. El-Erian
Genre eBook Business & Economics
Read Book 352
ISBN Number 9780812997637

Radical Uncertainty


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'A brilliant new book' Daily Telegraph 'Well written . . . and often entertaining' The Times 'A sparkling analysis' Prospect 'Entertaining and enlightening . . . This is a necessary critique and they make it with verve, knowledge and a wealth of stories' Financial Times 'An elegant, wise and timely book' Irish Times 'Jam-packed with erudition' New Statesman This major, critically acclaimed work asks a vitally important question for today: when uncertainty is all around us, and the facts are not clear, how can we make good decisions? We do not know what the future will hold, particularly in the midst of a crisis, but we must make decisions anyway. We regularly crave certainties which cannot exist and invent knowledge we cannot have, forgetting that humans are successful because we have adapted to an environment that we understand only imperfectly. Throughout history we have developed a variety of ways of coping with the radical uncertainty that defines our lives. This incisive and eye-opening book draws on biography, history, mathematics, economics and philosophy to highlight the most successful - and most short-sighted - methods of dealing with an unknowable future. Ultimately, the authors argue, the prevalent method of our age falls short, giving us a false understanding of our power to make predictions, leading to many of the problems we experience today.

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Author by Mervyn King
Genre eBook Business & Economics
Read Book 544
ISBN Number 9781408712580

Fixing Global Finance


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Sharply and clearly argued, Wolf’s prescription for fixing global finance illustrates why he has been described as "the world's preeminent financial journalist."

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Author by Martin Wolf
Genre eBook Business & Economics
Read Book 272
ISBN Number 9780801898433

The Bankers New Clothes


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The past few years have shown that risks in banking can impose significant costs on the economy. Many claim, however, that a safer banking system would require sacrificing lending and economic growth. The Bankers' New Clothes examines this claim and the narratives used by bankers, politicians, and regulators to rationalize the lack of reform, exposing them as invalid. Anat Admati and Martin Hellwig argue that we can have a safer and healthier banking system without sacrificing any of its benefits, and at essentially no cost to society. They seek to engage the broader public in the debate by cutting through the jargon of banking, clearing the fog of confusion, and presenting the issues in simple and accessible terms.

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Author by Anat Admati
Genre eBook Business & Economics
Read Book 424
ISBN Number 9781400851195

War And Gold


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The world was wild for gold. After discovering the Americas, and under pressure to defend their vast dominion, the Habsburgs of Spain promoted gold and silver exploration in the New World with ruthless urgency. But, the great influx of wealth brought home by plundering conquistadors couldn't compensate for the Spanish government's extraordinary military spending, which would eventually bankrupt the country multiple times over and lead to the demise of the great empire. Gold became synonymous with financial dependability, and following the devastating chaos of World War I, the gold standard came to express the order of the free market system. Warfare in pursuit of wealth required borrowing—a quickly compulsive dependency for many governments. And when people lost confidence in the promissory notes and paper currencies issued during wartime, governments again turned to gold. In this captivating historical study, Kwarteng exposes a pattern of war-waging and financial debt—bedmates like April and taxes that go back hundreds of years, from the French Revolution to the emergence of modern-day China. His evidence is as rich and colorful as it is sweeping. And it starts and ends with gold.

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Author by Kwasi Kwarteng
Genre eBook History
Read Book 440
ISBN Number 9781610391962

Unelected Power


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Tucker presents guiding principles for ensuring that central bankers and other unelected policymakers remain stewards of the common good.

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Author by Paul Tucker
Genre eBook Business & Economics
Read Book 664
ISBN Number 9780691196305