From ancient currency to Adam Smith, from the gold standard to shadow banking and the Great Recession: a sweeping historical epic that traces the development and evolution of one of humankind's greatest inventions. What is money, and how does it work? In this tour de force of political, cultural and economic history, Felix Martin challenges nothing less than our conventional understanding of money. He describes how the Western idea of money emerged from interactions between Mesopotamia and ancient Greece and was shaped over the centuries by tensions between sovereigns and the emerging middle classes. He explores the extraordinary diversity of the world's monetary systems, from the Pacific island of Yap, where value was once measured by immovable stones, to the currency of today that exists solely on globally connected computer screens. Martin shows that money has always been a deeply political instrument, and that it is our failure to remember this that led to the crisis in our financial system and so to the Great Recession. He concludes with practical solutions to our current pressing, money-based problems. "Money "skips nimbly among such far-ranging topics as John Locke's disastrous excursion into economic policy, Montesquieu's faith in finance to discipline the power of kings, the social organization of ancient Sparta and the Soviet Union's ill-fated attempt to abolish money and banking altogether. Throughout, Martin makes vivid sense of a chaotic and sometimes incoherent system--the everyday currency that we all share--in the clearest and most stimulating terms. This is a magisterial work of history and economics, with profound implications for the world today.
Praise for "Money" Finalist for "Guardian" First Book Award "'Money is often held to have arisen as a solution to the shortcomings of barter: traders needed a universally acceptable 'medium of exchange.' In this lively history-cum-polemic, Martin says that the theory is 'entirely false, ' and that the essence of monetary exchange is not 'the swapping of goods and services for this commodity medium' but a 'system of credit accounts and their clearing.'" "Compulsively readable . . . "Money "is a fascinating and entertaining pep talk for bankers, economists and armchair revolutionaries dissatisfied with the current financial system, and an attempt to galvanize them into action.""--" Heidi N. Moore, " New York Times Book Review" "Felix Martin's remarkable book asks the big question: do economists have any idea what money is? His compelling answer is: no. You may not agree with the answer. But it will certainly force you to think."--Martin Wolf, author of "Why Globalization Works" "Felix Martin has written a wonderfully original and entertaining history of money. If you have ever wondered why the whole system seems so dangerously and chronically unstable, this is the book to read."--Liaquat Ahamed, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of "Lords of Finance" " ""Felix Martin's remarkable book "Money" is economic history-and indeed cultural anthropology-with a difference . . . his sparkling book is worth taking seriously."--Raymond Tallis, "Prospect"" ""An excellent book . . . Full of interesting history and insight . . . a beautiful and sometimes even entrancing study of human thought about money.""--"Tyler Cowen, " Times Literary Supplement""Blending history and economic analysis in his engaging first book, economist and bond investor Martin explains the development of sovereign currency and its critically important function in modern economies. . . Martin approaches his subject in entertaining fash
Format: Audio CD
Published: 4th March 2014
Dimensions (cm): 15.7 x 16.8 x 2.3
Weight (kg): 0.34