Money: The Unauthorized Biography
Felix Martin’s Money is a social technology of three elements; an abstract unit of value, a system of accounts and the ability of transference between entities. He takes us on a delightful, historical development of money from Yap Island, early Greece, Mesopotamia and finally later Greece until those three concepts are realized. Martin introduces government into the mix, showing how money was used to control kingdoms and how control could easily be lost by unwise money policies. He details the genesis of the misunderstanding of money, and why we have two schools of thought about it, each ignoring the learning of the other. The experiences of Argentina, China, England, US, and other countries and kingdoms as they struggle with money issues illustrate an understanding of not only what money is, but also what it is not; you cannot eat gold. The book is easy to read and explains complex economic principles with real world examples. Most of the problems we have with money have existed before; the fixes have caused the problems culminating with our current crisis. Martin has a solution of his own: return to an understanding that money is a social technology, and use it as such.
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