Titles About The End Of Money
Like the proverbial fish who doesn’t know what water is, we swim in an economy built on money that few of us comprehend, and, most definitely, what we don’t know is hurting us. Very few people realize that the nature of money has changed profoundly over the past three centuries, or — as has been clear with the latest global financial crisis — the extent to which it has become a political instrument used to centralize power, concentrate wealth, and subvert popular government. On top of that, the economic growth imperative inherent in the present global monetary system is a main driver of global warming and other environmental crises. ‘The End of Money and the Future of Civilization’ demystifies the subjects of money, banking, and finance by tracing historical landmarks and important evolutionary shifts that have changed the essential nature of money. It lays out the problems and then looks to the future for a next stage in money’s evolution that can liberate us as individuals and communities from the current grip of centralized and politicized money power.
The next financial collapse will resemble nothing in history. Deciding upon the best course to follow will require comprehending a minefield of risks, while poised at a crossroads, pondering the End Of Money. The U.S. dollar has been the global reserve currency since the end of World War II. If the dollar fails, the entire international monetary system will fail with it. But optimists have always said, in essence, that confidence in the dollar will never truly be shaken, no matter how high our national debt or how dysfunctional our government. In the last few years, however, the risks have become too big to ignore.
The technology likely to have the greatest impact on the future of the world economy has arrived, and it’s not self-driving cars, solar energy, or artificial intelligence. It’s called the blockchain. The first generation of the digital revolution brought us the Internet of information. The second generation, powered by blockchain technology, is bringing us the Internet of value: a new, distributed platform that can help us reshape the world of business and transform the old order of human affairs for the better. Blockchain is the ingeniously simple, revolutionary protocol that allows transactions to be simultaneously anonymous and secure by maintaining a tamper proof public ledger of value. Though it’s the technology that drives bitcoin and other digital currencies, the underlying framework has the potential to go far beyond these and record virtually everything of value to humankind, from birth and death certificates to insurance claims and even votes. As with major paradigm shifts that preceded it, the blockchain will create winners and losers. And while opportunities abound, the risks of disruption and dislocation must not be ignored.
We all think we know intuitively what money is, and what it can do for us. This title explains money on an eye-popping, fundamental level, and provides a roadmap on how to make alternatives to the “legal tender” work for individuals, communities, and local economies. It reveals the true workings, and alarming fragility, of our existing financial system. It also describes concrete and realistic actions that individuals, businesses, social service agencies, and governments can take to enhance productivity and purchasing power, to protect local economies from the ravages of globalization, and to strengthen the bonds of community.
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. Tthis 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?
The Western world has experienced extraordinary economic progress throughout the last six decades, a prosperous period so extended that continuous economic growth has come to seem normal. But such an era of continuously rising living standards is a historical anomaly, and the current stagnation of Western economies and the end of money threatens to reach crisis proportions in the not-so-distant future.
The digital revolution turns out to be the game changer that calls for the end of banking or the end of money. This title cuts through the complexity of modern finance and explains how banking almost crashed our financial system. Banking is broken, and this title reveals why we can no longer fix it.
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