Bitcoin, the first successful decentralized digital currency, is still in its early stages and yet it’s already spawned a multi-billion-dollar global economy open to anyone with the knowledge and passion to participate. Mastering Bitcoin provides the knowledge. You simply supply the passion.
The second edition includes:A broad introduction of bitcoin and its underlying blockchain—ideal for non-technical users, investors, and business executivesAn explanation of the technical foundations of bitcoin and cryptographic currencies for developers, engineers, and software and systems architectsDetails of the bitcoin decentralized network, peer-to-peer architecture, transaction lifecycle, and security principlesNew developments such as Segregated Witness, Payment Channels, and Lightning NetworkA deep dive into blockchain applications, including how to combine the building blocks offered by this platform into higher-level applicationsUser stories, analogies, examples, and code snippets illustrating key technical concepts
Currency wars are one of the most destructive and feared outcomes in international economics. At best, they offer the sorry spectacle of countries' stealing growth from their trading partners. At worst, they degenerate into sequential bouts of inflation, recession, retaliation, and sometimes actual violence. Left unchecked, the next currency war could lead to a crisis worse than the panic of 2008.
Currency wars have happened before-twice in the last century alone-and they always end badly. Time and again, paper currencies have collapsed, assets have been frozen, gold has been confiscated, and capital controls have been imposed. And the next crash is overdue. Recent headlines about the debasement of the dollar, bailouts in Greece and Ireland, and Chinese currency manipulation are all indicators of the growing conflict.
As James Rickards argues in Currency Wars, this is more than just a concern for economists and investors. The United States is facing serious threats to its national security, from clandestine gold purchases by China to the hidden agendas of sovereign wealth funds. Greater than any single threat is the very real danger of the collapse of the dollar itself.
Baffling to many observers is the rank failure of economists to foresee or prevent the economic catastrophes of recent years. Not only have their theories failed to prevent calamity, they are making the currency wars worse. The U. S. Federal Reserve has engaged in the greatest gamble in the history of finance, a sustained effort to stimulate the economy by printing money on a trillion-dollar scale. Its solutions present hidden new dangers while resolving none of the current dilemmas.
While the outcome of the new currency war is not yet certain, some version of the worst-case scenario is almost inevitable if U.S. and world economic leaders fail to learn from the mistakes of their predecessors. Rickards untangles the web of failed paradigms, wishful thinking, and arrogance driving current public policy and points the way toward a more informed and effective course of action.
From the Hardcover edition.
Consider the $20 bill.
It has no more value, as a simple slip of paper, than Monopoly money. Yet even children recognize that tearing one into small pieces is an act of inconceivable stupidity. What makes a $20 bill actually worth twenty dollars? In the third volume of his best-selling Naked series, Charles Wheelan uses this seemingly simple question to open the door to the surprisingly colorful world of money and banking.
The search for an answer triggers countless other questions along the way: Why does paper money (“fiat currency” if you want to be fancy) even exist? And why do some nations, like Zimbabwe in the 1990s, print so much of it that it becomes more valuable as toilet paper than as currency? How do central banks use the power of money creation to stop financial crises? Why does most of Europe share a common currency, and why has that arrangement caused so much trouble? And will payment apps, bitcoin, or other new technologies render all of this moot?
In Naked Money, Wheelan tackles all of the above and more, showing us how our banking and monetary systems should work in ideal situations and revealing the havoc and suffering caused in real situations by inflation, deflation, illiquidity, and other monetary effects. Throughout, Wheelan’s uniquely bright-eyed, whimsical style brings levity and clarity to a subject often devoid of both. With illuminating stories from Argentina, Zimbabwe, North Korea, America, China, and elsewhere around the globe, Wheelan demystifies the curious world behind the paper in our wallets and the digits in our bank accounts.
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. While Washington is gridlocked, our biggest rivals—China, Russia, and the oil-producing nations of the Middle East—are doing everything possible to end U.S. monetary hegemony. The potential results: Financial warfare. Deflation. Hyperinflation. Market collapse. Chaos.
James Rickards, the acclaimed author of Currency Wars, shows why money itself is now at risk and what we can all do to protect ourselves. He explains the power of converting unreliable investments into real wealth: gold, land, fine art, and other long-term stores of value.
A drumbeat is sounding among the global elites. The signs of a worldwide financial meltdown are unmistakable. This time, the elites have an audacious plan to protect themselves from the fallout: hoarding cash now and locking down the global financial system when a crisis hits.
Since 2014, international monetary agencies have been issuing warnings to a small group of finance ministers, banks, and private equity funds: the U.S. government’s cowardly choices not to prosecute J.P. Morgan and its ilk, and to bloat the economy with a $4 trillion injection of easy credit, are driving us headlong toward a cliff.
As Rickards shows in this frightening, meticulously researched book, governments around the world have no compunction about conspiring against their citizens. They will have stockpiled hard assets when stock exchanges are closed, ATMs shut down, money market funds frozen, asset managers instructed not to sell securities, negative interest rates imposed, and cash withdrawals denied.
If you want to plan for the risks ahead, you will need Rickards’s cutting-edge synthesis of behavioral economics, history, and complexity theory. It’s a guidebook to thinking smarter, acting faster, and living with the comforting knowledge that your wealth is secure.
The global elites don’t want this book to exist. Their plan to herd us like sheep to the slaughter when a global crisis erupts—and, of course, to maintain their wealth—works only if we remain complacent and unaware. Thanks to The Road to Ruin, we don’t need to be.
"If you are curious about what the financial Götterdämmerung might look like you’ve certainly come to the right place... Rickards believes -- and provides tantalizing snippets of private conversations with those who dwell in the very eye-in-the-pyramid -- that the current world monetary and financial system is on the verge of insolvency and that the world financial elites already have a successor system for which they are laying the groundwork."
--Ralph Benko, Forbes
They say John Maynard Keynes called gold a "barbarous relic."
They say there isn’t enough gold to support finance and commerce.
They say the gold supply can’t increase fast enough to support world growth.
In this bold manifesto, bestselling author and economic commentator James Rickards steps forward to defend gold—as both an irreplaceable store of wealth and a standard for currency.
Global political instability and market volatility are on the rise. Gold, always a prudent asset to own, has become the single most important wealth preservation tool for banks and individuals alike. Rickards draws on historical case studies, monetary theory, and personal experience as an investor to argue that:
• The next financial collapse will be exponentially bigger than the panic of 2008.
• The time will come, sooner rather than later, when there will be panic buying and only central banks, hedge funds, and other big players will be able to buy any gold at all.
• It’s not too late to prepare ourselves as a nation: there’s always enough gold for a gold standard if we specify a stable, nondeflationary price.
Providing clear instructions on how much gold to buy and where to store it, the short, provocative argument in this book will change the way you look at this “barbarous relic” forever.
From the Hardcover edition.
How Money Works looks at how governments control money, how companies make money, how financial markets work, how individuals can maximize income through investments, and much more. Hundreds of terms are defined, along with the essential basics of financial systems, from the definition of a bond to using cryptocurrencies, managing debt, avoiding online fraud, and how crowdfunding works. Plus, readers can follow the history of currencies, from bartering to Bitcoin, and see how money makes the world go 'round.
Whether readers are looking to start a small business, invest in the stock market, or just understand the basics of economics, How Money Works is a completely comprehensive guide that will help them make sense out of their dollars.
After correctly predicting the housing crash of 2008 and quitting her high-ranking Wall Street job, Danielle DiMartino Booth was surprised to find herself recruited as an analyst at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, one of the regional centers of our complicated and widely misunderstood Federal Reserve System. She was shocked to discover just how much tunnel vision, arrogance, liberal dogma, and abuse of power drove the core policies of the Fed.
DiMartino Booth found a cabal of unelected academics who made decisions without the slightest understanding of the real world, just a slavish devotion to their theoretical models. Over the next nine years, she and her boss, Richard Fisher, tried to speak up about the dangers of Fed policies such as quantitative easing and deeply depressed interest rates. But as she puts it, “In a world rendered unsafe by banks that were too big to fail, we came to understand that the Fed was simply too big to fight.”
Now DiMartino Booth explains what really happened to our economy after the fateful date of December 8, 2008, when the Federal Open Market Committee approved a grand and unprecedented experiment: lowering interest rates to zero and flooding America with easy money. As she feared, millions of individuals, small businesses, and major corporations made rational choices that didn’t line up with the Fed’s “wealth effect” models. The result: eight years and counting of a sluggish “recovery” that barely feels like a recovery at all.
While easy money has kept Wall Street and the wealthy afloat and thriving, Main Street isn’t doing so well. Nearly half of men eighteen to thirty-four live with their parents, the highest level since the end of the Great Depression. Incomes are barely increasing for anyone not in the top ten percent of earners. And for those approaching or already in retirement, extremely low interest rates have caused their savings to stagnate. Millions have been left vulnerable and afraid.
Perhaps worst of all, when the next financial crisis arrives, the Fed will have no tools left for managing the panic that ensues. And then what?
DiMartino Booth pulls no punches in this exposé of the officials who run the Fed and the toxic culture they created. She blends her firsthand experiences with what she’s learned from dozens of high-powered market players, reams of financial data, and Fed documents such as transcripts of FOMC meetings.
Whether you’ve been suspicious of the Fed for decades or barely know anything about it, as DiMartino Booth writes, “Every American must understand this extraordinarily powerful institution and how it affects his or her everyday life, and fight back.”
Blockchains are new technology layers that rewire the Internet and threaten to side-step older legacy constructs and centrally served businesses. At its core, a blockchain injects trust into the network, cutting off some intermediaries from serving that function and creatively disrupting how they operate. Metaphorically, blockchains are the ultimate non-stop computers. Once launched, they never go down, and offer an incredible amount of resiliency, making them dependable and attractive for running a new generation of decentralized services and software applications.
The Business Blockchain charts new territory in advancing our understanding of the blockchain by unpacking its elements like no other before. William Mougayar anticipates a future that consists of thousands, if not millions of blockchains that will enable not only frictionless value exchange, but also a new flow of value, redefining roles, relationships, power and governance. In this book, Mougayar makes two other strategic assertions. First, the blockchain has polymorphic characteristics; its application will result in a multiplicity of effects. Second, we shouldn’t ask ourselves what problems the blockchain solves, because that gives us a narrow view on its potential. Rather, we should imagine new opportunities, and tackle even more ambitious problems that cross organizational, regulatory and mental boundaries.
Drawing on 34 years of technology industry experience as an executive, analyst, consultant, entrepreneur, startup mentor, author, blogger, educator, thought leader and investor, William Mougayar describes a future that is influenced by fundamental shifts brought by blockchain technology as the catalyst for change. William Mougayar has been described as the most sophisticated blockchain business thinker. He is a blockchain industry insider whose work has already shaped and influenced the understanding of blockchain for people around the world, via his generous blogging and rigorous research insights. He is a direct participant in the crypto-technology market, working alongside startups, entrepreneurs, pioneers, leaders, innovators, creators, enterprise executives and practitioners; in addition to being an investor, advisor, and board member in some of the leading organizations in this space, such as the Ethereum Foundation, OpenBazaar and Coin Center.
Just as the Internet created new possibilities that we didn’t foresee in its early years, the blockchain will give rise to new business models and ideas that may still be invisible. Following an engaging Foreword by Vitalik Buterin, this book is organized along these 7 chapters:
1. What is the Blockchain?
2. How Blockchain Trust Infiltrates
3. Obstacles, Challenges & Mental Blocks
4. Blockchain in Financial Services
5. Lighthouse Industries & New Intermediaries
6. Implementing Blockchain Technology
7. Decentralization as the Way Forward
The Business Blockchain is an invitation for technologists to better understand the business potential of the blockchain, and for business minded people to grasp the many facets of blockchain technology. This book teaches you how to think about the blockchain.
An Economist Best Book of the Year, 2015
A Bloomberg Best Book of the Year, 2015
The finance sector of Western economies is too large and attracts too many of the smartest college graduates. Financialization over the past three decades has created a structure that lacks resilience and supports absurd volumes of trading. The finance sector devotes too little attention to the search for new investment opportunities and the stewardship of existing ones, and far too much to secondary-market dealing in existing assets. Regulation has contributed more to the problems than the solutions.
Why? What is finance for? John Kay, with wide practical and academic experience in the world of finance, understands the operation of the financial sector better than most. He believes in good banks and effective asset managers, but good banks and effective asset managers are not what he sees.
In a dazzling and revelatory tour of the financial world as it has emerged from the wreckage of the 2008 crisis, Kay does not flinch in his criticism: we do need some of the things that Citigroup and Goldman Sachs do, but we do not need Citigroup and Goldman to do them. And many of the things done by Citigroup and Goldman do not need to be done at all. The finance sector needs to be reminded of its primary purpose: to manage other people's money for the benefit of businesses and households. It is an aberration when the some of the finest mathematical and scientific minds are tasked with devising algorithms for the sole purpose of exploiting the weakness of other algorithms for computerized trading in securities. To travel further down that road leads to ruin.
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.
Since the mid-1970s, there has been a dramatic shift in America's socioeconomic system, one that has gone virtually unnoticed by the general public. Tax policies and their enforcement have become a disaster, and thanks to discreet lobbying by a segment of the top 1 percent, Washington is reluctant or unable to fix them. The corporate income tax, the estate tax, and the gift tax have been largely ignored by the media. But the cumulative results are remarkable: today someone who earns a yearly salary of $60,000 pays a larger percentage of his income in taxes than the four hundred richest Americans.
Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter David Cay Johnston exposes exactly how the middle class is being squeezed to create a widening wealth gap that threatens the stability of the country. By relating the compelling tales of real people across all areas of society, he reveals the truth behind:
"Middle class" tax cuts and exactly whom they benefit.
How workers are being cheated out of their retirement plans while disgraced CEOs walk away with millions.
How some corporations avoid paying any federal income tax.
How a law meant to prevent cheating by the top 2 percent of Americans no longer affects most of them, but has morphed into a stealth tax on single mothers making just $28,000.
Why the working poor are seven times more likely to be audited by the IRS than everyone else.
How the IRS became so weak that even when it was handed complete banking records detailing massive cheating by 1,600 people, it prosecuted only 4 percent of them.
Johnston has been breaking pieces of this story on the front page of The New York Times for seven years. With Perfectly Legal, he puts the whole shocking narrative together in a way that will stir up media attention and make readers angry about the state of our country.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
From the Hardcover edition.
Table of Contents
The Digital Coin Revolution
Make Money Online
Muhammad Naveed & John Davidson
What Cryptocurrency Really Is
An Introduction to Cryptocurrency
What is the Function of this Digital Coin?
Forms of Cryptocurrency
Advantages and Key Features of Cryptocurrency:
Some Drawbacks of the Cryptocurrency
Cryptocurrency Are Being Accepted by More Websites Everyday
Places Where Cryptocurrency is Accepted and the Incentives it Gives to Involved Persons
Methods to Generate Money through Cryptocurrency:
Comparison of the Two Methods, Investing and Mining:
Research before Making the Plunge
Great Potential for Growth:
How to Get Your Very First Cryptocurrencies
Cryptocurrency Still Has a Long Way to Go
What’s a Mining?
Economics of Mining
How Newbies Should Mine for Cryptocurrency
Is This the Right Time for BTC Mining?
Profitability of Mining
Network Mining Limits and Market Caps
Legitimate Economic Activity with Cryptocurrency
Underground Economic Activity with Cryptocurrency
In this book learn what the Digital Currency Revolution is all about. Learn how you can set up your own digital vault and start earning your own digital cash on your very own computer. Learn how to mine digital currency.
What Cryptocurrency Really Is.
For the purpose of making easier transactions, the world, throughout history, has assigned pressed coins in old times to trade products and in present, printed currency was invented. However, this has increased the number of countries that are getting trapped into debt or for sure are facing difficulties in meeting the needs of their fiscal targets in modern era’s functions of mass Demand and Supply on an international level. The trend towards a financial society that is more centralized has changed towards seeking decentralized money that could sidestep regulations of a specific nation towards the needs of international market.
It is a system of payment that eliminates the requirement of a financial intermediary between two parties wanting to transmit money using the internet. It is a less costly method and at times, it’s totally free. The transaction is kept unnamed as well. A man named Satoshi Nakamoto invented a new type of digital currency that could use the method of Peer-to-Peer (P2P) System, in 2008. This network itself is commonly referred as individual’s network that is decentralized and these individuals don’t need to know each other essentially. This system would allow the network that is decentralized, to work mutually cracking Algorithms by using high-powered rearranged Graphics Cards probably cracking a block that yielded the reward of cryptocurrency. Here Satoshi wanted to be the first one to crack and collect the profits of the famous "Genesis Block" in 2009. After his hard work and huge reward, a number of enthusiasts of computer hardware are attracted to it and are seeking to obtain a piece from this newly discovered digital gold pit for themselves.
In this excellent guide, now fully revised and updated, leading financial journalist Philip Coggan cuts through the headlines, the scandals and the jargon to explain the nuts and bolts of the financial system.
What causes the pound to rise or interest rates to fall? Which are the institutions that really matter? Why is it we need the Money Machine - and what happens when it crashes? Coggan provides clear and concise answers and shows why we should all be more familiar with a system we so intimately depend upon.
Dark Money by Jane Mayer profiles the wealthy donors who have funded and established organizations to promote libertarian ideals, particularly the brothers Charles and David Koch. They and their two other brothers were raised by parents who promoted free-market capitalism and were suspicious of anything related or sympathetic to Communism. The four Koch brothers inherited portions of their father’s oil business, and later Charles and David conspired to buy out their other brothers’ portions of the company…
PLEASE NOTE: This is key takeaways and analysis of the book and NOT the original book.
Inside this Instaread Summary of Dark Money
· Overview of the book
· Important People
· Key Takeaways
· Analysis of Key Takeaways
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.
In The Dao of Capital, hedge fund manager and tail-hedging pioneer Mark Spitznagel—with one of the top returns on capital of the financial crisis, as well as over a career—takes us on a gripping, circuitous journey from the Chicago trading pits, over the coniferous boreal forests and canonical strategists from Warring States China to Napoleonic Europe to burgeoning industrial America, to the great economic thinkers of late 19th century Austria. We arrive at his central investment methodology of Austrian Investing, where victory comes not from waging the immediate decisive battle, but rather from the roundabout approach of seeking the intermediate positional advantage (what he calls shi), of aiming at the indirect means rather than directly at the ends. The monumental challenge is in seeing time differently, in a whole new intertemporal dimension, one that is so contrary to our wiring.
Spitznagel is the first to condense the theories of Ludwig von Mises and his Austrian School of economics into a cohesive and—as Spitznagel has shown—highly effective investment methodology. From identifying the monetary distortions and non-randomness of stock market routs (Spitznagel's bread and butter) to scorned highly-productive assets, in Ron Paul's words from the foreword, Spitznagel “brings Austrian economics from the ivory tower to the investment portfolio.”
The Dao of Capital provides a rare and accessible look through the lens of one of today's great investors to discover a profound harmony with the market process—a harmony that is so essential today.
New Scientist Instant Expert books are definitive and accessible entry points to the most important subjects in science; subjects that challenge, attract debate, invite controversy and engage the most enquiring minds. Designed for curious readers who want to know how things work and why, the Instant Expert series explores the topics that really matter and their impact on individuals, society, and the planet, translating the scientific complexities around us into language that's open to everyone, and putting new ideas and discoveries into perspective and context.
Saving Capitalism from the Capitalists is a groundbreaking book that will radically change our understanding of the capitalist system, particularly the role of financial markets. They are the catalyst for inspiring human ingenuity and spreading prosperity. The perception of many, especially in the wake of never-ending corporate scandals, is that financial markets are parasitic institutions that feed off the blood, sweat, and tears of the rest of us. The reality is far different.
•Vibrant financial markets threaten the sclerotic corporate establishment and increase corporate mobility and opportunity. They are the reason why entrepreneurship flourishes and companies like The Home Depot and Wal-Mart—mere fly specks a quarter of a century ago—have surged as they have.
•They mean personal freedom and economic development for more people. Throughout history, and in most of the world today, the record is one of financial oppression. Elites restrict access to capital and severely limit not only general economic development but that of individuals as well.
•Open borders help check the political and economic elites and preserve competitive markets. The greatest danger of the antiglobalization movement is that it will keep the rich rich and the poor poor. Globalization forces countries to do what is necessary to make their economies productive, not what is best for incumbent elites. Open borders limit the ability of domestic politics to close down competition and to retard financial and economic growth.
•Markets are especially susceptible in economic downturns when the establishment can exploit public anger to restrict competition and access to capital. While markets must be free to practice “creative destruction,” Rajan and Zingales demonstrate the political and economic importance of a sustainable distribution of wealth and a baseline safety net. Capitalism needs a heart for its own good!
There are no iron laws of economics that condemn countries like Bangladesh to perpetual poverty or the United States to perpetual prosperity. The early years of the twentieth century saw vibrant, open financial markets that were creating widespread prosperity. Then came the “Great Reversal” during the Great Depression. It can—and will—happen again, unless there is greater understanding of what markets do, who benefits, and who really wants to either limit them or shut them down.
Saving Capitalism from the Capitalists breaks free of traditional ideological arguments of the right and left and points to a new way of understanding and spreading the extraordinary wealth-generating capabilities of capitalism.
From the Hardcover edition.
According to the author, the most recent upheaval in the Japanese economy is the result of the policies of a central bank less concerned with stimulating the economy than with its own turf battles and its ideological agenda to change Japan's economic structure. The book combines new historical research with an in-depth behind-the-scenes account of the bureaucratic competition between Japan's most important institutions: the Ministry of Finance and the Bank of Japan. Drawing on new economic data and first-hand eyewitness accounts, it reveals little known monetary policy tools at the core of Japan's business cycle, identifies the key figures behind Japan's economy, and discusses their agenda. The book also highlights the implications for the rest of the world, and raises important questions about the concentration of power within central banks.
The world is drowning in cash—and it's making us poorer and less safe. Kenneth Rogoff, New York Times bestselling author of This Time Is Different, makes a persuasive and fascinating case for an idea that until recently would have seemed outlandish: getting rid of most paper money.
Even as people in advanced economies are using less paper money, there is more cash in circulation—a record $1.4 trillion in U.S. dollars alone, or $4,200 for every American, mostly in $100 bills. And the United States is hardly exceptional. So what is all that cash being used for? The answer is simple: a large part is feeding tax evasion, corruption, terrorism, the drug trade, human trafficking, and the rest of a massive global underground economy.
As Rogoff shows, paper money can also cripple monetary policy. In the aftermath of the recent financial crisis, central banks have been unable to stimulate growth and inflation by cutting interest rates significantly below zero for fear that it would drive investors to abandon treasury bills and stockpile cash. This constraint has paralyzed monetary policy in virtually every advanced economy, and is likely to be a recurring problem in the future.
The Curse of Cash offers a plan for phasing out most paper money—while leaving small-denomination bills and coins in circulation indefinitely—and addresses the issues the transition will pose, ranging from fears about privacy and price stability to the need to provide subsidized debit cards for the poor.
While phasing out the bulk of paper money will hardly solve the world’s problems, it would be a significant step toward addressing a surprising number of very big ones. Provocative, engaging, and backed by compelling original arguments and evidence, The Curse of Cash is certain to spark widespread debate.