David Cobham is Professor of Economics at Heriot-Watt University.
Øyvind Eitrheim is Director of the Research Department at Norges Bank.
Stefan Gerlach is Professor of Monetary Economics at the Institute for Monetary and Financial Stability, University of Frankfurt.
Jan F. Qvigstad is Deputy Governor of Norges Bank.
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.
The story of the short life and tragic death of Bowland Beth – an English Hen Harrier – which dramatically highlights the major issues in UK conservation.
‘The sun was blood red as it broke the horizon and lit the communal roost where the female hen harrier had spent the night. She watched the other harriers as they left to go foraging for food out on the moor. She didn’t join them, for she had felt a quickening in her body, an urge to move to Mallowdale Pike, a rocky crag from where she had fledged nine months ago. After preening, she lifted off from the roost and soared up over the fell.’
David Cobham enters Beth’s world to show what being a hen harrier today is like. He immerses himself not only in the day-to-day regimen of her life, the hours of hunting, bathing, keeping her plumage in order and roosting, but also the fear of living in an environment run to provide packs of driven grouse for a few wealthy sportsmen to shoot.
The hen harrier is seen as a totemic species in the battle between the conservationists and ruralists, and as one of the key players in this emotive debate, David Cobham is uniquely placed to reflect on Beth’s story. In this powerful narrative, he provides us with a profound tale which helps to illuminate the larger implications of the species’ decline, highlighting the urgent need for conservation efforts to reverse this.