With the proliferation of financial instruments, new areas of instability, and innovative capital market strategies, many economists and investors have lost sight of the fundamentals of the financial system - its strengths as well as its weaknesses. A Primer on Money, Banking, and Gold takes you back to the beginning and sorts out all the pieces.
Peter Bernstein skillfully addresses how and why commercial banks lend and invest, where money comes from, how it moves from hand to hand, and the critical role of interest rates. He explores the Federal Reserve System and the consequences of the Fed's actions on the overall economy. But this book is not just about the past. Bernstein's novel perspective on gold and the dollar is critical for today's decision makers, as he provides extensive views on the future of money, banking, and gold in the world economy. This illuminating story about the heart of our economic system is essential reading at a time when developments in finance are more important than ever.
©2008 Peter L. Bernstein; (P)2009 Gildan Media Corp
This work reveals and discusses the link that still exists between money and gold." (Finance & Management Faculty, October, 2008)
I enjoyed this. It probably requires a peculiar level of curiosity in central banking, the gold standard and their histories. It describes a time some decades ago, prior to Nixon's taking us off Bretton Woods/gold standard in '71. I see it as part of my quest to learn mechanics of central banking, along with other audibles such as the classic "Lombard Street" (1860's Britain), "The Bankers Who Broke the World" (WW1 through mid-1930s) and the fine "In Fed we Trust" (circa 2008). Moreover, there is little narrative story here, few characters, and a lot of description of nuts and bolts. If that doesn't interest you, this book might put you to sleep.
I am a huge Peter Bernstein fan, so don't take this review lightly. This book is one of the dullest, least informative and slowest books on monetary economics I have ever encountered. I recommend you stay away.
More than once while driving, I had to turn the book off to avoid falling asleep -- seriously (and my graduate work is in economics)
I thought the book was a good primer as Bernstein goes into a lot of detail and cites many examples to help understand the logics behind how money and banking work in the economy. However, for those not proficient in this field, most of what he says will need time to absorb... and there are quite a lot of numbers being used as examples too. I would rather recommend the actual book.
I did not read the book itself. But it is totally waste of time to listen to this audio version. It sometimes spends more than ten minutes talking about some common-sense things. Most of time, the discussion of a topic is so brief that you do not understand the rational behind it. After spending one hour listening to it, I asked myself, "what have I learned from it?" The answer is "nothing".
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