• Naked Money

  • A Revealing Look at What It Is and Why It Matters
  • By: Charles Wheelan
  • Narrated by: Jonathan Davis
  • Length: 13 hrs and 11 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (569 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

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 $20?

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.

©2016 Charles Wheelan (P)2016 Audible, Inc.

What listeners say about Naked Money

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

This is a beautiful audiobook, and well-narrated.

This turned out to be a great book. The last half explained all the major dynamics of international economies of recent decades that I have wondered about:

Japan's deflation problem
The European Union's dilemma
China's Balance of Payments situation
The 2008 economic collapse
Is Bitcoin anything?

http://a.co/gLTp1SE

The narration was nuanced and entertaining.

13 people found this helpful

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Brilliant, Witty, Easy to Understand, & Well Read!

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Without reservation, I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to know more about, or talk intelligently about, the federal reserve, monetary and fiscal policy, or even the gold standard.

What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

Wheelen has an excellent understanding of the topic and writes about it in a fun and approachable way, making it enjoyable and easy to understand and without talking down to the reader or leaving out "it's too hard for most to understand" information. He also does a great job explaining complex and difficult ideas simply and elegantly, using multiple examples and coming at them from different perspectives.

Have you listened to any of Jonathan Davis’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

Jonathan Davis is an EXCELLENT narrator!.One of the very best.

What’s the most interesting tidbit you’ve picked up from this book?

Central banks have a real purpose in the world's monetary system. If not the best, it is certainly one of the best economic books I have ever read.

8 people found this helpful

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  • RB
  • 04-16-18

Ab excellent book that answers many questions

If you could sum up Naked Money in three words, what would they be?

Must Read

What was one of the most memorable moments of Naked Money?

Deciphering the concept of money, demystifying some of the common (apparently wrong) ideas that you hear these days from politicians (like using the gold standard), describing the role of the federal reserve, and many more.

What does Jonathan Davis bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

He gave a good performance. I think that you could get the same ideas from reading the book as well. It's just that you can listen to an audiobook in situations where you cannot read a physical book (e.g. driving or exercising).

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

This was not a moving book but rather an illuminating book. Very instructive, educational, and a good use of your time. You will learn something here.

Any additional comments?

Overall, a very good book.

4 people found this helpful

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I actually listened to this one twice

As a leader in IT I considered it wise that I learned more about money. In addition to that I had recently developed an interest in central banking and was curious how that worked. I am not foolish enough to believe that after listening to this book, even twice like I have, that I have any level of mastery of these deep and complex topics, but I do feel more confident to talk about them conversationally. I recommend this book as a primer for anybody in a similar situation.

2 people found this helpful

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the magic of money demistified

well written
well read
a fascinating trek through the system that are only feasible through fiat, currency and exchange

1 person found this helpful

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Interesting but should be a 4h book

There are some interesting concepts discussed in this book but it is far too long winded. The author goes on many tangents and is not particularly good at explaining things or keeping the reader interested.

1 person found this helpful

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really enjoyed

Explained a lot of complex topics in a relatively easy manner. I I feel I have a much better understanding of the currency and a global economy.

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Now I understand how money works

Excellent audio with perfect narration.
I have listened to a number of books talk about money, however this one seemed to cover a lot of ground in an engaging way.

1 person found this helpful

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A good primer on money

Overall a good primer on money. I wonder about the gold standard and bit coin, he makes some good arguments against both. He may have a man crush on berneke, but given his synopsis on the 2008 financial crisis and how they handled it, it's some what unavoidable.

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  • LS
  • 06-04-22

Entretenido e interesante

Me gustó muchísimo, la información es de primera calidad y los ejemplos son dignos de ser enmarcados. Lo releeré seguramente en un par de años.

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  • Ryan Law
  • 12-07-17

Great content

This is my second reading of the book and I love it.
As someone who has never formally studied economics but finds it fascinating this strikes the balance between intelligent and fun

2 people found this helpful

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  • Richard McFerran
  • 08-02-21

Great

Great content, great narration. Naked Money, Naked Economics and Naked Statistics are full of great content and they all compliment each other.

1 person found this helpful

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  • theone901
  • 04-06-20

Excellent listen

Clear and lively explanation of what money is, what money isn't, how its used and the essential work of central banks. Good overview of monetary policy responses to the crashes of 1929 and 2008, and even a chapter on bitcoin. First class.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 07-31-22

Money... makes my head spin round

A really useful, interesting, & informative overview, surprisingly easy to listen too! A topic so rarely talked about and something that is exploited by politicians the world over in justifying fiscal policy.

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  • Mr Curious
  • 06-14-22

Informative and Entertaining

I’m so glad I stumbled upon this book. It explains money and the financial system with humorous, witty analogies that made me laugh whilst being educated at the same time.

It has made me think in a different way about the system having previously listened to other books on money that are more critical of leaving the gold standard, whilst this book explains the benefits of fiat currencies and the central banks having control and flexibility.

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  • Dan
  • 08-31-16

An amusing simple overview of money

Great book. It's not traditionally a fun subject but the author used a fair bit of humour throughout that made it easier to consume. He also uses lots of really great examples and parallels which really help to get the grasp of the concepts.

I didn't really know anything about inflation and interest rates etc so all the information was New and handy for me. If you already know how these things work then maybe it'd be a bit basic for you. books like these should be taught in schools though! it's definitely handy knowledge!

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  • Brian
  • 06-15-16

The almost complete guide to monetary economics

Charles Wheelan delivers again, I read naked statistics before and it inspired me to pursue statistics from a different angle, I'm in my final year of Economics and finance and I can vouch for the academic soundness of this book, many complex ideas distilled clearly and eloquently into a framework that everyone can grasp. I highly recommend this book