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Paper Money Collapse: The Folly of Elastic Money and the Coming Monetary Breakdown Hardcover – 23 Sep 2011


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: John Wiley & Sons; 1 edition (23 Sept. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1118095758
  • ISBN-13: 978-1118095751
  • Product Dimensions: 16 x 2.5 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 381,855 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Review

Paper Money Collapse was the 2012 getAbstract International Book Award Winner!

...An excellent introduction to the dangers of our current monetary system.′ (therealasset.co.uk, January 2012)

From the Inside Flap

The recent financial crisis has exposed the instability of our financial system. While there is plenty of talk of reform, few commentators are yet willing to consider that the root cause could be the transition from commodity money to limitless paper money, although the track record of paper money systems is uniformly discouraging: Throughout human history, all paper money systems have either collapsed in chaos, or society has returned to commodity money (usually based on gold) before a total currency disaster occurred. This book shows why this was the case and why this is also the choice we are facing today.

Drawing upon ground breaking new research, Paper Money Collapse conclusively demonstrates why paper money systems those based on an elastic and constantly expanding supply of money, as opposed to a system of commodity money of essentially fixed supply are inherently unstable and why they must, by their very nature, lead to economic disorder.

These highly controversial findings clash with the general consensus that elastic state money is superior to inflexible commodity money, and that expanding money is harmless or even beneficial as long as inflation remains contained.

In an engaging style based on extensive study and analysis, this compelling new book exposes the fallacies of mainstream macroeconomics and debunks erroneous conventional wisdom. It explains why many people working in financial markets, in the media, and in policy establishment positions are unable (and often unwilling) to fully appreciate the underlying problems with elastic money and the danger it presents.

Paper Money Collapse shows in the starkest terms that the recent crisis is far from over and that the solutions presented by the advocates of paper money around the world are misguided and inherently flawed, in particular the current policy of accelerated paper money production to "stimulate" the economy. If these policies are continued, a complete currency catastrophe will be inevitable.

An absolute must–read for economists, individual investors, and anyone with an interest in finance, Paper Money Collapse will change the way you think about our financial system and about how to take control of your own financial future.


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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

57 of 59 people found the following review helpful By Mary Mountain on 18 Sept. 2011
Format: Hardcover
Schlicter's analysis is certainly controversial, and I must admit that I started reading Paper Money Collapse with a degree of scepticism. However, the logic of his argument is compelling and, upon concluding the read and reflecting, the reason behind many recent world economic events becomes evident. A good example is the inability of western economies such as Japan and the US to stimulate growth, despite repeated attempts at monetary expansion.

He begins with a clear explanation of what money is and how it works; how it began as a pure commodity currency, morphed into a paper currency backed by gold, changed again through the process of Fractional-Reserve Banking and has today (as it has in past times before collapsing) become a fiat currency where Central Banks can create money at will and at no cost. Currency created through Fractional-Reserve Banking is somewhat elastic and that created by Central Banks is infinitely so.

It is this elasticity that allows monetary expansion to distort and unbalance the economy, and to induce short term stimulus in certain sectors but zero real growth overall in the long term. It also has the important side effect of generating inflation. As the process continues monetary stimulus is destined to have less and less effect whilst the inflationary consequence is intensified, with the inevitable result of hyperinflation and currency collapse.

Schlicter underpins his analysis with descriptions of historic paper money systems, all of which failed. Our present system of paper money, particularly after 1971 when the US abandoned The International Gold Standard, displays numerous symptoms analogous to the historic examples cited.

What is the solution?
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31 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Brian Micklethwait on 15 Sept. 2011
Format: Hardcover
I agree with the bit on the cover of this book where it says that this is not an easy read. For me, it has not been, and not just because the truths Schlichter spells out and explains are so not-easy to take. I am a huge fan of his, and have been ever since I first heard him talk about the analysis in this book in London about a year ago, but he makes me work hard. This book is heavy on logical exposition, much lighter on diverting anecdote. For the latter sort of Schlichter stuff, you must read his blog.

One way to describe Paper Money Collapse might be to say that it is the sort of book that the great Austrian School economist and economic historian Murray Rothbard might have written, had he lived a bit longer. Last year I read Rothbard's Man, Economy and State. While doing this, I kept hoping that I would read a theoretical analysis of our current financial woes, as opposed merely to Rothbard's general take on Austrian Economics as a whole. I realise that this was a lot to ask of a book published several decades ago, and not surprisingly I was, although in general much educated, largely disappointed on that particular count. Well, what I was only hoping to read in that Rothbard book was what I did read in Detlev Schlichter's much shorter book, which I heartily recommend to anyone willing to really get stuck into it. Here is a conceptual analysis, in very much the painstaking Rothbard manner, of how non-commodity-backed currencies behave when they collapse, and why they do collapse, always, inevitably. In other words it is about the times we now live in.

I learned a lot from reading Paper Money Collapse.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Ds Phillips on 18 May 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
They often say that "cometh the hour, cometh the man." In our case, the man is Detlev Schlichter, perhaps one of the best Austrian school economists in the UK and whose razor-sharp analysis of fiat currencies could not be more timely. As we approach the end game for "paper" money, controlled by a state monopoly, and the inevitable collapse of the house of cards on which it is built, Detlev provides the conceptual breakdown of why elastic, fiat currencies are such a bad idea.

Detlev's book takes you right from the key question of "What is money?" and leads you step-by-step through how money operates in society, the differences between inelastic, commodity money (e.g. gold) and the prevailing elastic fiat currencies we are being subjected to, and the self-serving manipulation by private and government-controlled central banks that results when free market forces aren't allowed to operate. Most importantly, Detlev demonstrates why a central bank that continually increases the supply of money in circulation or encourages banks to lend more than their reserves will allow causes the cycle of boom and bust that we've suffered under throughout the 20th and 21st centuries.

This is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand why we're in this mess, what it will take to get us out of it and why politicians around the world will refuse to take action until it is too late to stop the breakdown of our monetary order.
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33 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Mr. S. J. Baker on 16 Sept. 2011
Format: Hardcover
When I first met the Austrian School of Economics and the monetary theory of the trade cycle in 2000, in the course of looking for an explanation of the dot-com bust, I believed politicians and economists would surely not let such a theory pass if it contained any truth. By 2007, I realised the mainstream of economics contained a key intellectual error - an inadequate treatment of time.

Given that understanding of time, elastic and inflationary money is a distinct poison. That poison is now destroying our society.

Schlichter's book sets out the arguments in convincing detail. I should love to believe he is completely wrong. That no longer seems likely.

Anyone who cares about prosperity and progress should read this book.
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