39 of 41 people found the following review helpful
The financial crisis in context,
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This review is from: Paper Promises: Money, Debt and the New World Order (Hardcover)
The author sets the current financial crisis in context. If you are a regular reader of the financial press you may not learn too much about the latest crisis itself. However, in my own case I had huge gaps in my understanding of everything that happened before my own time - for example the gold standard, Bretton Woods, and earlier monetary systems.
Philip Coggan starts at the very basics, with an explanation of what money is, and of various monetary systems that have been tried out in the past, from whales' teeth to gold to paper money, and also the pros and cons of each. By placing the current crisis in context, our overall understanding of what is happening in 2011 becomes clearer. He also answers many questions I had wondered about for years but had been too afraid to ask.
The author writes with an outstanding simplicity and clarity. If you are not familiar with the ins and outs of the current crisis, this would be a great place to start. And if you are familiar, you will benefit from reviewing the crisis in its context.