Top positive review
5 people found this helpful
Excellent and Thought Provoking
on 25 August 2012
I've read quite a few popular books on economics, e.g. David Smith, Edmund Conway, Paul Krugman, Joesph Stiglitz. I thought I had a fair understanding of the subject until I came across this little gem. I feel I've learnt more from this one book than from all the others put together.
From what I can gather, the author is not an economist (his PhD was on neural networks). However, he has cleary read widely about the subject and given it some deep thought. His explanations of the money supply and the pitfalls of fractional reserve banking are enlightening. He uses simple thought experiments to help shed some light on why things work the way they do. For example, he gets you to consider first how things would work in a simple barter economy, then looks at what happens once money and banks are introduced.
I can at last begin to grasp why our economic system has led us into the mess we find ourselves today. It's not necessarily anyone's fault. There are inherent weaknesses in the system that make "booms and busts" almost unavoidable. Until we can fully appreciate the weaknesses, we'll never make the corrections necessary for a more robust economy.
The author states that many of the points he raises are give only cursory discussion in most standard economics text books, and that most economists fail to realize the implications. Maybe that's why so many so-called experts are unable to provide a sensible explanation for why things have gone so badly wrong.