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4.2 out of 5 stars
9
The Alchemists: Inside the secret world of central bankers
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on 29 January 2015
Feels more like a compilation of diary entries, and probably is, but quite readable
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on 29 May 2017
Neil Irwin is a journalist and he plies his trade with skill as he navigates the complex events of the financial crisis in a book with a all-encompassing scope. The work required to research the book must have been vast. He keeps the text moving briskly and paints colourful pictures as he described the main protagonists. This is the book's huge strength.

The huge weakness of the book is that it is written by a journalist. He knows that every graph and table will lose him readers, so there is only one small table in the book that escaped the editors eye. The explanation of economics is thin and often lacks rigour, and concepts are too often introduced by analogy. |It is as if the author avoids banking, economics and markets at all costs.The vocabulary used is often banal and verges on being irksome at times. The desire, and probably rush, to produce a populist book is a little unsatisfactory.

If you want an undemanding read that canters through the financial crisis then this book is fine. More serious readers will give it a miss.
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on 28 October 2014
A great book and well worth the read for its insight into the history of Central Banking and various financial crisis, to its more biographical approach on the three main characters of the modern crash, Bernanke, King and Trichet.

It is a great combo of facts about "how it all works" to the gripping story of what has been happening in the last 5 years or so.

I would highly recommend.
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on 1 October 2013
The Alchemists: Inside the Secret World of Central Bankers
By (author) Neil Irwin

After a dramatic reconstruction of the beginning of the credit crunch, Washington Post journalist Neil Irwin, who has an MBA from Columbia Business School and a master's degree from Columbia's journalism school, where he was a Knight-Bagehot Fellow in Economic and Business Journalism gives us a tour of how central banks became such a critical part of the global financial system. The bulk of the book deals with the shadowy and unknown world of the most influential bankers on the planet. Men who were never elected to public office suddenly became the real masters of the universe.

Ben Bernanke of the U.S. Federal Reserve, Mervyn King of the Bank of England, and Jean-Claude Trichet of the European Central Bank. Over the next five years, they and their fellow central bankers deployed trillions of dollars, pounds and euros to try and contain the waves of panic that threatened to bring down the global financial system.

The Alchemists is a fascinating account of the most intense practice in economic crisis management and at the same time an insight of the role and power of the central bank. This is an exclusive, behind-the-scenes view of their work, and a better understanding of banks and their significance in our lives and livelihood.

This large book presents a high-drama, panoramic story of history of the relationship between capitalism and the state. It is definitive, revelatory and riveting. The Alchemists shows us where money comes from and where it may well be going. It tracks the story of the last five years from the vantage of the central bankers as they worked in close coordination to try to keep ahead of unfolding events, the global financial crises.
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on 28 August 2014
Highly relevant in understanding the core dynamics of monetary policy and economics. It reveals the details when financial crisis occurs.
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on 25 May 2014
The book follows three central bankers (FED, ECB and BOE). In its narrative and sequential simplicity it helps the reader to view the events from a spur of the moment perspective which can help even those who don't know much about the topic of central banks better understand what kind of goals these people have in mind and how they go about achieving them.
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on 1 March 2015
A very good none technical explanation of human greed and the abuse of mathematics. The basic message repeats the cause of previous crashes: the controls are relaxed and the criminals rob us of the future. The only down side is a lot of repetition.
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on 11 April 2016
Excellent book! I simply couldn't put it down! The reporting is great and the writing also good.
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on 25 January 2015
The book is good condition, great content
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