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4.2 out of 5 stars
32
Paper Promises: Money, Debt and the New World Order
Format: Hardcover|Change
Price:£20.00+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime


on 24 April 2012
Philip Coggan has compiled a 400 page book with enough knowledge and analysis to make it feel like an 800 page book, without seeming at all like a long and demanding read.
Having read previous books in the financial and monetary sector, Paper Promises compares favorably in the sense that it is truly the best of all worlds.
The first part of the book is a financial and monetary history in every sense worthy of Niall Ferguson's Ascent of Money, coupled with a monetary analysis every bit as astute as the works of Barry Eichengreen, but much more readable.
Despite the length of the book, Coggan leaves no stone unturned. The collapse of the Gold Standard, Bretton Woods, and the 2008 and subsequent sovereign debt crisis are all covered appropriately within this volume.
Rather than just been a simple chronological sweep of finance, phenomena such as bubbles, inflation, and monetary practices such as quantitative easing are all explained.
One is hardly left wanting for more, as most questions one is left asking after the events of recent years receive explanation.
As a book that, among many other things, focuses on the value of money, Paper Promises in itself is superb value for money, and an important asset for the investment portfolio of any economics enthusiast.
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on 8 June 2012
This is an excellent overview of debt and money - and them being the same thing.

There's an initial awkwardness in the introduction and early chapters where Coggan struggles with terms and concepts he's yet to define. The author is attempting to ensure the reader that the 'big questions' will be answered but there is some leg-work to be done first. I'm not sure his running theme of bimetallism is worth the emphasis but, that linking-device apart, the historical sections are first-rate.

When the current debt situation is dissected Coggan is refreshingly technical and bias-free. He avoids citing easy scapegoats for the post-2008 financial crisis in favour of structural analysis. Overall very well written and a book you'd wish more people would read before starting to tell you what's wrong with world these days.
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on 28 October 2012
An extremely clear narrative that combines economic theory and economic history (please - don't glaze over; this stuff is important just now)to explain how we ended up where we've ended up. At its heart is the unending battle between debtors and creditors, why we all had to come off the gold standard, and the role that government plays in bending the rules of the game. Essential reading.
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on 24 April 2013
One of the best books on the current global financial crisis. Definitely a recommended read for anyone interested in politics and economics. My only criticism is that the author does not explore the impact of bank capital adequacy (BIS BasleIII) on contributing to global money supply growth and its subsequent contraction.
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on 12 April 2015
Loved the writing style and anecdotes, particularly at the start. History parts were fascinating. Only drawback is publication date means the story and conclusions are already a bit stale... Would really enjoy reading the author's opinion on negative interest rates and crashing commodity prices despite ubiquitous QE.
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on 15 November 2016
Great great book
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on 22 November 2016
Great book
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on 6 July 2013
I read this as part of my attempt to understand where the world is going. It helped that understanding. The global problems are sufficiently large and intertwined that it will take a new Bretton Woods and an honesty from politicians that any solution will endure way beyond the electoral cycle. Coggan misses this but his analysis of gold and money is illuminating.
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on 29 October 2013
This is one of the best books I have ever read about economics. The author combines evidence with theory to let you easily grasp his point as understand current and historical events.
I recommend it for everyone, especially for economics students.
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on 4 March 2014
This simple book uses a series of simple historical cases to explain what money or currency really is, which forms the key fundamental bases of the modern financial market. Paper currency, or the money we referring daily, is a lie
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