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Customer Review

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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