The Power of Money: How Ideas about Money Shaped the Modern World
Innovation in money is just as important as innovation in any other sphere of activity; money is always a work in progress. In fact, history shows societies have tried out a wide diversity of monetary arrangements. Ideas about money have played key roles at crucial turning points in world history and during national histories. Recently, a new global money space has been created, a joint venture between the public and private sector. This book explores the new money society that has grown up to inhabit this new space. The book has several aims: Firstly, the book shows how beliefs about money, as well as attitudes and values towards it, have varied between societies and over time, and specifically how they have changed over the modern era. Secondly, the book shows the powerful effects that changing ideas have had on events, including wars and revolutions, recessions, booms and financial crises. Thirdly, the book recounts the creation of a global money space, dated to the last quarter of the 20th century, and explores its features. Fourthly, the book describes some characteristics of the new money society that inhabits the global money space. Fifthly, the book shows how each society, and indeed successive generations of the same society, has made its own unique arrangements to govern money - i.e. how it comes to terms with the power of money. The author argues that we need to develop a new arrangement now and suggests that we have much to learn from recent creative work in a number of fields ranging from the sociology of money to contemporary art. This approach sheds new light on a number of controversial issues, including the rise of crony capitalism, growing social divisions, currency wars, and asset price bubbles.