The human race created money and finance: then, our inventions recreated us. In Extreme Money, best-selling author and global finance expert Satyajit Das tells how this happened and what it means. Das reveals the spectacular, dangerous money games that are generating increasingly massive bubbles of fake growth, prosperity, and wealth--while endangering the jobs, possessions, and futures of virtually everyone outside finance.
"...virtually in a category of its own — part history, part book of financial quotations, part cautionary tale, part textbook. It contains some of the clearest charts about risk transfer you will find anywhere. ...Others have laid out the dire consequences of financialisation ("the conversion of everything into monetary form", in Das’s phrase), but few have done it with a wider or more entertaining range of references...[Extreme Money] does... reach an important, if worrying, conclusion: financialisation may be too deep-rooted to be torn out. As Das puts it — characteristically borrowing a line from a movie, Inception — "the hardest virus to kill is an idea".
-Andrew Hill "Eclectic Guide to the Excesses of the Crisis" Financial Times (August 17, 2011)
Extreme Money named to the longlist for the 2011 FT and Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year award.
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Interview with Satyajit Das, author of Extreme Money: Masters of the Universe and the Cult of Risk
|Read an interview with Satyajit Das, author of Extreme Money: Masters of the Universe and the Cult of Risk.|
The human race created money and finance. But our inventions re-create us. Mankind mistook money—a lubricant of society and human well-being—for an end in itself. Finance, the monetary shadow of real things, came to dominate human reality. Extreme Money tells the story of how this happened—and, in so doing, it tells the story of the modern world.
Bestselling author Satyajit Das draws on 33 years of personal experience at the heart of modern global finance to narrate this story. Das reveals the spectacular, dangerous money games that have generated increasingly massive bubbles of fake growth, Ponzi prosperity, sophistication, and wealth—while endangering the jobs, possessions, and futures of virtually everyone outside the financial industry.
You’ll learn how everything from home mortgages to climate change has become financialized, as vast fortunes are generated by individuals who build nothing of lasting value. Das shows how “extreme money” has become ever more unreal; how “voodoo banking” continues to generate massive phony profits even now; and how a new generation of “Masters of the Universe”
has come to dominate the world.
The new financial fundamentalism: false gods, false prophets
Faith in money, faith in risk, faith in shadows
The cult of risk and the growth engine that isn’t
How financial engineering replaced real engineering and illusions replaced reality
Financial alchemy and the “Doomsday Debt Machine”
The rise of the global financial machine we cannot escape
The new global oligarchy—and the nihilistic games they play
Too smart, too fast, too greedy, too self-absorbed—and far too dangerous
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