Over the past year, we have seen banks tumble, City firms collapse and the advent of the worst financial crisis since the 1930s. At the heart of these events lies the pursuit of money. But just what is this thing that seems so powerful and omnipresent and yet is physically worthless - a piece of paper, or a digit on a computer screen? How does it work? And, more importantly, how far can we control the power it has over our lives? Eric Lonergan explores our complex relationship with money. In a provocative and insightful analysis, Lonergan argues that few things seem to matter more to us, but few things are as poorly understood. Economists have long worked with the theory that our relationship to money is rational, but not all our reactions to it make sense. Lonergan shows that many of our views about money, credit and saving are little better than prejudices. The same social and emotional forces that affect quant traders in the world's financial markets can be seen in the mania of Pokemon card trading in the school playground. This fascinating book reveals the tension between money's capacity to assist us in our lives and its propensity to cause instability and to distort our values. We are limited in our ability to control money's power, says Lonergan, but only by understanding money better, and thinking about it less, may we get on with enjoying what we have.
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Eric Lonergan is a macro hedge-fund manager at M&G Investments, London.Review:
"informed, readable and timely ... thought-provoking ... challenging preconceptions ... made me reassess my own attitudes. The value of the analysis [has] grown as events have unfolded." --Society of Business Economists (UK), Sept 2010
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