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How money and finance have captured the world–and enslaved humanity to the pursuit of artificial growth, prosperity, and wealth.
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.
Download the sample pages (includes Chapter 1 and Index)
Prologue: Hubris 1
Part I: Faith
Chapter 1: Mirror of the Times 21
Chapter 2: Money Changes Everything 38
Chapter 3: Business of Business 52
Chapter 4: Money for Sale 65
Chapter 5: Yellow Brick Road 78
Chapter 6: Money Honey 89
Part II: Fundamentalism
Chapter 7: Los Cee-Ca-Go Boys 101
Chapter 8: False Gods, Fake Prophecies 116
Part III: Alchemy
Chapter 9: Learning to Love Debt 133
Chapter 10: Private Vices 153
Chapter 11: Dice with Debt 168
Chapter 12: The Doomsday Debt Machine 188
Chapter 13: Risk Supermarkets 208
Chapter 14: Financial Arms Race 226
Chapter 15: Woodstock for Hedge Funds 239
Chapter 16: Minsky Machines 253
Part IV: Oligarchy
Chapter 17: War Games 264
Chapter 18: Shell Games 279
Chapter 19: Cult of Risk 294
Chapter 20: Masters of the Universe 307
Chapter 21: Financial Nihilism 321
Part V: Cracks
Chapter 22: Financial Gravity 337
Chapter 23: Unusually Uncertain 348
Epilogue: Nemesis 367
Select Bibliography 420