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Money Mischief: Episodes in Monetary History

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"A lively, enlightening introduction to monetary history…from monetarism's most articulate apostle."??—??Kirkus Reviews"The Oliver Stone of economics" (Chicago Tribune), Nobel Prize laureate Milton Friedman makes clear once and for all that no one, from the local corner merchant to the Wall Street banker to the president of the United States, is immune from monetary econom "A lively, enlightening introduction to monetary history…from monetarism's most articulate apostle."??—??Kirkus Reviews"The Oliver Stone of economics" (Chicago Tribune), Nobel Prize laureate Milton Friedman makes clear once and for all that no one, from the local corner merchant to the Wall Street banker to the president of the United States, is immune from monetary economics. In Money Mischief, Friedman discusses the creation of value: from stones to feathers to gold. He outlines the central role of monetary theory and shows how it can act to ignite or deepen inflation. Through colorful historical episodes, he demonstrates the mischief that can result from a misunderstanding of monetary economics ??—?? how, for example, the work of two obscure Scottish chemists destroyed the presidential prospects of William Jennings Bryan and how Franklin D. Roosevelt's decision to appease a few senators from the American West helped communism triumph in China. And he explains, in plain English, what the present monetary system in the United States means for your paycheck and your savings as well as for the global economy.


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"A lively, enlightening introduction to monetary history…from monetarism's most articulate apostle."??—??Kirkus Reviews"The Oliver Stone of economics" (Chicago Tribune), Nobel Prize laureate Milton Friedman makes clear once and for all that no one, from the local corner merchant to the Wall Street banker to the president of the United States, is immune from monetary econom "A lively, enlightening introduction to monetary history…from monetarism's most articulate apostle."??—??Kirkus Reviews"The Oliver Stone of economics" (Chicago Tribune), Nobel Prize laureate Milton Friedman makes clear once and for all that no one, from the local corner merchant to the Wall Street banker to the president of the United States, is immune from monetary economics. In Money Mischief, Friedman discusses the creation of value: from stones to feathers to gold. He outlines the central role of monetary theory and shows how it can act to ignite or deepen inflation. Through colorful historical episodes, he demonstrates the mischief that can result from a misunderstanding of monetary economics ??—?? how, for example, the work of two obscure Scottish chemists destroyed the presidential prospects of William Jennings Bryan and how Franklin D. Roosevelt's decision to appease a few senators from the American West helped communism triumph in China. And he explains, in plain English, what the present monetary system in the United States means for your paycheck and your savings as well as for the global economy.

30 review for Money Mischief: Episodes in Monetary History

  1. 5 out of 5

    Jeff Isenor

    Friedman is excellent at condescending to the level of people who don't have a PHD in economics. It gives a much clearer understanding of what money actually is. I will never look at money in the same way again. Friedman is excellent at condescending to the level of people who don't have a PHD in economics. It gives a much clearer understanding of what money actually is. I will never look at money in the same way again.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Josh Friedlander

    It's easy to miss how influential Friedman is as an economist, second perhaps only to Keynes in the last century. Big chunks of this book are an abbreviation and simplification (although still pretty dense, make no mistake) of Friedman and Anna Schwartz's book A Monetary History of the United States, about which (then Fed chief) Ben Bernanke saidLet me end my talk by abusing slightly my status as an official representative of the Federal Reserve. I would like to say to Milton and Anna: Regarding It's easy to miss how influential Friedman is as an economist, second perhaps only to Keynes in the last century. Big chunks of this book are an abbreviation and simplification (although still pretty dense, make no mistake) of Friedman and Anna Schwartz's book A Monetary History of the United States, about which (then Fed chief) Ben Bernanke saidLet me end my talk by abusing slightly my status as an official representative of the Federal Reserve. I would like to say to Milton and Anna: Regarding the Great Depression, you're right. We did it. We're very sorry. But thanks to you, we won't do it again.The book opens with the concept of money as neutral store of value, as instanced by the large stones used on the island of Yap, and quickly levels up to talk about how increases in the supply of money bring about inflation, Fischer's equation of exchange (MV = PY), and how to determine the desirable rate of inflation. He surveys the fiasco of the French Revolutionary assignat, how American support for the price of silver might have doomed the Chinese Nationalist government (the Kuomintang), and Chile, Israel, the European Monetary System, among much else. There is a lot about bimetallism in the united States and elsewhere, which Friedman thinks might have been totally viable - in practice, it would have worked as a single-metal system, with whichever currently had a less favourable market value being used as currency (due to Gresham's Law). Writing in the early 1990s, Friedman is cautiously optimistic to the brave new world of global fiat money (initiated by Nixon in 1971) and is no "gold bug"; he is also, appropriate to the time period, more concerned with inflation than we are nowadays. It might seem curious that the main disagreement between Keynes and Friedman - basically whether government policy ought to focus on the supply (monetary) or demand (fiscal) side - is is minor, yet Friedman is greatly anathematised by his ideological opponents, who generally assign to him sole responsibility for the crimes of the Pinochet regime (which, if he didn't protest as much as he could have, he certainly didn't support). But that is to look at Friedman as the monetarist and ignore the libertarian ideologue who wrote Free to Choose and Capitalism and Freedom, perhaps inviting a more careful moral scrutiny. It also strikes me, in a Hirschmanian vein, that there might be moral sentiments underlying this policy debate. Although Friedman doesn't endorse the "sound money" idea of the days of the gold standard, he endorses a kind of conservative moral of thrift and discipline, which when neglected can only be restored by the administration of tough medicine. Keynes, the Bloomsbury hedonist, endorses spending yourself out of trouble, and the idea that nature might not put a price on our folly. Though these arguments are anchored in complex theoretical edifices, it is easy to see why the two have become figureheads of vastly opposed worldviews.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Clinton

    Money Mischief clarifies the significance of monetary economics, for immunization from the impact is unattainable. The book chronicles historical episodes into the mystical phenomena known as money that discusses the creation of value in money, the importance of monetary history and the cause of inflation. The present monetary system affects all spending and savings in the United States of America as well as the globe where it attempts to manipulate money and credit rather than obey sound moneta Money Mischief clarifies the significance of monetary economics, for immunization from the impact is unattainable. The book chronicles historical episodes into the mystical phenomena known as money that discusses the creation of value in money, the importance of monetary history and the cause of inflation. The present monetary system affects all spending and savings in the United States of America as well as the globe where it attempts to manipulate money and credit rather than obey sound monetary economics. The creation of value in money is defined by the belief that stones, precious metals or paper has value in its purchasing power where others are willing to trade goods and services. Commodity money progresses over time as it becomes more and more accepted as valuable whereas paper money has value by decree of legal tender laws. Monetary history reveals the manipulation of money. It was not only recent with paper money but all forms of commodities. These would include coin debasement including clipping and sweating, fixed exchange rates, purchasing programs and disavowing bimetallism. The cause of inflation is driven by the increase in the money supply, and the government is the culprit, yet no government has ever taken responsibility for producing inflation. Government will always blame others, but no other alleged culprit have printing presses nor legal tender laws. Overall, Milton Friedman presents an fascinating perspective into the subject of monetary economics. The most unfortunate aspect of the book was chapter 8 on inflation, for Friedman offers very convincing arguments as to the cause and cure of inflation, but it was simply copied and revised from Free to Choose. Otherwise, the book was interesting, yet chapter 4 was overly technical and diminished the novelty of the book.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Jesse Schexnayder

    Milton Friedman's account of monetary history in the pre-Industrial to Modern Western world is quite timely in today's fiscal environment. With nation level bailouts becoming all too commonplace in the EU (Greece, Spain, and now Ireland) and the US dollar on the ropes (quantitative easement leading to it being dropped as the world's standard currency) it seems Friedman's predictions regarding the unquenchable desire of modern politicians to fund their political careers through the debasement (i. Milton Friedman's account of monetary history in the pre-Industrial to Modern Western world is quite timely in today's fiscal environment. With nation level bailouts becoming all too commonplace in the EU (Greece, Spain, and now Ireland) and the US dollar on the ropes (quantitative easement leading to it being dropped as the world's standard currency) it seems Friedman's predictions regarding the unquenchable desire of modern politicians to fund their political careers through the debasement (i.e. theft) of your hard earned paper currency are coming true, and this correctable fault in our monetary system is one of the most significant causes of the US's current economic woes. As Friedman (and Thomas Jefferson) have said, the handling of currency is much too important to be left in the hands of central banks, and in the US we don't even know who the members of the that central banking system, the Federal Reserve, are, much less have open access to their books. How convenient for the bankers, and, ah yes, the politicians...

  5. 4 out of 5

    Rohan

    So many years after the original publication date, you would think that this book might not be very interesting before you begin. But trust me, you will be surprised to see how Milton Friedman will keep you hooked on until the last chapter. There are so many good things in this book. Starting with the concept of stone money on the island of yap, to an analogy of throwing cash into a community from a Helicopter, to the story of Gold and Silver (and Bi-Metallic) Standards and the Coinage act of 187 So many years after the original publication date, you would think that this book might not be very interesting before you begin. But trust me, you will be surprised to see how Milton Friedman will keep you hooked on until the last chapter. There are so many good things in this book. Starting with the concept of stone money on the island of yap, to an analogy of throwing cash into a community from a Helicopter, to the story of Gold and Silver (and Bi-Metallic) Standards and the Coinage act of 1873 followed by an analogy between Inflation and Alcoholism. At some point, I felt that every second sentence was valuable advice and I could think of entire books being written on such topics by various authors of the day. Examples include: Hyperinflation, Cost of Living Adjustment, Wage Contracts, Price and Wage Controls. Overall, the best chapter of the book is on Inflation and the last chapter on Fiat Money. I will strongly recommend my fellow economic enthusiasts to read this book. It has definitely changed my perspective of money for life.

  6. 4 out of 5

    AJ

    Milton Freidman is a great read. "Money is much too important a matter to be left to central bankers" neatly sums up his perspective on the necessary role government must play in shaping monetary policy. This book explains the symbolic properties (or "myth") of money, touches on the history of the gold and silver standard in the US and abroad, and focuses narrowly on a retrospective analysis of whether US monetary policy made the right decisions with regard to the precious metals and money. Foll Milton Freidman is a great read. "Money is much too important a matter to be left to central bankers" neatly sums up his perspective on the necessary role government must play in shaping monetary policy. This book explains the symbolic properties (or "myth") of money, touches on the history of the gold and silver standard in the US and abroad, and focuses narrowly on a retrospective analysis of whether US monetary policy made the right decisions with regard to the precious metals and money. Following is a great discussion of inflation, how it works, why it's bad, and what can be done about it. There are a fair amount of charts, and one chapter devoted fully to modeling hypothetical alternatives to history, essentially full-blown economic analysis. Even so, don't let that stop you from grabbing it.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Ray

    Marvelous fun and very illuminating. Friedman starts out with a South Pacific island whose idea of money is gigantic immobile rocks you keep in your backyard, and then goes on, after a nice explanation of inflation (that I'd not gotten before, but was fairly detailed on a toy example involving a helicopter dropping cash) to a fairly detailed discussion of the whole bimetallic vs gold standard debate that raged through world politics in the 19th century. I didn't know that the Industrial Revoluti Marvelous fun and very illuminating. Friedman starts out with a South Pacific island whose idea of money is gigantic immobile rocks you keep in your backyard, and then goes on, after a nice explanation of inflation (that I'd not gotten before, but was fairly detailed on a toy example involving a helicopter dropping cash) to a fairly detailed discussion of the whole bimetallic vs gold standard debate that raged through world politics in the 19th century. I didn't know that the Industrial Revolution basically happened here during a period of sustained deflation, and I think I finally understand what that mess over the "cross of gold" was about. Friedman has a gift for explaining things in a way that gives me an intuition for the subject - a feeling I usually associate with slowly digested math texts, not easily read books about history. Highly recommended.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Richard

    Substantial inflation is always and everywhere a monetary phenomenon. To produce continuing inflation, one requires a printing press on which one can turn out those pieces of paper that we call money. Thus it is folly to blame inflation on anyone but the government. A metallic standard (gold, silver, or bi-metallic) necessarily introduces volatility to price levels and leads to an inefficient allocation of resources, but it also disciplines the government's printing presses. The Nobel Prize winner Substantial inflation is always and everywhere a monetary phenomenon. To produce continuing inflation, one requires a printing press on which one can turn out those pieces of paper that we call money. Thus it is folly to blame inflation on anyone but the government. A metallic standard (gold, silver, or bi-metallic) necessarily introduces volatility to price levels and leads to an inefficient allocation of resources, but it also disciplines the government's printing presses. The Nobel Prize winner also provides a compelling explanation of how FDR's ill-conceived silver policy aided the communist revolution in China.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Katy

    This was tough going. Since I don't have an economics background, the detailed explanation of bi-metalism and national economic policy was very difficult for me. The last few chapters on the causes of inflation were quite enlightening. Surprisingly, Friedman uses a quote from John Maynard Keynes, who advised FDR during the Great Depression as a chapter heading: "There is no surer means of overturning the existing basis of society than to debauch the currency. The process engages all the hidden f This was tough going. Since I don't have an economics background, the detailed explanation of bi-metalism and national economic policy was very difficult for me. The last few chapters on the causes of inflation were quite enlightening. Surprisingly, Friedman uses a quote from John Maynard Keynes, who advised FDR during the Great Depression as a chapter heading: "There is no surer means of overturning the existing basis of society than to debauch the currency. The process engages all the hidden forces of economic law on the side of destruction, and does it in a manner which not one man in a million is able to diagnose." Rather provocative...

  10. 5 out of 5

    Azriel

    Despite Friedman's wit and clarity, this is difficult material to work through. More so when he takes an entire chapter to work through the extended math of several of his asumptions. I recommend everyone who has any interest in economics to read the first and 8th chapters. The first explains that money is merely a medium of exchange, and clarifies why fiat money is fully valid. Chapter 8 covers inflation, and dispells many myths that still get involked 25 years later. Despite Friedman's wit and clarity, this is difficult material to work through. More so when he takes an entire chapter to work through the extended math of several of his asumptions. I recommend everyone who has any interest in economics to read the first and 8th chapters. The first explains that money is merely a medium of exchange, and clarifies why fiat money is fully valid. Chapter 8 covers inflation, and dispells many myths that still get involked 25 years later.

  11. 5 out of 5

    R.K. Byers

    the analogies didn't start getting good until the very end. the analogies didn't start getting good until the very end.

  12. 5 out of 5

    John Boys

    Recommended Reading Milton Friedman is gone, but his thoughts and historical observations about the monetary role in relation to inflation are of paramount importance. His book Money Mischief brings perspective of the inflationary danger, especially to those younger people, who did not live through the hyperinflation of the 1970s.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Teyanna Munyan

    Good book. Learned about the gold&silver standard in the US and learned a bit more about inflation & money. The island of Yap with their stone money was interesting and the helicopter inflation analogy was good. I wish it had an epilogue by another author that ties in the last 20 years to the book, so it wasn't so outdated (well I guess a second epilogue since it already has a short one by Milton Friedman). I thought he might have been a tad too harsh on central bankers. Quotes I liked from the l Good book. Learned about the gold&silver standard in the US and learned a bit more about inflation & money. The island of Yap with their stone money was interesting and the helicopter inflation analogy was good. I wish it had an epilogue by another author that ties in the last 20 years to the book, so it wasn't so outdated (well I guess a second epilogue since it already has a short one by Milton Friedman). I thought he might have been a tad too harsh on central bankers. Quotes I liked from the last chapter: "It is natural for individuals to generalize from their personal experience, to believe that what is true for them is true for the community. I believe that that confusion is at the bottom of most widely held economic fallacies - whether about money... or about other economic or social phenomena." "It is a disagreeable custom to which one is too easily led by the harshness of the discussions, to assume evil intentions. It is necessary to be gracious as to intentions; one should believe them good, and apparently they are; but we do not have to be gracious at all to inconsistent logic or to absurd reasoning. Bad logicians have committed more involuntary crimes than bad men have done intentionally.~Pierre S. du Pont"

  14. 4 out of 5

    Timothy Taylor

    This review is for the Audiobook version. I did not much enjoy Money Mischief. This was largely due to the audiobook format. This format does not suit this book at all. There is a large amount of technical discussion about economics including ratios and formulas that is just hard to follow in an audiobook format, despite one whole chapter being omitted specifically because it would be too technical for narration. I think the material would have been much easier to digest if there was time to rer This review is for the Audiobook version. I did not much enjoy Money Mischief. This was largely due to the audiobook format. This format does not suit this book at all. There is a large amount of technical discussion about economics including ratios and formulas that is just hard to follow in an audiobook format, despite one whole chapter being omitted specifically because it would be too technical for narration. I think the material would have been much easier to digest if there was time to reread and mull over sections before continuing. As for the material itself, it was for the most part stories not well told, nor really worth telling. The first section covering stones being used as currency in the Pacific Islands hinted at being interesting. The remainder of the stories dealing with bimetallism, the gold standard and the impact of money on various global economies in the late 19th and early 20th centuries was not very compelling. In addition, despite Milton Friedman being an historic economist, he sometimes confuses tax rates and tax brackets and clearly does not understand what Taxation without Representation is.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Abdelhamid

    Milton Friedman covers a number of interesting episodes of monetary history in this book. The episode about the bimetallic money system the U.S. had until the 1870s is really fascinating. Also the discussion of inflation and the incentive the government may have to use inflation to finance spending is very relevant to our current day problems of growing national debt and federal budget deficit. I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to learn more about money and its history.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Terry Koressel

    I am sure this is an excellent book....I am a huge fan of Milton Friedman. However, I am sad to say that the intricate and detailed economics in Money Mischief were over my head....in some parts, way over my head. It is one of the very few books I did not finish. I would not recommend the book unless you have a mind or training to understand complex economics (particularly monetary theory).

  17. 5 out of 5

    James Koppen

    I didn't actually finish this book, but I'm done for now. The first chapters kept my attention but once he began to explain an alternate financial history - as in what he thinks would have happened, hypothetically, had a certain monetary policy been effected in the late 1800s - with graphs and tables I stopped reading. I didn't actually finish this book, but I'm done for now. The first chapters kept my attention but once he began to explain an alternate financial history - as in what he thinks would have happened, hypothetically, had a certain monetary policy been effected in the late 1800s - with graphs and tables I stopped reading.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Don

    Superb non-technical examples of just how much "money matters". Fun reading for economic history types as well as people interested in monetary economics. Leftists may enjoy a good exposition of the monetary policies of 19th century American populists (including William Jennings Bryan). Superb non-technical examples of just how much "money matters". Fun reading for economic history types as well as people interested in monetary economics. Leftists may enjoy a good exposition of the monetary policies of 19th century American populists (including William Jennings Bryan).

  19. 4 out of 5

    Void lon iXaarii

    Very cool stuff. I particularly liked the hypothetical money from the helicopter reasoning flow mental exercises and I of course adored the stone money real situation and the parallel to the France-US incident.

  20. 5 out of 5

    A. Tebbs

    It's a bit technical at times, but he explains why hard currency is so necessary. I greatly admire this man and I love how he exposes fraud It's a bit technical at times, but he explains why hard currency is so necessary. I greatly admire this man and I love how he exposes fraud

  21. 4 out of 5

    Aharon

    A very smart man who works very hard to convince you that he’s not actually making dumb assumptions (which he is). Not to be confused with his “Monkey Mischief!” series for kids.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Jen

    Slow going, not my typical book. Good content though...I gave up half way through.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Chris Fellows

    No matter how many things I read, I am still surprised from time to time to find vast swathes of human knowledge of which I am totally ignorant. Now I understand bimetallism! Huzzah!

  24. 4 out of 5

    Todd

    Excellent real life studies in economics. Some very compelling ideas and thought provoking on humanity, money, power and freedom.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Stephen Frank

    A must read for investors interested in understanding the possible consequences of quantitative easing.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Dave Peticolas

    A short introduction to monetary history and the causes of inflation.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Bill Duhamel

    A fun read. But lightweight.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Nathan DiBagno

    Milton Friedman is excellent and thorough as usual. The first chapter is very fascinating, detailing a small island that used large stones to measure its wealth, then shows that in a way even some of our most developed countries aren't that different. Several topics in the book: -The history of monetary policy and how it can results in revolutions and wars if not used properly. -William Jennings Bryan's push for silver coin expansion and how market changes later made his push kind of irrelevant. -Di Milton Friedman is excellent and thorough as usual. The first chapter is very fascinating, detailing a small island that used large stones to measure its wealth, then shows that in a way even some of our most developed countries aren't that different. Several topics in the book: -The history of monetary policy and how it can results in revolutions and wars if not used properly. -William Jennings Bryan's push for silver coin expansion and how market changes later made his push kind of irrelevant. -Different monetary policies (good and bad) of various countries. Israel, China, the United States, Chile, and Brazil are just a few of the countries we've studied. It makes you realize how little we study or understand monetary policies, economics, and inflation in our history classes. We've probably studied war tactics more than we've studies peace tactics such as monetary policy. It also makes you realize how economic policy has ripple effects around the world. Here are some notable quotes: "The cure for inflation is simple to state but hard to implement. Just as an excessive increase in the quantity of money is the one and only important cause of inflation, so a reduction in the rate of monetary growth is the one and only cure for inflation. The problem is not one of knowing what to do. That is easy enough - government must increase the quantity of money less rapidly. The problem is to have the political will to take the necessary measures. Once the inflationary disease is in an advanced state, the cure takes a long time and has painful side effects." "The recognition that substantial inflation is always and everywhere a monetary phenomenon is only the beginning of an understanding of the cause and cure of inflation. The more basic questions are: Why do governments increase the quantity of money too rapidly? Why do they produce inflation when they understand its potential for harm? Before turning to those questions, it is worth dwelling a while on the proposition that inflation is a monetary phenomenon. Despite the importance of that proposition, despite the extensive historical evidence to support it, it is still widely denied—in large part because of the smoke screen with which governments try to conceal their own responsibility for inflation." "Inflation occurs when the quantity of money rises appreciably more rapidly than output, and the more rapid the rise in the quantity of money per unit of output, the greater the rate of inflation. There is probably no other proposition in economics that is as well established as this one." The only reason I don't give it a five star rating is because I found some material somewhat dry and hard to follow. Friedman offers a lot of statistics and information about the silver to gold ratio in the past, and specific numbers of inflation. This is more of an indictment of me as a reader who can't keep up with Friedman than he is as a great economist and writer.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Luke Durbin

    I'm not going to lie, I skipped chunks of this book. Is it well researched and well presented? Sure. Does the book add value to the history of money? Of course. But even though it was written by a Nobel Prize-winning economist, I just found the subject matter, in parts, a little dry, despite that fact that the history of money and gold really does fascinate me. Further reason for my low rating, and this one is probably on me, but the title and the blurb really made the stories therein sound a lo I'm not going to lie, I skipped chunks of this book. Is it well researched and well presented? Sure. Does the book add value to the history of money? Of course. But even though it was written by a Nobel Prize-winning economist, I just found the subject matter, in parts, a little dry, despite that fact that the history of money and gold really does fascinate me. Further reason for my low rating, and this one is probably on me, but the title and the blurb really made the stories therein sound a lot more exciting than they really were. While I wouldn't actually expect hijinks or silly stories, I did kind of expect quirky anecdotes about interesting uses or sources of money. Indeed this is how the book opens with its first chapter and if it was a book full of these tales I'd probably be reaching for a fifth star by now. I did find the discussion on inflation later in the book very interesting, and sure, some of the history of the gold and silver standards definitely kept me on the line, but there was a lot on the dynamics of bimetallism of the uses of gold and silver as currency that was pretty tough going. A lot of people will love this book and that's great; Friedman is excellent at what he does and I look forward to reading more from him, but this one just didn't do it for me.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Daniel

    Useful book for a good review of monetary history, and to drive home the central idea that there's never a shortage of examples of governments using irresponsible monetary policy. At the same time the reader gets the feeling that the author/publisher could have unified the book better. There is a technical/academic article exploring what would have happened if the USA remained on a bimetallic dollar standard in the late 1800s that will be beyond most readers (including me), stuck in among other Useful book for a good review of monetary history, and to drive home the central idea that there's never a shortage of examples of governments using irresponsible monetary policy. At the same time the reader gets the feeling that the author/publisher could have unified the book better. There is a technical/academic article exploring what would have happened if the USA remained on a bimetallic dollar standard in the late 1800s that will be beyond most readers (including me), stuck in among other chapters about monetary episodes across different eras of history. I'd also love to hear what Milton Friedman would say about the current monetary and inflation environment, given that he says confidently in this book "I know no example of a rapid increase in the quantity of money that was not accompanied by a roughly corresponding substantial inflation." The USA and most other advanced economies have been expanding the money supply aggressively for more than a decade without any appearance of substantial inflation. To quote Keynes: "When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do, sir?"

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