Eric Lonergan explores our complex relationship with money. In a provocative and insightful analysis, he 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 Pokémon 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.
"Eric Lonergan's elegantly-written and thought-provoking polemic on the nature of money is a must-read for anyone interested in politics or economics" - Philip Coggan, author of Paper Promises
"Things they don’t tell you at Davos: a deposit in a bank is an unbacked loan to a highly leveraged financial institution; quantitative easing is the cancellation of government debt; and the secret to ending a recession is to stop funnelling money through banks and simply give it to people to spend, especially poor people. If you like your economic shibboleths stabbed through the heart, roasted and served medium rare with a side of cold hard logic, you should read Eric Lonergan’s Money. You will see not only money, but the whole economic process, in a new light. For anyone who has ever wondered what money actually is and how it works this book is quite simply the place to both start and finish." - Mark Blyth, Brown University, USA
"An informed, readable and timely work. … thought-provoking … challenging preconceptions from an informed position, he made me reassess my own attitudes. He shines a concise but intellectually satisfying light on elements of the financial system. The value of the analysis appears to have grown as events have unfolded." - The Business Economist
"Lonergan concludes that money would cause less damage if people did not think about it so much. With this slender but stimulating book, he provokes the opposite reaction." - The Economist
Introduction 1. Print it Part 1: Interdependence i 2. Money's morality 3. Global money Part 2: Time and money 4. Future selves, worry and Schuld 5. Controlling the future 6. Other people's money Part 3: Measurement 7. Money measures Part 4: Money's allure 8. The sacred and the profane Part 5: Interdependence ii 9. The other side of the coin 10. Money. Index