Pulse: Finance, Banking, and Regulation
“The purposes of money are constant, the way it operates varies hugely” says Paul Wilson at the outset – and few authors have illustrated this as interestingly as he does. Impressively erudite, he never lets his command of detail hold up the story, so that the reader is swept up in the stormy history of money’s role in some of the greatest social, political and military conflicts from ancient Rome to the cyber warfare of the 21st century.
Forrest Capie, Professor Emeritus of Economic History, Cass Business School and author of the modern History of the Bank of England writes:
“Robert Pringle has written a book on money that is different from any other.”
He “draws on a long life in the worlds of money, banking, and central banking and on his wide-ranging interests beyond economics and the social sciences to history and the arts to reflect on the strange relationship money and society have on and to each other.”
Sorry to have been absent for so long. Actually I haven’t been bone idle. At least, not all the time, though I did manage to stow away on a couple of long cruises. But even then, surfing the ocean waves in my 40,000 ton dinghy, I’ve been thinking about that funny old subject – yes, my favourite, money. From a different angle – the arts and sciences, history, literature, faith and illusion. And the result is – another book! Here is the beast:
As some of my more patient friends know, I have been toiling away at a book on Chinese monetary history during the Interwar period off and on for some years. Immersing myself in the public and private words of the historic figures of the 1930’s has perhaps sensitized me to the propensity of even well-intentioned leaders to glide into chaos. That which is unthinkable inexorably becomes inevitable.
“For the great enemy of truth is very often not the lie—deliberate, contrived, and dishonest—but the myth— persistent, persuasive, and unrealistic. Too often we hold fast to clichés of our forebears. We subject all facts to a prefabricated set of interpretations. We enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought.” John F. Kennedy, Yale University Commencement Address June 11, 1962
I normally feel after reading, reviewing, and discussing the events of the previous week that I’m able to discern a direction or constructive theme. Today however, every corner of the world seems mired in some degree of turmoil, and markets are reacting. There is so much noise that it is difficult to decide what is causing this new volatility. Is it China, the Fed, the Mueller investigation, Yellow Jackets, or technology run amuck?