How Money Works: The Facts Visually Explained Hardcover – 1 March 2017
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DK's How Things Work series uses dynamic graphics and jargon-free text to explain the modern world simply and clearly.
Packed with fascinating facts and stats, these bold visual guides make everything – from science to philosophy – more accessible than ever before.
- Step-by-step explanations
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- Facts and theories from thousands of years ago to today
The facts visually explained
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|Books in the series||This book presents the ideas and theories of key philosophical traditions and philosophers in a novel, easy-to-understand way.||This book explores and explains the various approaches that psychologists use to study how people think and behave.||Discover essential know-how on everything from debt management to online fraud, and learn to manage your own money from payments to pensions.||This book defines and explains the key concepts behind business, finance and company management.|
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
The rich, bold graphics are both visually appealing and quickly digestible. When people have questions about a topic in my field, I can show them in two quick pages much of the gist of what they need to know (versus an hour of me rambling!).
I was delighted to see the book didn't shy away from some of the 'meatier' topics like the Time Value of Money (via the formula for compound interest) or the Capital Asset Pricing Model (via the efficient frontier). Every course I took during my undergraduate degree was essentially summed up in every two page section.
If you majored in finance, you won't learn anything here, but this book isn't for you! If you majored in anything else, pick up this book. As someone who dedicates his professional career to this subject, I assure you it is full of all the topics you'll need to know about my field.
Two small areas for improvement are the Time Value of Money and the physical cover of the book. While the formula for computing the future value (FV) of a sum is given in relation to debt, I felt this didn't go deep enough on the topic. I would have enjoyed seeing this crucial topic of present and future values given its own two page vignette, showing the flip side of how compound interest can work in an investor's favor.
The second area of improvement is the physical front cover of the book. The silver outline around the piggy bank and coins scratches off like it was a lottery ticket. This leaves the cover looking easily disheveled. I recommend keeping the book open to a topic you like if you are going to display it (mine is open to the start of the Personal Finance section, personally).
In my Amazon review of Andrew Yang's The War On Normal People, I commented that his book explained why some Americans have much more wealth than others. One of his management strategies was Universal Basic Income (UBI).
But where would the UBI money come from?
How Money Works describes a strategy called Quantitative Easing (QE):
"QE involves the creation of new money – usually in the form of electronic currency – which the central bank then uses to buy government bonds or bonds from investors such as banks or pension funds.” (page 124)
These commercial banks then loan this new money to people and businesses at low interest rates. Theoretically, this infusion of cash to those in need stimulates the economy by increasing the supply and liquidity of money (i.e., businesses and people spend rather than save).
The book cites possible problems with QE:
1) the economy may not respond as expected,
2) inflation may occur, and
3) banks may hoard the money instead of lending as intended. (page 125)
How Money Works notes a case study:
“The UK began a QE program in early 2009, after interest rates were cut to almost zero. Most of the new money has been used to purchase government debt. The effects of QE depends on what sellers do with the money they receive from selling assets, and what banks do with the additional liquidity they obtain. The Bank of England believes QE has boosted growth, but at the cost of higher inflation and increasing inequality of wealth, as prices rise." (page 125)
THOUGHT EXPERIMENT (i.e., daydream)
Experimental evidence suggests that people in need tend to spend their UBIs on necessities such as food, rent and utilities. If so, the main issue may be where the UBI money comes from, not how responsibly the money is spent.
Again, I’m more of a biologist than economist. But what would happen if the central bank distributes its new money directly to people in need (or as UBI) instead of having them borrow from commercial banks and pay interest?
What would happen if new money begins circulating through the economy from the bottom (trickle up economy) instead of through commercial banks?
In my Amazon review of Napoleon Hill’s Law of Success (1925 manuscript version), I wrote, “Ideally, people come before money. Perhaps like self-government, money should be of the people, by the people, and for the people.”
get this book instead of going to college for mba or economics major, and save yourself a lot of time/money