Money, going out of style
by Zvi Schreiber
The story of money and the mystery of its decline
Published on August 15, 2021, marking the 50th anniversary of the dollar unlinking from gold and the birth of modern money.
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About the book
Money, as we know it, was born in 1971 when currencies unlinked from gold. During its adolescence, money was hyperactive, causing rampant inflation. Three decades of mature growth followed. But in middle age, money is changing again, losing its vibrancy and appeal. Central banks have printed trillions of dollars, euros, and yen, only to see it mostly sitting dormant, unappreciated, neither driving growth nor inflation.
As it achieves the age of fifty, money is experiencing its figurative menopause. It used to have a regular monthly cycle of payroll and shopping. But the cycle is increasingly erratic and infrequent. Nobody saw this coming; if money feels misunderstood, that’s probably because it is. Until now.
Money: Going Out of Style first offers the reader a clear understanding of economics and the role of money, by following an island tribe as they develop money and an ever more sophisticated economy. The book never forgets that money is secondary to the real economy: goods, services, and tools.
Armed with this deeper appreciation of money and economics, the book returns to the present day to examine money’s midlife crisis: the effect of rising inequality, and how it’s causing money to go out of style.
Reviews and interviews
The author uses vivid, accessible prose to demystify a whole battery of financial concepts, including global trade, and, toward the end of the book, cryptocurrency... A gripping and thought-provoking look at what currency truly means in the modern world.
Economic topics for interviews and discussions
Crypto - is it replacing government money?
There is massive hype around crypto. Should we buy bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies? Zvi will discuss what is crypto, and why it won't be replacing dollars and euros any time soon. The discussion can also touch on the environmental impact.
Inequality - causes and solution
Inequality is a hot topic, and high on the agenda of the U.S. government and the G7 rich democracies. Today the wealthiest two American individuals have more wealth than the bottom hundred million! Zvi will discuss causes and solutions, and how this relates to the changing face of money.
Inflation - is it coming back?
Americans and Europeans haven't experienced significant inflation since the 1970s. Now there are signs it is coming back. And given that the pace at which money is printed, it could come back with a vengeance. Zvi will discuss the risks of inflation and how to prepare.
Money going out of style.
The Fed has been printing money like it’s going out of style. The quantity of money doubled in the 2010s and then again more than quadrupled in 2020! This startling money printing did not reflect massive growth, nor hyperinflation. Instead, most of the $18 trillions in American money is dormant. Other countries face a similar puzzle. It seems money has, in fact, gone out of style!
Why can't I save for the future - zero interest rates
For a decade, interest rates have been near zero. After adjusting for inflation, money in savings accounts actually loses value. Zvi will discuss root causes and solutions and how this relates to growing inequality.