By Rama Gaind
PS News Books
Extreme Money: The Masters of the Universe and the cult of risk
By Satyajit Das (Portfolio, $32.95, softcover, 514 pages)
The idea of universal wealth and prosperity – extreme money – engineered by financial alchemy, is immensely powerful and impossible to resist.
Epic in its range, this book reveals how we have all become slaves to our own illusive, untenable creation: global finance.
Das likens money to becoming an extreme sport where it’s not about the money, but the game!
Improvements in living standards have been underpinned by global faith in “extreme money”, the notion of money made endless and capable of infinite multiplication by “financial alchemy”.
Businesses and government define their performance by financial measures. Ordinary people borrow money to buy houses, cars and things. They save for their children’s education, a holiday or retirement. Financiers invest the savings in markets to make more money. Buy shares, property and other investments.
“We live and work in the world of extreme money – spectacular, dangerous games with money that creative new artificial highs in growth, prosperity, sophistication and wealth. Once used to value and exchange ordinary goods, money has become the main way to make money ... the rule of extreme money is that everybody borrows, everybody saves, everybody is supposed to get wealthier. But only skilled insiders get richer, running and rigging the game.”
These elite financiers, the Masters of the Universe, are too smart, fast, greedy and dangerous for the world to understand.
Das is a financial wizard, who after 30 years experience, gives a blistering critique of the stunning, lurid and hazardous money games that have “generated increasingly massive bubbles of fake growth, Ponzi prosperity, sophistication and wealth”.
Businesses, individuals and even countries have sunk to levels of speculation and debt that cannot ever be repaid.
Once a source of shame, borrowing has become an essential part of the modern lifestyle.
Extreme Money reveals the inner workings of international finance and financiers without fear or favour.
Edition 296, 17 January 2012
To find out more about Rama Gaind click here.