Money of the Mind: James Grant -1994

Money of the Mind was written by James Grant. It is an insightful, clear and revealing account of American finance history and the development of Modern banking.

As the industrial and financial industries of American rushed into debt during the 1980s, the consequences are only now being fully appreciated. However, none of this speculative turmoil was due to chance. In fact it was a long-lived cycle of slow relaxation in credit practices which led to the state of the economy. During the 1980s, the socialization of risk and democratization of credit led to the great speculative boom. While it had been previously almost impossible to obtain a loan, loans began to be granted at increasingly high rates. This lending pattern began burdening the government with an increased creditors’ risk reaching its highest point during Ronal Reagan’s conservative administration.

Grant narrates how various banking crises were responded to which help lay the groundwork for the formation of the Federal Reserve. Through first hand research and his own experiences, Grant presents America’s love affair with debt from an unnerving perspective. Despite the material being from the past, it is still highly relevant and exciting as a narrative while also explaining some of the possibilities behind the financial crisis in 2008.

Witty and entertaining, Money of the Mind is a great reminder that all financial systems have flaws at any point which could lead to collapse. Essential reading for all lenders, bond investors and those who want to understand how money works.

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