From the Economist’s award-winning Buttonwood columnist comes a timely and incisive analysis of debt: the defining feature of our financial era
"Bold and confident ... Coggan covers the terrain with characteristic calmness and objectivity, avoids over-simplification, and laces his arguments with his trademark erudition ... The alphabet soup of acronyms, from SIVs to CDO Squareds, is blissfully lacking ... Finally, the book is free from the shrieking ideology that afflicts virtually all contemporary debates over money. Indeed, it offers a clear explanation of the fresh ideological divisions that have arisen over how to deal with the crisis ... the book should be taken very seriously."
Publishers Weekly, October 31, 2011
“Coggan traces ‘history’s tug of war between monetary shortage and excess’ in this engaging and timely book about the current financial crisis…. Thoughtful and thorough.”
Kirkus, November 15, 2011
“Comprehensive…. A helpful analysis for anyone who wants to know how the world got into the present financial mess, which issues need to be addressed and what the consequences might be.”
Nassim Nicholas Taleb, author of The Black Swan
“This book stands way above anything written on the present economic crisis.”
Joshua Rauh, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University
"A compelling sketch of how the indebtedness of much of the developed world will eventually unravel. Rapid credit creation has always been a double-edged sword, associated with economic growth and democratic expansion of opportunity, but also inevitably leading to asset bubbles. In Paper Promises, history serves as a guide for the new order."
Tim Harford, author of Adapt and The Undercover Economist
“This is a remarkable book from one of the most respected economics journalists on the planet. Every page brings a fresh insight or a new surprise. A delight.”
“Paper Promises is not only a great book, it is a great accomplishment—a brilliant work of financial history, a clear examination of the present moment, and a journalistic masterpiece all wrapped into one.”
“A crisply written look at how the debt crisis may overturn the global economic order. … Like a battlefield guide, Coggan takes us on a tour of paper promises, wending from John Law’s monetary experiments in France following the death of Louis XIV to Ben Bernanke’s quantitative easing…. A valuable primer to anyone who still asks, as his father-in-law did, where all the money went during the meltdown of 2007 and ‘08.”
“Philip Coggan's fascinating new book Paper Promises: Debt, Money, and the New World Order … is a little hard to sum up: its cast of characters ranges from Dionysius of Syracuse to Ben Bernanke (both practioners of quantitative easing), and its author is both studiously nonideological and unwilling to pretend that we know more about the workings of the global economy than we do.”