Pulse: Finance, Banking, and Regulation
The federal government has approved two “phases” of fiscal relief for the current COVID-19 crisis, an $8B bill supporting medical work and expanding testing for the virus signed on March 6, and a $100B expansion of sick and family medical leave that President Trump is signing today. The vastly larger Phase 3 package will likely come up for a vote within the next several days. Collectively, this fiscal stimulus will cost more than a trillion dollars, putting it on par with the combined Obama and Bush administrations’ responses to the Great Recession.
“The purposes of money are constant, the way it operates varies hugely” says Paul Wilson at the outset – and few authors have illustrated this as interestingly as he does. Impressively erudite, he never lets his command of detail hold up the story, so that the reader is swept up in the stormy history of money’s role in some of the greatest social, political and military conflicts from ancient Rome to the cyber warfare of the 21st century.
Forrest Capie, Professor Emeritus of Economic History, Cass Business School and author of the modern History of the Bank of England writes:
“Robert Pringle has written a book on money that is different from any other.”
He “draws on a long life in the worlds of money, banking, and central banking and on his wide-ranging interests beyond economics and the social sciences to history and the arts to reflect on the strange relationship money and society have on and to each other.”
Sorry to have been absent for so long. Actually I haven’t been bone idle. At least, not all the time, though I did manage to stow away on a couple of long cruises. But even then, surfing the ocean waves in my 40,000 ton dinghy, I’ve been thinking about that funny old subject – yes, my favourite, money. From a different angle – the arts and sciences, history, literature, faith and illusion. And the result is – another book! Here is the beast:
As some of my more patient friends know, I have been toiling away at a book on Chinese monetary history during the Interwar period off and on for some years. Immersing myself in the public and private words of the historic figures of the 1930’s has perhaps sensitized me to the propensity of even well-intentioned leaders to glide into chaos. That which is unthinkable inexorably becomes inevitable.