A Primer on Money, Banking, and Gold
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A Primer on Money, Banking, and Gold

3.87 of 5 stars 3.87  ·  rating details  ·  46 ratings  ·  8 reviews
One of the foremost financial writers of his generation, Peter Bernstein has the unique ability to synthesize intellectual history and economics with the theory and practice of investment management. Now, with classic titles such as "Economist on Wall Street, A Primer on Money, Banking, and Gold, and The Price of Prosperity"--which have forewords by financial luminaries an...more
Paperback, 237 pages
Published August 1st 2008 by John Wiley & Sons (first published November 30th 1964)
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Classic, accessible primer on money

Peter L. Bernstein’s classic, originally published in the mid-1960s, provides a learned, generally accessible explanation of the workings of the American monetary system. Of course, some of the information is quite out-of-date, but you’ll understand that as you read. For example, the author speaks extensively about the importance of gold in international finance – yet gold has not really mattered since 1971. Moreover, the book came out before history taught the...more
Easy to follow primer on a topic people should understand better - how the economy actually works. This deceptively easy read concisely conveys a ton of information, but I assume it’s a much richer read if you have some familiarity with the topics covered. I frequently found myself referencing prior readings/reviewing concepts in my mind as I read through the work – but it probably works as a good intro. Its also full of historical curiosities that remind you how dynamic our monetary history has...more
Jiri Kram
If you ever wonder why gold and banks has such a special place in the history - here is the answer. It's a great foundation of modern theory of banking, money and gold. Also it explains how banking looks like when money was backed by a gold. Interesting comparison of today's world.
Ed Terrell
Bernstein explains in fine prose the detailed machinations of how banks create money and how economics really works. While "A Primer" focuses on describing the great gears of this clock, it does not fail to ignite flashes of insight and "aha" moments. It is amazing how so much of this is still pertinent since it was written over 40 years ago while the US was still on the "gold standard". With precisence, though he predicts the move away from gold and the future demise of the Bretton Woods system...more
Aug 01, 2011 Brian added it
Fantastic book. Troublingly, I think I might finally understand what money is- an issue that has bothered me for most of my life. The troubling bit is that money doesn't really exist. It represents little more than an idea. That's a facile explanation, but it's more or less where the explanation begins. Next stop: Keynes and Bagehot!
The best book to understand how money works. Although written 50-60 years ago, it is the best I have read about money.
A bit dated but still an excellent account of the workings of the treasury, fed and the banking system.
I am truly ignorant when it comes to banking.
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Founder and President of Peter L. Bernstein, Inc., which he established in 1973 as economic consultants to institutional investors and corporations around the world.

In 1951, after teaching economics at Williams College and a five-year stint in commercial banking, Peter became Chief Executive of a nationally–known investment counsel firm, where he personally managed billions of dollars of individua...more
More about Peter L. Bernstein...
Against the Gods: The Remarkable Story of Risk Capital Ideas: The Improbable Origins of Modern Wall Street The Power of Gold: The History of an Obsession Wedding of the Waters: The Erie Canal and the Making of a Great Nation Capital Ideas Evolving

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