Book Review: Can't we just print more money?
Economics in ten simple questions. Review of book by Rupal Patel and Jack Meaning of the Bank of England.
My last post mentioned how I planned to send a book review to a newspaper. But, for various reasons, I finally decided to post it here.
Rupal Patel and Jack Meaning’s new book, Can’t We Just Print More Money, explains basic economics through ten simple questions. It is a collection of answers to 51 shorter questions, grouped into ten chapters. If one were to use one word or expression for each of the ten main chapters, they are as follows: basics, market failures, labour, growth, trade, inflation, money, banking, financial crises, and policy. The chapter titles are more elaborate, like the book’s title, which is a chapter on monetary and fiscal policy.
The book is part of the Bank of England’s economic literacy initiatives, including town hall discussions at various places. The book is the first to explain and demystify the context of the work of the Bank of England.
It is for everyone, from the layman to the expert. The layman because the authors build a set of complex ideas from first principles and everyday examples.
The expert because they too could do with an overview of simple explanations to complex ideas through current and compelling events. That is also because the subject has become increasingly complex over the years. The authors write:
‘Today’s economists have started to incorporate ideas from sociology, psychology and even biology to achieve a more rounded view of the discipline: one that combines the scientific rigour sought by Marshall with the pluralistic ethos of Aristotle and Smith.’
The book’s title reminded me of a comment by a former finance minister of an Indian state. He denied any such challenge in reply to a question about the state’s fiscal issues and heavy indebtedness. He added that we could just print more money.
Therefore, even finance ministers could benefit from a reading of the book. The authors write in their introduction: ‘Our economist’s friend could be forgiven for not knowing why we can’t just endlessly print money’. With a few finance ministers on the list, the layman can now reach for the book without doubt or hesitation.
My review of the book is in the link below:
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