The Calculating Stars – Paper Book
Money only works because we all agree to believe in it. In Money, Jacob Goldstein shows how money is a useful fiction that has shaped societies for thousands of years, from the rise of coins in ancient Greece to the first stock market in Amsterdam to the emergence of shadow banking in the 21st century.
At the heart of the story are the fringe thinkers and world leaders who reimagined money. Kublai Khan, the Mongol emperor, created paper money backed by nothing, centuries before it appeared in the west. John Law, a professional gambler and convicted murderer, brought modern money to France (and destroyed the country’s economy). The cypherpunks, a group of radical libertarian computer programmers, paved the way for bitcoin.
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About the Author
Jacob Goldstein is the cohost of NPR's Planet Money. He has written about money for the New York Times Magazine, and his stories have aired on This American Life, All Things Considered and Morning Edition. He previously worked as a reporter at the Wall Street Journal, the Miami Herald and the Bozeman Daily Chronicle. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife, two kids, and a small dog.