Inflated: How Money and Debt Built the American Dream

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9780470875148: Inflated: How Money and Debt Built the American Dream

Americans as a whole view themselves as reasonably prudent and sober people when it comes to matters of money, reflecting the puritan roots of the earliest European settlers. Yet as a community, we also seem to believe that we are entitled to a lifestyle that is well-beyond our current income, a tendency that goes back to the earliest days of the United States and particularly to get rich quick experiences ranging from the Gold Rush of the 1840s to the real estate bubble of the early 21st Century.

Inflated examines this apparent conflict and makes the argument that such a world view is so ingrained in us that to expect the United States to live in a "deflated" world is simply unrealistic. It skillfully seeks to tell the story of, money inflation and public debt as enduring (and perhaps endearing) features of American life, rather than something we can one day overcome as our policy makers constantly promise.

  • Features interviews with today's top financial industry leaders and insiders.
  • Offer a glimpse into the future of the Federal Reserve and the role it will play in the coming years
  • Examines what the future may hold for the value of the U.S. dollar and the real incomes of future generations of Americans

The gradual result of the situation we find ourselves in will inevitably lead to inflation, loss of economic opportunity, and a decline in the value of the dollar. This book will show you why, and reveal how we might be able to deal with it.

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From the Inside Flap:

When it comes to matters of money, most Americans tend to view themselves as reasonably prudent people, reflecting the puritan roots of their European ancestors. Yet, at the same time, Americans also seem to feel entitled to a lifestyle, individually and nationally, that is well above the rest of the world's, and well beyond our current means. Inflated: How Money and Debt Built the American Dream explores more than two hundred years of American politics and monetary policy to examine this conflict. In doing so, it asks whether the current understanding of the American Dream, one of entitlement, is so ingrained that to expect Americans willingly to live in a "deflated" world is unrealistic. This book simply and directly tells the story of inflation and public debt as enduring, and perhaps even endearing, features of American life. It describes:

  • The Gold Rush and how dreams of instant wealth replaced the notions of hard work and saving as the national ideal
  • How Congress's deficit spending is a direct legacy of Abraham Lincoln's presiding over the first legal tender laws, which gave the federal government control overthe issuance of "money"
  • How the financial crisis of 1893 led to the creation of the Federal Reserve System, ultimately confirming the cautionary views of Thomas Jefferson and Andrew Jackson that a central bank would prove antithetical to democracy and individual rights
  • The rise of investment trusts during the 1890s, and how those trusts were the precursors of hedge funds and complex financial derivatives
  • How the dollar's role as the world's currency after WWII encouraged America's tendency to demand immediate gratification of national wants and needs
  • Why the Gold Standard Act of 1900 was the high watermark for sound money in the United States, and why Richard Nixon's decision to end the dollar's gold convertibility in 1971 opened the door to vast inflation and debt in the decades that followed
Whether taming the frontier in the 1800s, fighting poverty during the Great Depression, or bailing out private corporations deemed "too big to fail" in the twenty-first century, America's tendency to borrow from the future is a core ethic of American society. In the post—market meltdown economy, Inflated explores the rich history of living beyond one's means, and whether Americans—an instinctively self-reliant, isolationist people—are more likely either to embrace fiscal stringency if other nations demand it or turn their backs on the rest of the world.

From the Back Cover:

PRAISE FOR INFLATED

"A thorough, highly readable history of the politics that have controlled banking, currency, monetary gold, and government debt since the founding. I am going to put Inflated on the short list of books that are given to our new traders and analysts."
PAUL TUDOR JONES II

"From the revolutionary-era origins of the national debt, through Civil War era greenbacks, New Deal deficit finance, and Richard Nixon's severing of the dollar's link to gold, Chris Whalen's Inflated offers a wry, often comical account of America's long, crisis-prone love affair with inflation, debt, and the amazing dwindling dollar. His take-no-prisoners account of our latest financial crisis brings the story close to home. So does his timely conclusion: Americans must either find their way back to fiscal sanity and real, investment-driven growth, or risk a financial debacle that could make the 'Crash of 2008—2009' seem like the good old days."
BOB REYNOLDS, Chief Executive Officer, Putnam Investments

"Chris Whalen leads a fast and insightful tour through the historical and current battlefields of U.S. fiscal and financial class warfare. A fascinating and rewarding read."
EDWARD J. KANE, Boston College

"Chris Whalen is already famous for his stellar work articulated in his bank rating service and in the Institutional Risk Analyst. This book captures another dimension. He uses his family history, which starts in the Nixon administration. He embellishes on his personal interviews with prominent persons like Paul Volcker and Josh Rosner. His book documents the 'too big to fail' syndrome. Finally, he presents a view of the future and articulates what the confluence of central banking, government fiscal policy, and market vigilantes must confront ahead."
DAVID R. KOTOK, Chairman and Chief Investment Officer, Cumberland Advisors

"In the Rothbardian tradition, Christopher Whalen fingers the bad guys and follows the money in his fast-paced history detailing the U.S. government's continual monetary debauchery. For those wanting the real story of why America teeters on the edge of a financial cliff, Inflated is the book to read."
DOUGLAS FRENCH, President, Ludwig von Mises Institute

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Book Description John Wiley and Sons Ltd, United Kingdom, 2010. Hardback. Book Condition: New. 1. Auflage. Language: English . Brand New Book. Americans as a whole view themselves as reasonably prudent and sober people when it comes to matters of money, reflecting the puritan roots of the earliest European settlers. Yet as a community, we also seem to believe that we are entitled to a lifestyle that is well-beyond our current income, a tendency that goes back to the earliest days of the United States and particularly to get rich quick experiences ranging from the Gold Rush of the 1840s to the real estate bubble of the early 21st Century. Inflated examines this apparent conflict and makes the argument that such a world view is so ingrained in us that to expect the United States to live in a deflated world is simply unrealistic. It skillfully seeks to tell the story of, money inflation and public debt as enduring (and perhaps endearing) features of American life, rather than something we can one day overcome as our policy makers constantly promise. * Features interviews with today s top financial industry leaders and insiders. * Offer a glimpse into the future of the Federal Reserve and the role it will play in the coming years * Examines what the future may hold for the value of the U.S. dollar and the real incomes of future generations of Americans The gradual result of the situation we find ourselves in will inevitably lead to inflation, loss of economic opportunity, and a decline in the value of the dollar. This book will show you why, and reveal how we might be able to deal with it. Bookseller Inventory # AAH9780470875148

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Book Description John Wiley and Sons Ltd, United Kingdom, 2010. Hardback. Book Condition: New. 1. Auflage. Language: English . Brand New Book. Americans as a whole view themselves as reasonably prudent and sober people when it comes to matters of money, reflecting the puritan roots of the earliest European settlers. Yet as a community, we also seem to believe that we are entitled to a lifestyle that is well-beyond our current income, a tendency that goes back to the earliest days of the United States and particularly to get rich quick experiences ranging from the Gold Rush of the 1840s to the real estate bubble of the early 21st Century. Inflated examines this apparent conflict and makes the argument that such a world view is so ingrained in us that to expect the United States to live in a deflated world is simply unrealistic. It skillfully seeks to tell the story of, money inflation and public debt as enduring (and perhaps endearing) features of American life, rather than something we can one day overcome as our policy makers constantly promise. * Features interviews with today s top financial industry leaders and insiders. * Offer a glimpse into the future of the Federal Reserve and the role it will play in the coming years * Examines what the future may hold for the value of the U.S. dollar and the real incomes of future generations of Americans The gradual result of the situation we find ourselves in will inevitably lead to inflation, loss of economic opportunity, and a decline in the value of the dollar. This book will show you why, and reveal how we might be able to deal with it. Bookseller Inventory # AAH9780470875148

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Book Description Wiley. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Hardcover. 393 pages. Americans as a whole view themselves as reasonably prudent and sober people when it comes to matters of money, reflecting the puritan roots of the earliest European settlers. Yet as a community, we also seem to believe that we are entitled to a lifestyle that is well-beyond our current income, a tendency that goes back to the earliest days of the United States and particularly to get rich quick experiences ranging from the Gold Rush of the 1840s to the real estate bubble of the early 21st Century. Inflated examines this apparent conflict and makes the argument that such a world view is so ingrained in us that to expect the United States to live in a deflated world is simply unrealistic. It skillfully seeks to tell the story of, money inflation and public debt as enduring (and perhaps endearing) features of American life, rather than something we can one day overcome as our policy makers constantly promise. Features interviews with todays top financial industry leaders and insiders. Offer a glimpse into the future of the Federal Reserve and the role it will play in the coming yearsExamines what the future may hold for the value of the U. S. dollar and the real incomes of future generations of AmericansThe gradual result of the situation we find ourselves in will inevitably lead to inflation, loss of economic opportunity, and a decline in the value of the dollar. This book will show you why, and reveal how we might be able to deal with it. This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Hardcover. Bookseller Inventory # 9780470875148

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