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Summary

Consider the $20 bill. It has no more value, as a simple slip of paper, than Monopoly money. Yet even children recognize that tearing one into small pieces is an act of inconceivable stupidity. What makes a $20 bill actually worth $20?

In the third volume of his best-selling Naked series, Charles Wheelan uses this seemingly simple question to open the door to the surprisingly colorful world of money and banking. The search for an answer triggers countless other questions along the way: Why does paper money (fiat currency, if you want to be fancy) even exist? And why do some nations, like Zimbabwe in the 1990s, print so much of it that it becomes more valuable as toilet paper than as currency? How do central banks use the power of money creation to stop financial crises? Why does most of Europe share a common currency, and why has that arrangement caused so much trouble? And will payment apps, bitcoin, or other new technologies render all of this moot?

In Naked Money, Wheelan tackles all of the above and more, showing us how our banking and monetary systems should work in ideal situations and revealing the havoc and suffering caused in real situations by inflation, deflation, illiquidity, and other monetary effects. Throughout, Wheelan's uniquely bright-eyed, whimsical style brings levity and clarity to a subject often devoid of both. With illuminating stories from Argentina, Zimbabwe, North Korea, America, China, and elsewhere around the globe, Wheelan demystifies the curious world behind the paper in our wallets and the digits in our bank accounts.

©2016 Charles Wheelan (P)2016 Audible, Inc.

What members say

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Great content

This is my second reading of the book and I love it.
As someone who has never formally studied economics but finds it fascinating this strikes the balance between intelligent and fun

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Ken Beller
  • 30-04-16

Brilliant, Witty, Easy to Understand, & Well Read!

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Without reservation, I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to know more about, or talk intelligently about, the federal reserve, monetary and fiscal policy, or even the gold standard.

What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

Wheelen has an excellent understanding of the topic and writes about it in a fun and approachable way, making it enjoyable and easy to understand and without talking down to the reader or leaving out "it's too hard for most to understand" information. He also does a great job explaining complex and difficult ideas simply and elegantly, using multiple examples and coming at them from different perspectives.

Have you listened to any of Jonathan Davis’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

Jonathan Davis is an EXCELLENT narrator!.One of the very best.

What’s the most interesting tidbit you’ve picked up from this book?

Central banks have a real purpose in the world's monetary system. If not the best, it is certainly one of the best economic books I have ever read.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
  • barry chan
  • 09-05-18

Great insight into techoconomy of the future.

Great for future technology driven consumers and probing into the economy of the 21th century.

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  • Ashanti
  • 01-05-18

A Story told many times many ways

I have listened to many Books about Money , its History and Institution's behind it. What I like about this book is that the Author managed to write very well unbiased. He succeeded to write interestingly so that you keep listening and tied the story together that makes sense.
Highly recommended to Money buffs that would like there knowledge up.

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  • AppleCedAR
  • 26-04-18

the magic of money demistified

well written
well read
a fascinating trek through the system that are only feasible through fiat, currency and exchange

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  • RB
  • 16-04-18

Ab excellent book that answers many questions

If you could sum up Naked Money in three words, what would they be?

Must Read

What was one of the most memorable moments of Naked Money?

Deciphering the concept of money, demystifying some of the common (apparently wrong) ideas that you hear these days from politicians (like using the gold standard), describing the role of the federal reserve, and many more.

What does Jonathan Davis bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

He gave a good performance. I think that you could get the same ideas from reading the book as well. It's just that you can listen to an audiobook in situations where you cannot read a physical book (e.g. driving or exercising).

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

This was not a moving book but rather an illuminating book. Very instructive, educational, and a good use of your time. You will learn something here.

Any additional comments?

Overall, a very good book.

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  • JO RO
  • 24-01-17

really enjoyed

Explained a lot of complex topics in a relatively easy manner. I I feel I have a much better understanding of the currency and a global economy.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Glenn
  • 12-05-16

Now I understand how money works

Excellent audio with perfect narration.
I have listened to a number of books talk about money, however this one seemed to cover a lot of ground in an engaging way.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Brett R.
  • 24-12-17

Interesting but should be a 4h book

There are some interesting concepts discussed in this book but it is far too long winded. The author goes on many tangents and is not particularly good at explaining things or keeping the reader interested.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Kim Baer
  • 26-07-17

great book

loved it start to finish. entertaining with great support from current and historical thought. i would recommend it to anyone who uses money

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Denis
  • 26-08-16

Beyond expectations!

A lot of interesting information, I definitely have to listen to it one more time.

If you want to understand better the economy, it's definitely the right book!

0 of 1 people found this review helpful