Archive for November 16th, 2011

Purchase: Amazon

I write this review during a time in the United States where Occupy Wall Street and protests against banks is on the front page news. In light of the attention on economics and banking, this book is one that would serve as a Christian introduction to the concept of money, and banking. I thoroughly recommend this book, since North’s argument follows and is presented clearly. Here I can only highlight a few points from the work: North makes the argument that historically money is valuable socially (and not when someone is alone on abandoned island) and not the invention of the state, since it was around even before state monopoly of money. Bringing his theology to bear, North states that the only one who can have absolute monopoly of anything is God, given our corrupt human nature and therefore government standardized money is not going to be a good thing, and has been the result of much ill (such as printing more money bills which leads to inflation that then affects the prices and quality of products, etc). North also explains in his book the difference between banking and lending to the poor with no interests, nothing that the Bible does not condemn the former (and passages even supporting it) while condemning the latter. North’s argument against the Federal Reserve is filled with interesting historical facts and paints a picture of the irrationality and danger of the system. I have always heard rumors that North was all for the gold standard backing the dollar, but I thought it was good to finally read in his own words that he was for the competition of gold, silver, dollars or yen as money and hence not an arbitrary position that gold must necessarily be the standard. This is important to note, and he even argues that one must not forget gold has no intrinstic value, though it does have historical power as currency and stable since more gold are rarely mined for given geological limitation and the costs of mining for them. Again, excellent work. I have also enjoyed his summary after every chapter, that capture each point made with a sentence. This is useful for readers to go back afterward and consult the summary without necessarily reading the whole chapter again.


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