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Confidence Game Hardcover – June 7, 1995


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 608 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; First Edition edition (June 7, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0684801825
  • ISBN-13: 978-0684801827
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.2 x 1.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,992,877 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Former Forbes reporter Solomon believes that the tiny, secretive circle of unelected central bankers who manage the world's money supply and shape key financial policies wields too much power. The central bankers include U.S. Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan, German Bundesbank president Karl Otto Pohl and Bank of England governor Eddie George and their compeers in Japan, Switzerland, France, Italy and Canada. In a gripping and disturbing report, Solomon credits central bankers with major accomplishments: beating back inflation in the early 1980s, staving off financial depression during the Third World debt crisis of 1982, checking the near free fall of the dollar, and rescuing shaky banking systems following the 1987 crash of the U.S. stock market. But Solomon is alarmed by central bankers' failure to cope with the rise of "stateless" capital, and he stresses that political reforms are needed to democratically regulate this "floating monetary nonsystem" driven by investors' whims or manias. Through some 300 interviews with bankers, finance ministers, politicians and investors, Solomon has pierced the tight-lipped, shadowy world of central banking in a dramatic expose.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Solomon, an economics journalist, puts forth two interconnected themes in this work: central bankers' increasingly important role in the trillion dollar- per-day international monetary arena and the preliminaries and consequences of the great stock market crash around the world during October 1987. The crash itself, he says, was rooted in the "new" money?which is variously described as stateless, volatile, mobile, "hot," and global. Computer and telecommunications technologies intensified its "profit-expansive logic" and speed. After the collapse of the Bretton Woods system in 1971, central bankers had to step into the vacuum created by floating exchange rates and flat money to try to maintain some international monetary and financial stability (for this, Volcker and Greenspan get good grades). This book is topical, considering today's strong similarities to that era, but it demands more than rudimentary financial sophistication. Business collections could consider this.?Alex Wenner, Indiana Univ. Libs., Bloomington
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

More About the Author

Steven Solomon is a journalist who has written for The New York Times, Business Week, The Economist, Forbes, and Esquire, and has commented on NPR's Marketplace. He is also the author of The Confidence Game. Solomon lives in Washington, D.C.

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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Betty Burks on April 28, 2005
Format: Hardcover
In the late 1980s, the "central" bankers made one historic political break through rebuilding those international rules -- the world's first common standards for bank capital adequacy. I'm sure that is where Jake Butcher got the money to bring the 1982 World's Fair to Knoxville, Tennessee. Probably what caused his and his brother's banking empires to crumble and fall a few years later and they exited this town in disgrace.

Howard Baker, from this area, and Japan's finance minister Kiichi Miyazawa (later Japanese prime minister) had struck another bilateral bargain: to elect George Bush in November, 1988. Guess that's why we have so many Japanese students at UT, Knoxville?

Japan is called the world's largest creditor nation. After we rebuilt Japan, now here we are having to borrow money from that country! Any sudden capital cut off from Japan was obvious. If America went down, Japan's export-dependent economy was all but doomed to follow in what would be the economic equivalent of a nucelar WWIII, according to this journalist. Steven Solomon traveled around the world twice and gained the 'confidence' of some of the people involved.

The U.S. - Japan tensions were symptomatic of a unique juncture in world economic history; for the first time, the world's reserve currency country was also its largest debtor. They now own most of America, buying land and our movie and media industries. The major electronics are manufactured there. Junk (collectibles) are our major import from China.

Others playing roles back then include: James Baker, Donald Regan, and G. William Miller, all were U. S.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Golden Lion VINE VOICE on December 23, 2005
Format: Hardcover
The fed, a private bank, arbitrates the fierce competition for political control of the money supply between the financial forces of the market and the spending of the government. The capitalist designed the central bank because they wanted to lend money. The expansion and contraction of the money supply is managed by the Fed giving the central bank power of the money supply, increase or decrease of employment, and shifts in the swing of the business cycle. The logic of the capitalist is the maximize profits and this means always the preserving the value of accumulated wealth. The primary purpose of the democratic liberal state is too ensuring liberty, equality, defense, and the economic welfare of its citizens. The capitalist distrust the government because they believe governments will seek a monopoly over the money. However, both parties share the same goal, economic prosperity.

So, the two branches of power, Government and the Market receive money flowing through the control of the Fed: The first through the Federal Reserve Bank of New York which links directly too the inner circle of bankers that control the money injecting into wall street and the second through the Treasury Secretary, the main ambassador to the government. The treasure produces high-powered money is invested into US securities having the net affect of expanding the money supply. The Fed is not immune from the market force, the Fed must steer the economy through the peaks and valleys of the business cycle and positions itself in a place of authority to maintain confidence in the currency. The fed operates within a sphere of intelligence; autonomously functioning to safeguard the orderly functioning of the financial system, which provides the financial funding, too drive a market economy.
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