** Smart Money by Andrew Palmer

Smart Money: How High-Stakes Financial Innovation is Reshaping Our World—For the Better starts from the 2007-2008 financial crisis, but in a very different direction than other books: that of optimism that financial innovations are, in fact, good for us. The author starts with two interesting points: that money is a way to time-travel (think about it: save today to spend tomorrow — or vice-versa), and that secured lending (to buy a house, for instance) is dangerous since it does not consider the creditworthiness of the borrower.

He then proceeds to tell a long and interesting history of financial systems since antiquity, pointing out key inventions — and problems, too, so the book is not a Pollyanesque sham. It’s clear that, as in other fields, innovation will not come from the large-established players.


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