Saturday, January 28, 2012

here comes the end of money!

From Publishers Weekly
Money is a hot topic--Wired magazine contributing editor Wolman observes that it is paradoxically something we think about "always and never." Tangible cash, on the other hand, is something "we think we know." However, Wolman believes that physical cash will soon cease to be. He explores this compelling possibility by talking with a number of fascinating characters, such as Pastor Glenn Guest of Bowman, GA, who, citing the biblical book of Revelation, believes the end of cash is the beginning of the end of the world; convicted counterfeiter Bernard von NotHaus; and Delhiite Sonu Kumar, who uses his cell phone to remotely update his State Bank of India account, a technological advancement that Wolman notes could be "the angel of death" to the paper and coin system. Cash alternatives are already in place, whether we acknowledge or recognize them as such, and Wolman (A Left-Hand Turn Around the World) reviews a few, including Kilowatt Cards and Disney Dollars. Just as interesting is Wolman's discussion of money, culture, and poverty: is cash truly--as Ignacio Mas of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation claims--the "enemy of the poor"? If cash goes away, will that really lead to financial inclusion for the world's poor? Wolman's writing is clear and thoughtful, and his use of characters and places add color and personality to this excellent investigation of a timely topic.

4 comments:

Zeb Green said...

Looks like a great book, I'll have to check it out. After all I love Righting the Mother Tongue.

Francisco Ortega said...

Congratulations for this book.

As it seems reasonable to continue to take more or less like the money, this is a proposal of local electronic currency (electronic, yet local). And perhaps a new theory of value. On my name.

Congratulations on the book, Mr. Wolman.

David Wolman said...

Thank you both!

Anonymous said...

This story is a hoot. One you need to differentiate between money and currency. “Gold and silver are money. Everything else is credit” - JP Morgan. Secondly, electronic currency is probably less safe than physical currency. Unauthorized transactions have moved me away from using digital currency. Example, shutterfly was charging me $20 a month after using there service. They said I entered into a contract with them by clicking a page. Verizon did the dame to me. Digital currency and it's continual debasement is nothing more that slavery.