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“Mervyn King may well have written the most important book to come out of the financial crisis. Agree or disagree, King’s visionary ideas deserve the attention of everyone from economics students to heads of state.” —Lawrence H. Summers Something is wrong with our banking system. We all sense that, but Mervyn King knows it firsthand; his ten years at the helm of the Bank of England, including at the height of the financial crisis, revealed profound truths about the mechanisms of our capitalist society. In The End of Alchemy he offers us an essential work about the history and future of money and banking, the keys to modern finance. The Industrial Revolution built the foundation of our modern capitalist age. Yet the flowering of technological innovations during that dynamic period relied on the widespread adoption of two much older ideas: the creation of paper money and the invention of banks that issued credit. We take these systems for granted today, yet at their core both ideas were revolutionary and almost magical. Common paper became as precious as gold, and risky long-term loans were transformed into safe short-term bank deposits. As King argues, this is financial alchemy—the creation of extraordinary financial powers that defy reality and common sense. Faith in these powers has led to huge benefits; the liquidity they create has fueled economic growth for two centuries now. However, they have also produced an unending string of economic disasters, from hyperinflations to banking collapses to the recent global recession and current stagnation. How do we reconcile the potent strengths of these ideas with their inherent weaknesses? King draws on his unique experience to present fresh interpretations of these economic forces and to point the way forward for the global economy. His bold solutions cut through current overstuffed and needlessly complex legislation to provide a clear path to durable prosperity and the end of overreliance on the alchemy of our financial ancestors.

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Genre: Business & Economics
Author: Mervyn King
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Release: 2016-03-21
File: 368 Pages
ISBN-13: 9780393247039

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Shortlisted for the Orwell Prize 2016 We all depend on the finance sector. We need it to store our money, manage our payments, finance housing stock, restore infrastructure, fund retirement and support new business. But these roles comprise only a tiny sliver of the sector's activity: the vast majority of lending is within the finance sector. So what is it all for? What is the purpose of this activity? And why is it so profitable? John Kay, a distinguished economist with wide experience of the financial sector, argues that the industry's perceived profitability is partly illusory, and partly an appropriation of wealth created elsewhere - of other people's money. The financial sector, he shows, has grown too large, detached itself from ordinary business and everyday life, and has become an industry that mostly trades with itself, talks to itself, and judges itself by reference to standards which it has itself generated. And the outside world has itself adopted those standards, bailing out financial institutions that have failed all of us through greed and mismanagement. We need finance, but today we have far too much of a good thing. In Other People's Money John Kay shows in his inimitable style what has gone wrong in the dark heart of finance.

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Genre: Business & Economics
Author: John Kay
Publisher: Profile Books
Release: 2015-09-03
File: 353 Pages
ISBN-13: 9781782831549

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A special 25th anniversary edition of the extraordinary international bestseller, including a new Foreword by Paulo Coelho. Combining magic, mysticism, wisdom and wonder into an inspiring tale of self-discovery, The Alchemist has become a modern classic, selling millions of copies around the world and transforming the lives of countless readers across generations. Paulo Coelho's masterpiece tells the mystical story of Santiago, an Andalusian shepherd boy who yearns to travel in search of a worldly treasure. His quest will lead him to riches far different—and far more satisfying—than he ever imagined. Santiago's journey teaches us about the essential wisdom of listening to our hearts, of recognizing opportunity and learning to read the omens strewn along life's path, and, most importantly, to follow our dreams.

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Genre: Fiction
Author: Paulo Coelho
Publisher: HarperCollins
Release: 2015-02-24
File: 208 Pages
ISBN-13: 9780062416216

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'Disknowledge': knowing something isn't true, but believing it anyway. In this book, Katherine Eggert explores the crumbling state of learning in the 16th and 17th centuries. Even as the shortcomings of Renaissance humanism became plain to see, many intellectuals of the age had little choice but to treat their familiar knowledge systems as though they still held. Humanism thus came to share the status of alchemy: a way of thinking simultaneously productive and suspect, reasonable and wrongheaded.

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Genre: History
Author: Katherine Eggert
Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press
Release: 2015-10-02
File: 384 Pages
ISBN-13: 9780812247510

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In the middle of the fourteenth century, the Franciscan friar John of Rupescissa sent a dramatic warning to his followers: the last days were coming; the apocalypse was near. Deemed insane by the Christian church, Rupescissa had spent more than a decade confined to prisons in one case wrapped in chains and locked under a staircase yet ill treatment could not silence the friar's apocalyptic message. Religious figures who preached the end times were hardly rare in the late Middle Ages, but Rupescissa's teachings were unique. He claimed that knowledge of the natural world, and alchemy in particular, could act as a defense against the plagues and wars of the last days. His melding of apocalyptic prophecy and quasi-scientific inquiry gave rise to a new genre of alchemical writing and a novel cosmology of heaven and earth. Most important, the friar's research represented a remarkable convergence between science and religion. In order to understand scientific knowledge today, Leah DeVun asks that we revisit Rupescissa's life and the critical events of his age the Black Death, the Hundred Years' War, the Avignon Papacy through his eyes. Rupescissa treated alchemy as medicine (his work was the conceptual forerunner of pharmacology) and represented the emerging technologies and views that sought to combat famine, plague, religious persecution, and war. The advances he pioneered, along with the exciting strides made by his contemporaries, shed critical light on later developments in medicine, pharmacology, and chemistry.

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Genre: History
Author: Leah DeVun
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Release: 2009-03-03
File: 272 Pages
ISBN-13: 9780231519342

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Decodes the message held by this enigmatic monument, revealing the alchemical secret of time and the fate of humanity.

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Genre: Body, Mind & Spirit
Author: Jay Weidner
Publisher: Inner Traditions / Bear & Co
Release: 2003-12-10
File: 528 Pages
ISBN-13: 089281084X

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In the bestselling tradition of Stuff Matters and The Disappearing Spoon: a clever and engaging look at materials, the innovations they made possible, and how these technologies changed us. In The Alchemy of Us, scientist and science writer Ainissa Ramirez examines eight inventions—clocks, steel rails, copper communication cables, photographic film, light bulbs, hard disks, scientific labware, and silicon chips—and reveals how they shaped the human experience. Ramirez tells the stories of the woman who sold time, the inventor who inspired Edison, and the hotheaded undertaker whose invention pointed the way to the computer. She describes, among other things, how our pursuit of precision in timepieces changed how we sleep; how the railroad helped commercialize Christmas; how the necessary brevity of the telegram influenced Hemingway's writing style; and how a young chemist exposed the use of Polaroid's cameras to create passbooks to track black citizens in apartheid South Africa. These fascinating and inspiring stories offer new perspectives on our relationships with technologies. Ramirez shows not only how materials were shaped by inventors but also how those materials shaped culture, chronicling each invention and its consequences—intended and unintended. Filling in the gaps left by other books about technology, Ramirez showcases little-known inventors—particularly people of color and women—who had a significant impact but whose accomplishments have been hidden by mythmaking, bias, and convention. Doing so, she shows us the power of telling inclusive stories about technology. She also shows that innovation is universal—whether it's splicing beats with two turntables and a microphone or splicing genes with two test tubes and CRISPR.

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Genre: Science
Author: Ainissa Ramirez
Publisher: MIT Press
Release: 2020-03-03
File: 328 Pages
ISBN-13: 9780262358088

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An accessible history of alchemy by a leading world authority explores its development and relationship with myriad disciplines and pursuits, tracing its heyday in early modern Europe while profiling some of history's most colorful alchemists and describing the author's recreation of famous alchemy recipes.

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Genre: History
Author: Lawrence Principe
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Release: 2012-11-01
File: 281 Pages
ISBN-13: 9780226682952

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John Dee's angel conversations have been an enigmatic facet of Elizabethan England's most famous natural philosopher's life and work. Professor Harkness contextualizes Dee's angel conversations within the natural philosophical, religious and social contexts of his time. She argues that they represent a continuing development of John Dee's earlier concerns and interests. These conversations include discussions of the natural world, the practice of natural philosophy, and the apocalypse.

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Genre: Technology & Engineering
Author: Deborah E. Harkness
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Release: 1999-11-13
File: Pages
ISBN-13: 9781107268593

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People say 'love never dies'… but love might be the death of Seraphina. Seraphina has been alive since the Middle Ages, when her boyfriend, Cyrus, managed to perfect a method of alchemy that lets them swap bodies with any human being. She doesn't want to die, so she finds young people who are on the brink of death, and inhabits their bodies. When we meet Sera, she has landed in the body of a girl named Kailey who was about to die in a car accident. For the first time, Sera falls in love with the life of the person she's inhabiting. Sera also falls for the boy next door, Noah. And soon it's clear the feelings are returned. Unfortunately, she can never kiss Noah, because for her to touch lips with a human would mean the human's death. And she has even more to worry about: Cyrus is chasing her, and if she stays in one place for long, she puts herself -and the people she's grown to care for - in danger.

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Genre: Juvenile Fiction
Author: Avery Williams
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Release: 2012-04-26
File: 256 Pages
ISBN-13: 9780857076823

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