Janet Gleeson

Read December 2002

An enjoyable book about one of the early financial bubbles. Its story is strongly related to the creation of fiat money and the attendant risks of inflation. The story is told around the life of John Law, an intriguing Scotsman who was at the heart of this storm (though, in keeping with modern book title hyperbole, the book incorrectly credits him with "inventing modern finance"). The book won plaudits from the business press, but don't expect to see more than a superficial discussion of the fascinating economic principles at work. On the other hand, reading it will force you to contemplate these for yourself. And the thoroughness of the index should shame most other popular press authors and publishers.

(Hmm, only while trying to organize my reviews did I notice that she also wrote The Arcanum.)