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Publisher's Summary

Consider the $20 bill. It has no more value, as a simple slip of paper, than Monopoly money. Yet even children recognize that tearing one into small pieces is an act of inconceivable stupidity. What makes a $20 bill actually worth $20?

In the third volume of his best-selling Naked series, Charles Wheelan uses this seemingly simple question to open the door to the surprisingly colorful world of money and banking. The search for an answer triggers countless other questions along the way: Why does paper money (fiat currency, if you want to be fancy) even exist? And why do some nations, like Zimbabwe in the 1990s, print so much of it that it becomes more valuable as toilet paper than as currency? How do central banks use the power of money creation to stop financial crises? Why does most of Europe share a common currency, and why has that arrangement caused so much trouble? And will payment apps, bitcoin, or other new technologies render all of this moot?

In Naked Money, Wheelan tackles all of the above and more, showing us how our banking and monetary systems should work in ideal situations and revealing the havoc and suffering caused in real situations by inflation, deflation, illiquidity, and other monetary effects. Throughout, Wheelan's uniquely bright-eyed, whimsical style brings levity and clarity to a subject often devoid of both. With illuminating stories from Argentina, Zimbabwe, North Korea, America, China, and elsewhere around the globe, Wheelan demystifies the curious world behind the paper in our wallets and the digits in our bank accounts.

©2016 Charles Wheelan (P)2016 Audible, Inc.

What listeners say about Naked Money

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  • TK
  • 2021-02-10

Great Book, Terrible Narrator

The book was great. But, I'd recommend just getting the hard copy. The narrator irritated me so much, I considered turning off the book many times. His tonality and volume changes too much. He narrates this book like it's a fiction story, which it isn't. He tries to be too dramatic by shifting his tonality to the extremes. Sometimes, he drops his voice so low, I can hardly hear what he's saying and I have to repeat that section 2 or 3 times. It was very frustrating and I would not recommend this audiobook due to this narration issue. The contents of the book was great to understand the complex financial system. I recommend the hard copy book.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Thirsty Mind
  • 2018-11-10

This is a beautiful audiobook, and well-narrated.

This turned out to be a great book. The last half explained all the major dynamics of international economies of recent decades that I have wondered about:

Japan's deflation problem
The European Union's dilemma
China's Balance of Payments situation
The 2008 economic collapse
Is Bitcoin anything?

http://a.co/gLTp1SE

The narration was nuanced and entertaining.

12 people found this helpful

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  • Ken Beller
  • 2016-04-30

Brilliant, Witty, Easy to Understand, & Well Read!

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Without reservation, I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to know more about, or talk intelligently about, the federal reserve, monetary and fiscal policy, or even the gold standard.

What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

Wheelen has an excellent understanding of the topic and writes about it in a fun and approachable way, making it enjoyable and easy to understand and without talking down to the reader or leaving out "it's too hard for most to understand" information. He also does a great job explaining complex and difficult ideas simply and elegantly, using multiple examples and coming at them from different perspectives.

Have you listened to any of Jonathan Davis’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

Jonathan Davis is an EXCELLENT narrator!.One of the very best.

What’s the most interesting tidbit you’ve picked up from this book?

Central banks have a real purpose in the world's monetary system. If not the best, it is certainly one of the best economic books I have ever read.

7 people found this helpful

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  • RB
  • 2018-04-16

Ab excellent book that answers many questions

If you could sum up Naked Money in three words, what would they be?

Must Read

What was one of the most memorable moments of Naked Money?

Deciphering the concept of money, demystifying some of the common (apparently wrong) ideas that you hear these days from politicians (like using the gold standard), describing the role of the federal reserve, and many more.

What does Jonathan Davis bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

He gave a good performance. I think that you could get the same ideas from reading the book as well. It's just that you can listen to an audiobook in situations where you cannot read a physical book (e.g. driving or exercising).

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

This was not a moving book but rather an illuminating book. Very instructive, educational, and a good use of your time. You will learn something here.

Any additional comments?

Overall, a very good book.

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  • Dan Collins
  • 2019-10-17

I actually listened to this one twice

As a leader in IT I considered it wise that I learned more about money. In addition to that I had recently developed an interest in central banking and was curious how that worked. I am not foolish enough to believe that after listening to this book, even twice like I have, that I have any level of mastery of these deep and complex topics, but I do feel more confident to talk about them conversationally. I recommend this book as a primer for anybody in a similar situation.

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  • AppleCedAR
  • 2018-04-26

the magic of money demistified

well written
well read
a fascinating trek through the system that are only feasible through fiat, currency and exchange

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  • Anonymous User
  • 2021-05-19

Great money book

This book answered so many questions I had about money in an accessible and entertaining way - strongly recommend it

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  • wbiro
  • 2020-07-01

Good Stuff for the Layman

The book will show you how much you do not know about money, and you may process some of the information (simple and clear) upon listening the first time.

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  • Daniel Gerard
  • 2020-02-18

Wonderful book for both beginners and experts

I’m a finance professional and have been working in financial markets for 2 decades and found this perspective of this book engaging and informative. It would also be something I would recommend to my mother. It’s hard to achieve that balance and Wheelan has done it. Strongly recommend

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  • Anonymous User
  • 2019-10-15

This is a great book

Reading this for my AP Economics class and it's actually pretty good for a book in school.

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  • barry chan
  • 2018-05-09

Great insight into techoconomy of the future.

Great for future technology driven consumers and probing into the economy of the 21th century.