I just completed a book entitled The Power of Gold: The History of an Obsession. It was lent to me by a colleague at work. He and I talk monetary policy on a fairly regular basis, so he thought I’d like to give this book a read.
In brief, this is a book which tracks the use of gold from a monetary perspective through most of human civilization. If you’re at all interested in history, then this book is definitely right up your alley. It takes a look at world events from a perspective that you won’t find in many other sources. Primarily that means focusing on how gold was (or was not) the main focal point of money and trade. I personally didn’t care for the author’s occasional forays into discussions of the decor of various palaces and whatnot, but they weren’t too distracting. Beyond that, it was a very well written book, and a pleasant read.
The really interesting stuff from a trading perspective, of course, is the latter part of the book where it gets to modern times. I personally found the whole discussion of the 20th century, which was probably the last third or more of the book, to be the most meaningful. The author really presents an excellent discussion of various perspectives and efforts related to different countries being on or off the gold standard and how that all played out in both domestic and global economies. Even the technicians out there could find this a really interesting book, if not really something which will contribute much to their trading strategies.
One of the things which has come up in modern political, social, and economic discussions is the idea of going back on the gold standard. There have been some very prominent proponents. If you want to get an idea of what that might look like, how that might play out in the global trade and economic modern environment, you’ll definitely want to give The Power of Gold a read. It will really have you thinking about the complexity of it all, and the implications.