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The Curse of Cash - by Kenneth S Rogoff (Hardcover)

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The Curse of Cash - by  Kenneth S Rogoff (Hardcover)
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Number of Pages: 296
Genre: Business + Money Management
Sub-Genre: Money & Monetary Policy
Format: Hardcover
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Age Range: Adult
Author: Kenneth S Rogoff
Language: English



Book Synopsis



From the New York Times bestselling author of This Time Is Different, "a fascinating and important book" (Ben Bernanke) about the surprising reasons why paper money lies at the heart of many of the world's most difficult problems

The world is drowning in cash--and it's making us poorer and less safe. In The Curse of Cash, acclaimed economist Kenneth Rogoff explores the past, present, and future of currency, from ancient China to today's cryptocurrencies, showing why, contrary to conventional economic wisdom, paper money surprisingly lies at the heart of some of the world's most difficult problems.

Cash is becoming increasingly marginalized in the legal economy, but there is a record amount of it in circulation--$1.4 trillion in U.S. dollars alone, or $4,200 for every American, mostly in $100 bills--and most of it is used to finance tax evasion, corruption, terrorism, the drug trade, human trafficking, and the rest of a massive global underground economy. Paper money also cripples monetary policy by making it impossible for central banks to lower interest rates significantly below zero, and The Curse of Cash explains why countries must establish effective negative interest rate policies to manage the next financial crisis.

Even if governments take better control of paper currency, perhaps by phasing out large-denomination notes, cryptocurrencies raise old and new issues. Looking to the future of public and private digital currency, The Curse of Cash cites the lesson of history: when it comes to currency, the private sector may innovate but eventually the government regulates and appropriates.

Provocative, engaging, and backed by compelling original arguments and evidence, The Curse of Cash is certain to spark widespread debate.



From the Back Cover



"A fascinating and important book. Kenneth Rogoff sets out a compelling and wide-ranging argument for weaning our economies off paper money."--Ben S. Bernanke, former chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve

"Highly engaging, thought-provoking, and persuasive, The Curse of Cash makes the case that time is running out for paper money. As Kenneth Rogoff has done before, this book sets the standard on a problem that will only become more important; it is also sure to influence discussions about the ability of central banks to deliver growth and financial stability. This is a must-read."--Mohamed El-Erian, author of The Only Game in Town: Central Banks, Instability, and Avoiding the Next Collapse

"Should we become a largely cashless society? Kenneth Rogoff makes a strong case that we should in this wide-ranging book, which touches on history, crime, technology, and monetary policy. Clearly and persuasively argued, this is a must-read."--Linda Yueh, author of China's Growth: The Making of an Economic Superpower

"In this fascinating and important book, Kenneth Rogoff argues forcefully that advanced economies should phase out cash because it facilitates crime and constrains policy. With a wealth of data and clear explanations, the book demystifies central banking and negative interest rates, thus elevating the discussion of both."--Anat R. Admati, coauthor of The Bankers' New Clothes: What's Wrong with Banking and What to Do about It

"Most people like cash. Not Kenneth Rogoff--for reasons ranging from its benefits to organized crime to the way it impedes antirecessionary monetary policy. He's written a tour de force explaining why. Reading it will make you both smile and think."--Alan S. Blinder, author of After the Music Stopped: The Financial Crisis, the Response, and the Work Ahead

"Ken Rogoff led the way in stressing the now widely accepted public policy benefits of eliminating large-denomination currency. His new book provides cogent arguments for an even bolder step: eliminating cash altogether. The proposal could not be more timely, and his arguments deserve consideration by policymakers and the general public alike."--Michael Woodford, Columbia University

"The Curse of Cash is brilliant and insightful. In addition to giving a vivid picture of the cash-crime nexus, The Curse of Cash is the book everyone should read about negative interest rates."--Miles Kimball, University of Michigan

"Original and fascinating, The Curse of Cash makes a totally convincing argument that advanced economies have many good reasons for phasing out paper currency as soon as possible. More clearly and with more evidence than anyone before, Kenneth Rogoff makes the case that cash feeds illegal behavior--and that illegal behavior probably now accounts for the majority of cash in circulation. Raising challenging questions, this book will be of wide interest."--John Kay, author of Other People's Money: The Real Business of Finance



Review Quotes




The Curse of Cash is a well-argued book and Rogoff is a good economist.---Pierre Lemieux, Regulation

[The Curse of Cash] is a fascinating contribution to the debate about what might be done to help get many wealthy countries out of an economic funk.---Clancy Yeates, Sydney Morning Herald

[The Curse of Cash] makes the case for encouraging the U.S. government to drastically scale back on $100 bills in circulation. The book . . . offers a thought-provoking theory for phasing out paper money, not eliminating it.---Susan Tompor, Detroit Free Press

[Rogoff] understands that getting rid of cash . . . is not exactly an easy sell. So Rogoff builds the case against cash, loading up on all the things wrong with paper money. . . . Rogoff's case against cash is so cogently argued that it's hard to believe that we haven't already gotten rid of paper bills and coins--or at least larger bills.---Mark Gimein, Strategy+Business.com,

A brilliant plea for the abolition of cash.---Otto Jacobi, Transfer

An excellent book on the history and the origins of cash, which also goes into much depth on the issue of cash constraining monetary policy.---Jon Hartley, Forbes.com,

An illuminating, provocative and fact-packed work that does make you wonder why on earth we allow so much cash to slosh around. It also exposes some well-worn pub truths as urban myths.---Patrick Hosking, The Times

In a brilliant and lucid new book, The Curse of Cash, the Harvard economist Kenneth Rogoff gives a fascinating and thorough account of the argument against cash.---John Lanchester, New York Times Magazine

In a witty new book, The Curse of Cash, economist Kenneth Rogoff argues the human race would be better off without paper money. He's onto something.---Hiawatha Bray, Boston Globe

Ken Rogoff, the Harvard economist, who argues in [his] new book that we should start to phase out cash is, for me, on the money.---Ben Chu, Independent

Ken Rogoff's The Curse of Cash is an accessible and provocative book--one of the best I have read on economic policy.---Stephen Williamson, Business Economics

Like a chess player playing many opponents simultaneously, Rogoff views 'the curse of cash' through several prisms, and offers a compelling rationale of the merits of a 'less cash' economy.---Venky Vembu, The Hindu

Lively and clearly written.---Geoffrey Wood, Central Banking Journal

Longlisted for the Financial Times and McKinsey Business Book of the Year 2016

Meticulously written, [The Curse of Cash] covers everything needed for such a monetary reform. But the book is not excessively polemical. Rogoff details almost all the arguments against tinkering with paper currency, then labors to refute or defuse them.---Peter Garber, Finance & Development

One of Bloomberg's Best Books of 2016

One of Financial Times (FT.com) Best Economics Books of 2016

Rogoff is always worth listening to. . . . Where Rogoff is on very solid ground is when he says the process of weaning us further off cash should begin with the abolition of high-denomination notes.---David Smith, Sunday Times

Rogoff makes a compelling case for the crime-fighting power of his idea.---David Nicklaus, St. Louis Post Dispatch

Selected for Canada's Financial Post Best Personal Finance and Economics Books of 2016

The great accomplishment of his book is that his arguments are convincing. . . . It's clear and coherent, and even if you disagree with him in the end, chances are you'll think a little bit differently about something of which most of us give no thought whatsoever.---Bethany McLean, Washington Post

This book is a rare bird indeed: accessible, absorbing and often deadpan funny.---Brian Bethune, Maclean's

Thought-provoking.---Lisa Kaaki, Arab News

Winner of the 2017 PROSE Award in Economics, Association of American Publishers

[A] fascinating economic manifesto. . . . [The Curse of Cash] is an absorbing exploration of the uses, and misuses, of currency, and its intractability in controlling modern economies.-- "Publishers Weekly"

Economist Rogoff, the former chief economist of the International Monetary Fund, offers a detailed case for eliminating paper money. . . . For both the elimination of paper money and the employment of negative interest rates to combat deflationary recessions, Rogoff painstakingly presents both the advantages and the drawbacks. . . . Provocative.-- "Library Journal"

Raising challenging questions, this book provides thoughtful insights on a subject that is likely to engage monetary policy arena for time to come.-- "Cover Drive"

Recommended for readers who seek a greater understanding of negative interest rates and the possibility of eliminating cash.-- "Choice"

You may not have any in your wallet, but $100 bills make up an astonishing 80 percent of the U.S. currency in circulation. In his new book, The Curse of Cash, Kenneth Rogoff . . . proposes a plan to phase out most paper currency in the United States and other economically advanced nations, keeping only low-denomination notes to create what he terms a 'less-cash' society.-- "MIT Technology Review"



About the Author



Kenneth S. Rogoff, the Thomas D. Cabot Professor of Public Policy at Harvard University and former chief economist of the International Monetary Fund, is the coauthor of the New York Times bestseller This Time Is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly (Princeton). He appears frequently in the national media and writes a monthly newspaper column that is syndicated in more than fifty countries. He lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts