This heritage edition is a precise reprint of the much-lauded 1891 English translation of this seminal text. Written by French master magician Robert Houdin, and translated by Joseph Foster, this book is truly a two-edged sword. A thorough treatise
At some point, money will become less cheap and the process will go into reverse. This is why the financial world is hanging on every word that the chairman of the US Federal Reserve, Janet Yellen, utters. It is also the reason behind the current obsession with the efficacy of negative interest rates in certain parts of the world.
In Denmark and Switzerland, banks have to pay to place money on deposit with their central banks. Some are passing this on to customers by, for example, increasing mortgage rates. And
why is that important? It means that central bank monetary policy decisions that have been designed to stimulate the economy are actually resulting in a tightening of credit. This is, needless
to say, far from ideal. It could be among the first, faint signs that the world’s central banks are running out of room for manoeuvre.
Are we close to the crucial point in every crisis – sometimes known as the Minsky moment – when overconfidence flips into fear? This is what causes markets to crash, banks to start
withdrawing credit and economies to plunge into recession. (The Japanese authorities burst the bunny bubble by imposing a “rabbit” tax: prices slumped and destitute Samurai ended up
eating their portfolios.)