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Money for Nothing

Thomas Levenson


ISBN: 9781784973940
ANNOTATION:
A narrative of early capitalism's most famous scandal, a speculative frenzy that nearly bankrupted the British state during the hot summer of 1720 - and paradoxically led to the birth of modern finance.
Money for Nothing
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ISBN: 9781784973940
ANNOTATION:
A narrative of early capitalism's most famous scandal, a speculative frenzy that nearly bankrupted the British state during the hot summer of 1720 - and paradoxically led to the birth of modern finance.

Annotation

A narrative of early capitalism's most famous scandal, a speculative frenzy that nearly bankrupted the British state during the hot summer of 1720 - and paradoxically led to the birth of modern finance.

Publisher Description

A narrative of early capitalism's most famous scandal, a speculative frenzy that nearly bankrupted the British state during the hot summer of 1720 - and paradoxically led to the birth of modern finance.

The South Sea Company was formed to trade with Asian and Latin American countries. But it had almost no ships and did precious little trade. Instead it got into financial fraud on a massive scale, taking over the government's debt and promising to pay the state out of the money received from the shares it sold. And how they sold. In the summer of 1720 the share price rocketed and everyone was making money. Until the carousel stopped, and thousands lost their shirts. Isaac Newton, Alexander Pope and others lost heavily. Tom Levenson's superb account of the South Sea bubble is not just the story of a huge scam, but is also the story of the birth of modern financial capitalism: the idea that you can invest in future prosperity and that governments can borrow money to make things happen, like funding the rise of British naval and mercantile power. These dreamers and fraudsters may have bankrupted Britain, but they made the world rich.

Author Biography

Thomas Levenson is the author of Newton and the Counterfeiter, a bestselling book about Newton's time as Master of the Royal Mint. He published The Hunt for Vulcan with Head of Zeus in 2016, a book shortlisted for the Science Book Prize. He teaches at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and is a frequent visitor to London.

Review

PRAISE FOR THE HUNT FOR VULCAN:

'Equal to the best science writing I've read ... Beautifully written, rich in historical context, deeply researched it is above all great story telling ... Gives a true picture of the scientific enterprise, with all its good and bad guesses, wishful thinking, passion, human ego, and a desire to know and understand this strange and magnificent cosmos we find ourselves in' Alan Lightman, author of the international bestseller Einstein's Dreams.

'Packed with colourful anecdotes, this is a vivid, well-paced and thoroughly enjoyable tale of human delusion and ultimate scientific triumph' Marcus Chown.

'His impressive talents as a good old-fashioned storyteller [...] provoke such a sense of narrative excitement. He's a thoroughly user-friendly explicator of the more abstruse notions of theoretical physics and relativity theory' Sunday Times.

Review Quote

PRAISE FOR THOMAS LEVENSON : 'His impressive talents as a good old-fashioned storyteller [...] provoke such a sense of narrative excitement' The Sunday Times , on The Hunt for Vulcan . 'Levenson's style gives life to each of the episodes of his story with good humour and a lightness of touch' TLS , on The Hunt for Vulcan . 'Levenson tells the story with considerable panache' Telegraph , on Newton and the Counterfeiter .

Promotional "Headline"

A brilliant narrative of early capitalism's most famous scandal, a speculative frenzy that nearly bankrupted the British state during the hot summer of 1720 - and paradoxically led to the birth of modern finance.

Description for Sales People

If we want to understand the crash of 2008, and current financial disasters, we need to understand what happened in 1720.

Product Details

Author
Thomas Levenson
Pages
336
Publisher
Head Of Zeus
ISBN-10
1784973947
ISBN-13
9781784973940
Format
Hardcover
Subtitle
The South Sea Bubble and the Invention of Modern Capitalism
Country of Publication
United Kingdom
Year
2020
Short Title
Money for Nothing
Language
English
Audience
General/Trade
Publication Date
2020-08-05