‘De zondvloed’ van Adam Tooze uitgebaggerd

De Eerste Wereldoorlog heeft diepe sporen nagelaten. Veel van de huidige staatsgrenzen in Oost-Europa – van Finland tot Roemenië – werden vastgelegd tijdens of kort na de Grote Oorlog. De Oktoberrevolutie en de Balfour-verklaring dateren van november 1917. En dan zwijgen we nog over het Sykes-Picotverdrag uit 1916, dat Syrië en Irak verdeelde.

Op het eerste zicht lijken de gevolgen van de Eerste Wereldoorlog simpel. In het Verdrag van Versailles krijgt Duitsland de schuld van de oorlog. De verliezer wordt tot zware herstelbetalingen gedwongen. Daaruit volgt dan onvermijdelijk de Tweede Wereldoorlog, waarin Duitsland het opnieuw opneemt tegen de Britten, Fransen, Russen en Amerikanen.

De werkelijkheid is echter veel genuanceerder. De oppervlakkige analyse hierboven verklaart bijvoorbeeld niet waarom Italië en Japan – overwinnaars in de Eerste Wereldoorlog – in de Tweede Wereldoorlog de kant van Duitsland kiezen.

Perspectief en verhaal

In zijn boek De zondvloed bestudeert geschiedenisprofessor Adam Tooze de relaties tussen de grootmachten in de periode 1916-1931. Continue reading “‘De zondvloed’ van Adam Tooze uitgebaggerd”

Can we avoid another financial crisis?

Can we avoid another financial crisis? Ten years after the Global Financial Crisis (GFC), we’ll hear the opinions of countless pundits about the likelihood of a new crisis. However, few commenters will be able to answer the question as profoundly as professor Steve Keen. Keen elaborated his views in the 2017 book with the appropriate title Can we avoid another financial crisis? Continue reading “Can we avoid another financial crisis?”

The Magic of Money

This is a review of a book written over 50 years ago by a central banker.

Based on that introduction, even most finance geeks will probably think “boring!” or “irrelevant!”. Until you learn it has Nazis, hyperinflation and the Nuremberg trials in it. And those are not even the interesting parts. Continue reading “The Magic of Money”

Books on money and banking: a classification

Let’s say you want to read a book about money and banking. What options do you have?

As it turns out, quite a few. Here’s my classification of the literature into six broad themes. The discussion is limited to books that deal with banking and the monetary system. I don’t cover the popular genre of personal finance books that tell the reader how to invest or how to minimize taxes. The books mentioned in this post are illustrations of categories. They should not be interpreted as endorsements. Continue reading “Books on money and banking: a classification”

My favorite finance and economics podcasts

Podcasts – radio shows you can download – are a great medium when you’re driving, in the gym, or cooking dinner.

Here is my current top four podcasts that deal with money and economics in general. For each series, I’ve picked one episode that I enjoyed a lot. Continue reading “My favorite finance and economics podcasts”

Blog highlights of 2016

When I started my blog, I worried that there wouldn’t be enough interesting topics to write about on a regular basis. I was wrong…

Politically, 2016 was the year of Brexit and Donald “Mr. Brexit” Trump.

If you read one single article by me, let it be How to win votes.

Written shortly after the Brexit referendum, it anticipated what the mainstream media ‘discovered’ following the election of Trump. Including fake news, the role of hackers, online bubbles, demographic voting blocks, elite rejection of election results…

Rereading my piece What voters like about Trump, I can say that I covered all relevant aspects months before Trump’s victory forced the Belgian press to take him seriously. And I pointed out the backlash against social justice warriors which is also happening in Europe, e.g. due to their crusade against Zwarte Piet (note that my post was written in June!).

By clicking on the Trump tag, you can find more posts on Trump’s presidential campaign and the reaction of the press.

On finance and economics, I have written long posts on central banking, such as

How central banks influence interest rates by quantitative easing

Helicopter money part I, part II and part III

Central bank liabilities and profits

Furthermore, some economic posts exposed the errors of tenured professors. They should read my upcoming book!

The book I’m writing is a kind of Finance for dummies1. I need about one more month of editing before I can send it to a publisher. Check my blog in 2017 for updates on when it will be released. You can also follow me on Twitter.

There is nothing about Trump in my book, so his haters will also like it!