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Book Review of: The End of Money

And the Future of Civilization

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Review of The End of Money and the Future of Civilization, by Thomas H. Greco, Jr. (Hardcover, 2009)

(You can print this review in landscape mode, if you want a hardcopy)

Reviewer: Mark Lamendola, author of over 6,000 articles.

The fraudulent nature of our monetary system should now be obvious to everyone. But, it's not. However, the damage it causes is obvious and people are starting to realize the problems don't simply happen. They happen because fraud is built into the system.

When a very junior senator with one of the all-time worst voting records (F ratings from the citizen watchdog groups) can be "elected" to the Presidency of a nation staggering from massive debt illegally amassed by the two previous administrations and then push through a massive pork barrel spending plan, you know something is very wrong.

And you know that further debasement of a currency that lost 50% of its value over the last two decades is a given. This sorry state of affairs, however, is only a small part of the total fraud picture. There's more. Much more. And you are paying for it.

What's going on, that the criminals behind this sort of theft are not prosecuted? In a word, ignorance. During the 2008 "election" for President, the only candidate to talk about real issues was vilified and marginalized by the mudstream media. That candidate, of course, was Dr. Ron Paul. One of the things Dr. Paul advocated was an end to the Federal Reserve, also known as the Frauderal Reserve. Did he advocate that because he's the crackpot the mudstream media made him out to be? Or did he advocate that because he knows a few things that all Americans should know?

One way to answer that is to dust off an unused document called the U.S. Constitution and compare Dr. Paul's platform statements to it. Suddenly, he does not look like a crackpot, unless you consider all of our Founding Fathers to be crackpots. Four of our Supreme Court Justices do, but that's something other books explore. This book explores the colossal fraud conducted via our monetary system. By the way, we did have a functioning (as opposed to malfunctioning) system during our nation's history as late as 1863. Read about Andrew Jackson to learn more.

To understand this book, it helps to read many other books on money (which I have). I'm not talking necessarily about books written by activists or others with an axe to grind. On the reading list are many books that are just historical in nature and with no political agenda. What if you haven't read those books? The author provides enough background that probably you will "get it." He also provides basic analysis of money in action, by following money through various types of transactions. So, he's not talking abstract theory but he is explaining how things work.

For example, his discussion of what really goes on when banks charge "interest" (their word for it, but it's not actually interest in the real sense of the word). You follow the flow of wealth, and you see "interest" isn't wealth at all. It's money created out of thin air. Interest doesn't need to be like that, but it's how we do it today. This misapplication of the concept of interest has the same effect as adding water to milk. Or in this case it may be more appropriate to compare this dilution to the way a crack dealer cuts drugs to rip of his clientele. Same thing with "interest." Especially when it's compounding (growing exponentially). Even a cursory look at this situation shows it's unsustainable, yet we victims of this system permit this chicanery to go on.

The underlying problem is our system is based on debt instead of on credit. That isn't credit in the sense of "credit cards," but I won't explain it here. The author does an absolutely fine job of explaining the difference, and that explanation is a key feature of this book. When he explains how an existing mortgage system (not of Western culture) based on credit instead of debt works, you cannot help but ask, "Why don't we do it that way?"

We don't do it that way, because our debt-based system enables the most psychopathic of us to benefit at the expense of everyone else and they aren't comfortable trying anything that is win-win. Actually, we don't do it that way because, on the whole, we are ignorant of how a sensible monetary system should work and what we have instead. This book can correct that, one reader at a time.

Greco is a recognized expert on money, currency, and finance. He does an international business in speaking (at conferences) and advising on these topics.

This book does contain his opinions, but he explains those as such and justifies them in a fairly balanced manner. To do this, he draws on an astounding amount of the literature. The book is well-researched and the author is quite rational. I was impressed that the book contained no leaps of logic and that the quantitative analyses were good. After completing the book, I read his bio. Like me, he's been an engineer and entrepreneur and has an MBA. That could explain the orderliness of his thought process and presentation, plus his excessive research to make sure he has his facts right. Not all engineer/MBA types fit that profile, but most do. Unlike me, he's also been a college professor. Anyhow, the word "rigorous" is considered a compliment among types like us, and Greco deserves that compliment.

I also appreciate the fact that he explains why "backing the currency with gold" (redeemable upon request) would be disastrous and would not fix what's actually wrong anyhow. His explanation is "must read" stuff for people who are rightfully disenchanted with the way our monetary system cheats people.

This book consists of twenty chapters and an epilogue. It has two appendices, extensive notes, and one heck of a bibliography. While not formally divided into parts, the book does have three parts:

One. An explanation of the problem. What's wrong with our current system, what it's done to us, and where it's taking us.

Two. Explanation of money, currency, value, wealth, debt, and credit. And how they relate to one another and to a society.

Three. The solution. This is much more complex that the other two parts of the book. For me, it was harder reading because it was new material with new concepts. I'm not sure I grasped them all. I don't think I understand everything I know about it. One reason for my problem here is Greco doesn't trot out a slap-on bandage. There are nuances here, and by exploring and explaining them he is going to lose some readers along the way. But that's fine. If we all understand the first two parts, then we have solved more than half of the existing problem already. This third part is really for people who are ready to do something about the problem. And it's for policy makers so they can begin to grasp what a real currency would look like. It seems that right now they have no idea.

It's bothered me that in each of the federal "elections" in my lifetime, the Demopublican candidates have steadfastly refused to talk about any issues of any substance whatsoever. People see the election as a contest between the Crips and the Bloods, rather than as a choice between candidates who actually offer something other than more of the same criminal pillaging. Ron Paul offered that in 2008, but unfortunately ignorance defined the debate and he was forced out. Perhaps in four years, the American people will actually vote instead of wasting their vote on a Crips vs. Bloods contest. The lesser of two evils is still evil.

Real voting would be for candidates like Dr. Paul instead of yet another spendaholic Demopublican. But people who don't understand the real issues don't do real voting. Which is why we keep getting more of the same fraud perpetuated on us. Wars, inflation, mass unemployment,  the IRS, and other pestilences are completely avoidable.

If this nation survives the damage inflicted by the current misadministration over the next four years, perhaps enough people will understand the money scam and vote in a legitimate, law-abiding government. One that can motivate people with respect, instead of fear.

In my lifetime, this country has gone from being the greatest nation on earth to being the poorest in human history. The primary tool of our demise has been this fraudulent monetary system. Now it would be a major feat for us to rise to third world status on some key metrics. That is a very sobering thing.

Read the book. Become informed.



About these reviews

You may be wondering why the reviews here are any different from the hundreds of "reviews" posted online. Notice the quotation marks?

I've been reviewing books for sites like Amazon for many years now, and it dismays me that Amazon found it necessary to post a minimum word count for reviews. It further dismays me that it's only 20 words. If that's all you have to say about a book, why bother?

And why waste everyone else's time with such drivel? As a reader of such reviews, I feel like I am being told that I do not matter. The flippancy of people who write these terse "reviews" is insulting to the authors also, I would suspect.

This sound bite blathering taking the place of any actual communication is increasingly a problem in our mindless, blog-posting Webosphere. Sadly, Google rewards such pointlessness as "content" so we just get more if this inanity.

My reviews, contrary to current (non) standards, actually tell you about the book. I always got an "A" on a book review I did as a kid (that's how I remember it anyhow, and it's my story so I'm sticking to it). A book review contains certain elements and has a logical structure. It informs the reader about the book.

A book review may also tell the reader whether the reviewer liked it, but revealing a reviewer's personal taste is not necessary for an informative book review.

About your reviewer

  • Books are a passion of mine. I read dozens of them each year, plus I listen to audio books.
  • Most of my "reading diet" consists of nonfiction. I think life is too short to use your limited reading time on material that has little or no substance. That leads into my next point...
  • In 1990, I stopped watching television. I have not missed it. At all.
  • I was first published as a preteen. I wrote an essay, and my teacher submitted it to the local paper.
  • For six years, I worked as an editor for a trade publication. I left that job in 2002, and still do freelance editing and authoring for that publication (and for other publications).
  • No book has emerged from my mind onto the best-seller list. So maybe I'm presumptuous in judging the work of others. Then again, I do more describing than judging in my reviews. And I have so many articles now published that I stopped counting them at 6,000. When did I stop? Probably 20,000 articles ago! (It's been a while).
  • I have an engineering degree and an MBA, among other "quant" degrees. That helps explain my methodical approach toward reviews.
  • You probably don't know anybody who has made a perfect or near perfect score on a test of Standard Written English. I have. So, a credential for whatever it's worth.

About reading style

No, I do not "speed read" through these. That said, I do read at a fast rate. But, in contrast to speed reading, I read everything when I read a book for review.

Speed reading is a specialized type of reading that requires skipping text as you go. Using this technique, I've been able to consistently "max out" a speed reading machine at 2080 words per minute with 80% comprehension. This method is great if you are out to show how fast you can read. But I didn't use it in graduate school and I don't use it now. I think it takes the joy out of reading, and that pleasure is a big part of why I read.

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