Monday, June 14, 2010

Book Review: Popes & Bankers by Jack Cashill

Note: The following review is a "guest post" by my sweet hubby, Jim. The subject material of this particular book was much more interesting to him than it was to me. :)

Jack Cashill’s book Popes & Bankers is a very interesting book to read. It is “a cultural history of credit and debt, from Aristotle to AIG.” He looks at the topic of usury from a biblical standpoint as well as the thoughts of men like Aristotle and his contemporaries. He also explores how different nations dealt with the topic at different times.

The history of wealthy families such as the Rothschilds is explored to some extent, as he discusses their different roles throughout recent and not-so recent history. He even looks at the origins of such men as Karl Marx.

As he works his way through history he shows what effect money had on the Revolutionary and Civil Wars, and explores the policies of different presidents, and how they dealt with their personal finances.

He finally comes around to where the book started, discussing the problems we are facing today. It is encouraging (if only a little) to know that the problems we face today are nothing new. What is discouraging is people’s complete lack of ability to learn lessons from history and apply them to today, and thereby fix the problems. Government regulation is the cause of most of this country’s financial woes, and somehow government thinks that more government will fix the problem. Its like instead of resuscitating a person after pumping the water out of their lungs, just shoving a hose down their throat and pumping them full of more water to “fix” the problem.

The book at times was a little hard for me to follow, but by the end it all seems to tie together. If you are looking for a survey of financial issues from the present all the way back to Aristotle, this is definitely a good read, although certainly not an exhaustive work on any of the topics throughout history.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their book review bloggers' program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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