• 2 hours Huawei Given The Green Light To Build 5G Network In The UK
  • 4 hours Five Things To Watch In The Battery Metals Market
  • 6 hours What Investors Need To Know About The Coronavirus
  • 22 hours General Motors To Spend $2.2 Billion On Detroit Electric Vehicle Plant
  • 1 day Copper Slides Under Coronavirus Concerns
  • 1 day Low Gold Miner Valuations Reveal Upside Potential For The Industry
  • 1 day JPMorgan Urges Investors To Buy The Coronavirus Dip
  • 1 day The Survival Of A $2.7 Trillion Market Rests On This Tiny Niche
  • 2 days U.S. Moves To Bar Iranians From Investor Visas
  • 3 days Why Germany Is Going To War With Gold
  • 4 days Gold Is Still Cheap Compared To Stocks
  • 5 days Are Cryptocurrencies Funding Terrorism?
  • 5 days Promising Oil Companies To Watch In 2020
  • 6 days Could China's Coronavirus Outbreak Impact U.S. Stocks?
  • 6 days Tesla Stock Continues To Soar
  • 7 days What New Economic Data Reveals About Gold's Trajectory
  • 8 days The Lucrative New Tech Hijacking Your Privacy
  • 8 days The Biggest Loser In The China-U.S. Tariff Tit-For-Tat
  • 9 days Trade War Takes Its Toll On Shipping
  • 11 days Is $90 Oil Possible? An Interview With Jay Park
What's Behind The Global EV Sales Slowdown?

What's Behind The Global EV Sales Slowdown?

An economic slowdown in many…

Is The Bull Market On Its Last Legs?

Is The Bull Market On Its Last Legs?

This aging bull market may…

Another Retail Giant Bites The Dust

Another Retail Giant Bites The Dust

Forever 21 filed for Chapter…

  1. Home
  2. Markets
  3. Other

Book Review: The Mandibles (related to inflation)

For something a little different, I wanted to write a book review today. But this is not as far removed as it seems, from my normal beat. In fact, this book could actually be a companion piece to my own book published last year, What's Wrong with Money?: The Biggest Bubble of All. I really mean that.

The book is "The Mandibles: A Family, 2029-2047," by Lionel Shriver. This is a terrific work of fiction, especially if you like futuristic dystopian novels. From the jacket:

In 2029, the United States is engaged in a bloodless world war that will wipe out the savings of millions of American families. Overnight, on the international currency exchange, the "almighty dollar" plummets in value, to be replaced by a new global currency, the "bancor." In retaliation, the president declares that America will default on its loans. "Deadbeat Nation" being unable to borrow, the government prints money to cover its bills. What little remains to savers is rapidly eaten away by runaway inflation.

The Mandibles have been counting on a sizable fortune filtering down when their ninety-seven-year-old patriarch dies. Once the inheritance turns to ash, each family member must contend with disappointment, but also—as the U.S. economy spirals into dysfunction—the challenge of sheer survival.

This book was recommended to be by a friend who knows of my background in inflation – many years of study of the topic, and the fact that I founded and run a firm that's dedicated to inflation hedging of various kinds (e.g., college tuition or healthcare, but also things like commodities and inflation-linked bond strategies). I took up the novel with some trepidation, since most treatments of inflation in fiction...heck, in non-fiction...are shallow and generally just plain obtuse. I'm including works by famous economists. So I didn't have high hopes for this book.

I was completely wrong.

When I said that this book could be a companion book to my own (non-fiction) work, I wasn't kidding. The author got virtually every detail right, about how the pieces fit together, about what causes inflation – including the question of how moderate and high inflation can turn into hyperinflation, a transition that has little to do with monetary policy actions and everything to do with confidence in the monetary unit. And that's actually why my book is titled "What's Wrong with Money..." the fact that confidence is the underlying unit (in a fiat currency) creates the potential for an outcome such as Ms. Shriver describes. It isn't a likely outcome, but it is entirely plausible that it could work out in this way.

Ms. Shriver skillfully works current events of today into the novel, as characters occasionally recollect some old policy from the 2000s or 2010s and explain why that policy didn't work. I was amazed at the competence with which she tackled all of these subjects.

All in all – if you like the things I write, and especially if you read my book and liked it (or even if you didn't read it, and probably even if you didn't like it), you will really like The Mandibles. I highly recommend it.

 


P.S. Don't forget to buy my book! What's Wrong with Money: The Biggest Bubble of All. Thanks!

You can follow me @inflation_guy!

Enduring Investments is a registered investment adviser that specializes in solving inflation-related problems. Fill out the contact form at http://www.EnduringInvestments.com/contact and we will send you our latest Quarterly Inflation Outlook. And if you make sure to put your physical mailing address in the "comment" section of the contact form, we will also send you a copy of Michael Ashton's book "Maestro, My Ass!"

 

Back to homepage

Leave a comment

Leave a comment