Books / Digital Text
This ambitious new book on the foundations of money and monetary institutions, based on the the author's Ph.D. disseration defended in 2011 at the Universidad Rey Juan Carlos in Madrid, Spain (supervised by Gabriel Calzada), is an impressive interdisciplinary exercise. Part I of the book, “Metaphysics,” dwells into the nature, origin, and valuation of money. Part II, “Epistemology,” discusses what could possibly be known about monetary phenomena, and how this knowledge can best be acquired. Part III, “Ethics,” proposes a framework for a moral assessment of monetary arrangements and institutions. The last part, “Politics,” which spreads over one third of the book, addresses various issues, such as the history of fiat paper money in the USA, the optimum supply of money and credit, contemporary monetary policy and considerations about the future evolution of money. Five appendices, totaling fifty pages, detail the author’s thoughts on topics as diverse as coined money in Greece, dollarization, financial repression and even the resource curse. The book also contains a ten-page glossary and an extensive index, both of which are meant to help the reader cope with the abundant concepts and authorities to which the author refers. Capitalizing on his interdisciplinary approach, Zelmanovitz hopes to reach a large audience that goes beyond the limited circle of scholarly economists. His plan will certainly be challenged by the book’s price (in excess of hundred dollars).