Naked Money

Full Name
Naked Money: A Revealing Look at What It Is and Why It Matters

Naked Money shows us how our banking and monetary systems should work in ideal situations, revealing the havoc and suffering caused in real situations by inflation, deflation, illiquidity, and other monetary effects. Throughout, Wheelan’s uniquely bright-eyed, whimsical style brings levity and clarity to a subject often devoid of both. With illuminating stories from Argentina, Zimbabwe, North Korea, America, China, and elsewhere around the globe, Naked Money demystifies the curious world behind the paper in our wallets and the digits in our bank accounts.

  • "What makes a $20 bill actually worth twenty dollars?" In the third volume of his bestselling Naked series, Wheelan raises this simple question to introduce the world of money and banking.

  • Naked Money explores why money exists and why it so often gets entire nations in trouble.

The search for an answer triggers countless other questions along the way:

  • Why does paper money (“fiat currency” if you want to be fancy) even exist?

  • Why do some nations, like Zimbabwe in the 1990s, print so much of it that it becomes more valuable as toilet paper than as currency?

  • How do central banks use the power of money creation to stop financial crises?

  • Why does most of Europe share a common currency, and why has that arrangement caused so much trouble?

  • Will payment apps, bitcoin, or other new technologies render all of this moot?

Table of Contents



Part I. What it Is

  1. What Is Money???????????

  2. Inflation and Deflation

  3. The Science, Art, Politics, and Psychology of Prices

  4. Credit and Crashes

  5. Central Banking

  6. Exchange Rates and the Global Financial System

  7. Gold

Part II. Why it Matters

  1. A Quick Tour of American Monetary History

  2. 1929 and 2008

  3. Japan

  4. The Euro

  5. The United States and China

  6. The Future of Money

  7. Doing Central Banking Better