Money Makes the World Go Around: One Investor Tracks Her Cash Through the Global Economy, from Brooklyn to Bangkog and Backby Barbara Garson
Garson begins simply
Amid all the globo-babble touting the virtues of the new world economy, it's hard to answer one crucial question: How much is each of us actually affected by the free flow of capital around a world without barriers? Barbara Garson set out to see for herself, and the result is this hilarious and instructive gallop through international finance.
Garson begins simply by depositing a modest sum in a one-branch, small-town bank. With a second sum, she buys shares in an aggressive mutual fund. From those points of departure, she tracks her money's every stop as it races digitally around the world for loans, speculation, and investments. The trail takes her to, among other places, the Federal funds trading desk of a Manhattan mega-bank, a Brooklyn shrimp importer, a new oil refinery in Asia, and factories in Tennessee and Maine.
All along the way she talks to the people who touch, use, or are touched by her money. Her encounters with Wall Street bankers, Chinese labor contractors, Texas oil company treasurers, Bangkok street vendors, Thai welders, American workers, owners, and union representatives, and George Soros -- all of whom get a piece of her investment -- transform our understanding of money. Garson watches the amazing trickle-down of the Asian boom as well as the instantaneous drought brought on by the currency crash. Her investments produce exhilarating change and disturbing insecurity for "first world" people too, as she measures who profits and who doesn't in restructuring, downsizing, and outsourcing.
Few of the people Garson meets know or care about capital flows, but by the time the tour is over, the mechanisms of global finance are no longer obscure or abstract -- we understand just how money does, or doesn't, make the world go around. Part detective story, part business report, this is a primer on today's dizzying economic dynamic and a surprising account of modern life.
- Penguin Publishing Group
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