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Description - The Nature of Money by Geoffrey Ingham

Mainstream economics fails to grasp the specific nature of money. It is seen either as a 'neutral veil' over the operation of the 'real' economy or alternatively as a 'thing' - a special commodity. In this important new book, Geoffrey Ingham draws on neglected traditions in the social sciences to develop a theory of the 'social relation' of money. Money consists in socially and politically constructed 'promises to pay'. This approach is then applied to a range of important historical and analytical questions. The historical origins of money, the 'cashless' monetary systems of the ancient Near Eastern empires, the pre-capitalist coinage systems of Greece and Rome, and the emergence of capitalist credit-money are all given new interpretations. Capitalism's distinctiveness is to befound in the social structure - comprising complex linkages between firms, banks and states - by which private debts are routinely 'monetized'. Monetary disorders - inflation, deflation, collapse of currencies - are the result of disruptions of, or the inability to sustain, these credit-debt relations. Finally, this theory of money's 'nature' is used to clarify confusions in the recent debates on the emergence of new 'forms' and 'spaces' of money - global electronic money, local exchange trading schemes, the euro.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780745609966
ISBN-10: 0745609961
Format: Hardback
(229mm x 152mm x 15mm)
Pages: 266
Imprint: Polity Press
Publisher: Polity Press
Publish Date: 20-Feb-2004
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

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Author Biography - Geoffrey Ingham

Faculty of Social and Political Science, University of Cambridge

Books By Geoffrey Ingham

Capitalism by Geoffrey Ingham
Hardback, September 2008
Nature of Money by Geoffrey Ingham
Paperback, February 2004