The former Governor of the Bank of England argues for fundamental changes to the financial system in order to reduce the risk of a new crisis.
'A fearless and important book . . . THE END OF ALCHEMY isn't just an elegant guide to the history of economic ideas. It also gives a genuine insider's account' Telegraph
The past twenty years saw unprecedented growth and stability followed by the worst financial crisis the industrialised world has ever witnessed. In the space of little more than a year what had been seen as the age of wisdom was viewed as the age of foolishness. Almost overnight, belief turned into incredulity.
Most accounts of the recent crisis focus on the symptoms and not the underlying causes of what went wrong. But those events, vivid though they remain in our memories, comprised only the latest in a long series of financial crises since our present system of commerce became the cornerstone of modern capitalism. Alchemy explains why, ultimately, this was and remains a crisis not of banking - even if we need to reform the banking system - nor of policy-making - even if mistakes were made - but of ideas.
In this refreshing and vitally important book, former governor of the Bank of England Mervyn King - an actor in this drama - proposes revolutionary new concepts to answer the central question: are money and banking a form of Alchemy or are they the Achilles heel of a modern capitalist economy?
An exceptionally thought-provoking book and might even become a modern landmark once its many fresh ideas have percolated - Independent
Wide ranging, historically informed and elegantly written . . . Like Keynes he is well aware that economics is in the end about people . . . Life is an art, not a science, and this richly rewarding treatise confirms that truth - Guardian
This book might just save the world - Bloomberg
A fearless and important book . . . The End of Alchemy isn't just an elegant guide to the history of economic ideas. It also gives a genuine insider's account - Telegraph
Mervyn King was Governor of the Bank of England from 2003 to 2013 and is currently Professor of Economics and Law at New York University and School Professor of Economics at the London School of Economics. Lord King was made a life peer in 2013 and appointed by the Queen a Knight of the Garter in 2014. He is the author of The End of Alchemy.
John Kay is a Fellow of St John's College, Oxford and has held professorial appointments at the University of Oxford, London Business School and the London School of Economics. He is a director of several public companies and for many years contributed a weekly column to the Financial Times. He chaired the UK government review of equity markets which reported in 2012 recommending substantial reforms. He is the author of many books including Other People's Money, The Truth about Markets, The Long and the Short of It and Obliquity.