Saturday, August 17, 2013

A review of The Heretic's Guide to Global Finance by Brett Scott

Here's my review of The Heretic's Guide to Global Finance Hacking the Future of Money by Brett Scott. You can read it on amazon here. Please don't forget to click those 'like' buttons if you think my review is helpful.

"Brett is interested in building a community of 'financial heretics'. In this book he adopts a 'hacktivist' approach to the subject of finance. This consists of Exploring (with an emphasis on 'empathetic' exploration), Jamming (seeking out vulnerabilities and exposing them) and Building (reforming the elements of the system into something new). The book is structured around these three categories of action. I think this is a unique approach to finance and, combined with a broadly anthropological influence and Brett's easy-going journalistic style, it makes The Heretic's Guide a valuable and up-to-the-minute contribution to our understanding of Money.

Nevertheless, it can be tough going at times. Chapter Two for example called 'Getting Technical' requires some resolve from the reader. Not that Brett doesn't do a good job of explanation, but the subject matter itself - derivatives, swaps, risk, futures, etc - can be bewildering. I expect though, that the audience for this book will indeed have the resolve needed.

It's going to be on bookshelves alongside David Graeber's 'Debt' as a book not only to make sense of Money, but as something to respond to and be inspired by. And whilst at times, the writing can seem a little like a late night conversation of Occupy veterans trying to imagine Money's role in a brighter future, there can be no better advertisement for Brett's Do-It-Yourself ethos than the book itself. Although traditionally published, it was launched and came to my attention via Brett's Indieagogo funding campaign for a 'School of Financial Activism'.

I hope Brett is as successful at inspiring people to re-envisage and reform their relationship to finance as he was at producing this work.

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