Readers of the Cobden Centre may be interested in a new book by Paul Knott. “Ouch!: Ignorance is Bliss, Except when It Hurts – What You Don’t Know About Money and Why It Matters (More Than You Think)” is written for ordinary people, but provides an extraordinary overview of the financial system and why it matters to everyone.

Amongst the swathes of books released following the financial crisis, this is both readable and full of sound economics. It explains fractional reserve banking, introduces readers to Austrian economics and to behavioural finance, and is done so in a highly engaging style. It will make you laugh out loud and shake your fist in anger.

I strongly recommend it, and indeed was lucky enough to read several drafts of the manuscript. At under a tenner it’s the perfect gift for people who moan at bankers and politicians, but want to understand a bit more about the monetary system.

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