Much is said about the critical role that science and technology play in shaping the future. This area of convergence continues to have a profound impact on that future. I have described the importance of convergence in various posts in the past, highlighting the impact of other domains like geopolitics, philosophy, and society. Another key domain is the economy. Understanding the global economy is critical to illuminating possible futures. The role of Central Banks has been instrumental in navigating extreme events like COVID-19, as well as the various boom and bust financial cycles of the past.
To focus on the future is to be a constant learner, and books represent a great source of learning. In the context of convergence and the economy, I recommend this book: Central Banking 101. Whether assessing the impact of Central Bank Digital Currencies, or the likelihood of a new global reserve currency, understanding this piece of the convergence puzzle is crucial. Written by joseph Wang, the book is a good primer on financial markets and the role of central banks. I have added it to my book library. The book abstract follows.
AMAZON BOOK ABSTRACT
Central banking is magic. With a few words, the Fed can lift the stock market out of desperation and catapult it towards euphoric highs. With a few keystrokes, the Fed can conjure up trillions of dollars and fund virtually unlimited Federal spending. And with a few poor decisions, the Fed can plunge the entire world into a recession. The Federal Reserve is one of the most powerful institutions in the world, and also one of the most difficult to understand.
The Fed acts through its Open Markets Desk, which sits at the heart of the global financial system as the world’s ultimate and limitless provider of dollars. On behalf of policy makers, the Desk gathers market intelligence from all the major market participants, sifts through reams of internal data, and works behind the scenes to keep the financial system intact. It is responsible for all of the Fed’s market operations, from trillions in quantitative easing to hundreds of billions in repo and FX-swap loans. The financial crises of 2008 and 2020 abated only through the emergency interventions of the Desk.
Joseph Wang spent five years studying the monetary system as a trader on the Desk. From that vantage point, Joseph saw firsthand how the Fed operates and how the financial system really works. This book is a distillation of his experience that aims to educate and demystify. After reading this book, you will understand how money is created, how the global dollar system is structured, and how it all fits into the broader financial system.