Financial Fiction

Financial Fiction Related Genres – Part 2

Posted by on Aug 15, 2013 in Articles, Financial Fiction | 0 comments

One modern work of financial fiction, John McLaren’s Press Send which is discussed in the section on banker novelists could also be regarded as a work of science fiction as artificial intelligence is unlikely to reach the level described in the book in the foreseeable future, if at all. In contrast Po Bronson’s The First $20 Million is Always the Hardest describes a type of computer that did not exist when he started writing the novel but which was planned by major firms by the time it was published and hence his novel is a work of social realism – not science fiction. However, some science fiction writers of the 19th century and more recent times have...

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Financial Fiction Related Genres – Part 1

Posted by on Aug 13, 2013 in Articles, Financial Fiction | 0 comments

The Legal Fiction Genre With its famous trial scene on which the plot hinges, Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice could be regarded as a forerunner, of both the legal fiction and the financial fiction genres, though exhibiting rather greater eloquence than most works in these categories! (However nobody can live on a diet of caviar and champagne. More modest fare can be even more satisfying in its own way). Dante’s Divine Comedy devotes significant attention to usury and counterfeiting. Dante was himself the son of a banker or money-changer, the brother-in-law of a moneylender. A loan, secured on the basis of a signature of dubious legality, is central to the...

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Financial Fiction Genre: Banker – Novelists and Modern Financial Thrillers

Posted by on Aug 11, 2013 in Articles, Financial Fiction | 0 comments

Reaganism and Thatcherism shook up the international financial system, unleashing forces of enterprise, e.g. the Big Bang or deregulation of the financial markets in London in 1986. But these changes also creating a climate in which greed and avarice had spectacular opportunities in which to manifest themselves – the Great Crash in 1987 did have a sobering effect on many. Exactly 10 years after the Big Bang in the television series The Naked City on BBC2 Michael Lewis, author of the factual, autobiography Liar’s Poker was interviewed at length about that era, as was the novelist Linda Davies who was also a banker during that period. Whereas other novelists...

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Financial Fiction Genre: Social Commentators, Journalists and Educators

Posted by on Aug 8, 2013 in Articles, Financial Fiction | 0 comments

The world of finance becomes a mainstream topic in the era of “Greed is Good,” Junk Bonds, Leveraged Buy-Outs, the Yuppies etc. In the late 1960s the idea of using fiction as a means of teaching economic theory was revived by a pair of academics writing under the pseudonym ofMarshall Jevons. However, it was not until the 1980s that the world of finance really began to impinge on the public imagination. The 1980s was the get rich quick decade or the era of Junk Bonds, Leveraged Buy-Outs, and Greed is Good and the Yuppie. For an entertaining description of what it was like to be an investment banker in that period see Liar’s Poker by Michael Lewis, who...

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Financial Fiction Genre: Finance without Frontiers, 1970-

Posted by on Aug 5, 2013 in Articles, Financial Fiction | 0 comments

The early the 1970s saw the breakdown of the system of the post-war system of fixed exchange rates established by the Bretton Woods in 1945, the final demise of the gold standard, the globalisation of banking as European, American and Japanese banks built up a substantial presence in all the main financial centres of the world, and the build up of huge amounts of rootless capital looking for a profitable home, e.g. the “petro-dollars” of the oil-rich Arab states after the OPEC price shocks. Developments in computing and telecommunications from the 70s onwards greatly facilitated the ease of transferring capital around the world. The economic and political...

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Financial Fiction Genre: From the Dawn of the American Century to the 1970s

Posted by on Aug 3, 2013 in Articles, Financial Fiction | 0 comments

L. Frank Baum Probably few people who have read the Wonderful Wizard of Oz or watched the popular film realise that, despite the lack of any conclusive evidence, there is a widespread belief that Baum meant his tale to be not simply a story for children but also an allegorical treatment of the monetary debate over the merits of the gold standard versus bimetallism in the United States at the end of the 19th century and beginning of the 20th. It is claimed that the Yellow Brick Road symbolises the gold standard, the silver shoes of the witch represent silver coinage, the name Oz supposedly comes from the abbreviation of ounce (of gold) and the Cowardly Lion with his loud...

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