Philip Coggan writes the Bartleby column for Economist and is the former writer of the Buttonwood column. Prior to joining Economist he worked for the Financial Times for 20 years. In 2009, he was voted Senior Financial Journalist of the Year in the Wincott awards and best communicator in the Business Journalist of the Year Awards. Among his books are The Money Machine, a guide to the city that is still in print after 25 years and The Economist Guide to Hedge Funds. His book Paper Promises was Spears' business book of the year in 2012.
An engaging and highly accessible narrative about the long historical development of global trade, commerce, and innovation. Philip Coggan writes clearly about how and why it all happened, and gives us cause for optimism in difficult times. -- George Magnus * author of Red Flags: Why Xi's China Is in Jeopardy * Praise for Paper Promises: This book stands way above anything written on the present economic crisis -- Nassim Nicholas Taleb [an] illuminating account of the financial crisis... [conveys] deep insights without a trace of jargon ... [a] thought-stirring book -- John Gray * New Statesman * A remarkable book from one of the most respected economics journalists on the planet. Every page brings a fresh insight or a new surprise. A delight -- Tim Harford, author of 'the Undercover Economist' By far the best analysis of the new normal -- David Stevenson * FT * A masterful history of financial crises * Independent * Bold and confident ... Coggan covers the terrain with characteristic calmness and objectivity, avoids over-simplification, and laces his arguments with his trademark erudition ... The alphabet soup of acronyms, from SIVs to CDO Squareds, is blissfully lacking ... Finally, the book is free from the shrieking ideology that afflicts virtually all contemporary debates over money. Indeed, it offers a clear explanation of the fresh ideological divisions that have arisen over how to deal with the crisis ... the book should be taken very seriously * FT * Fascinating and authoritative, with the rigour and depth to satisfy an economist and the accessibility and pace to engage the layperson ... If everyone read Coggan's book we might just be a little more circumspect if and when the next burst of irrational exuberance overtakes the economy * Management Today * An excellent book ... a smart and witty analysis of the current economic storm, set in the context of the history of money -- David Wighton * the Times * Coggan is ... an exceptional banking and economic historian * Irish Examiner * Coggan traces 'history's tug of war between monetary shortage and excess' in this engaging and timely book about the current financial crisis.... Thoughtful and thorough * Publisher's Weekly * Praise for the Last Vote: Consistently illuminating ... admirably balanced ... An exploration of democracy's ills that anyone concerned with the current state of the world will benefit from reading. It is a book that addresses universal questions -- John Gray * New Statesman * Coggan puts his argument together logically and methodically ... His conclusions are sensible and moderate ... It is rather a nice change to read a book which could best be described as a mild rebuke or a gentle warning. In essence, its author is getting a little Joni Mitchell about representative democracy -- David Aaronovitch * the Times *