Paper Money Collapse: Winner of the getAbstract 2012 International Book Award

Book cover for Paper Money CollapseFriends, I just returned from the Frankfurt Book Fair and am very happy and proud to announce that Paper Money Collapse won the getAbstract 2012 International Book Award.

Out of thousands of business and economics book reviewed by getAbstract each year, they awarded the prize for best English-language book to two titles. The other winner was “Too Big To Know” by American technologist David Weinberger.

I am absolutely delighted. GetAbstract is a prestigious award that has been presented at the Frankfurt Book Fair for 12 years. Past recipients include Niall Ferguson, Nassim Nicholas Taleb, Robert Shiller, Thomas Sowell, Bill Bonner and Lila Rajiva, and Benoit Mandelbrot and Richard L. Hudson, among others.

Many thanks to Mr. Rolf Dobelli and his team at getAbstract, and many thanks to the entire team at John Wiley & Sons, my publisher. In particular, I like to thank my editor in the US, Debra Englander, who liked my draft and book proposal back in late 2010 and has supported this project ever since. Thanks, Debby.

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“But there is no inflation!” – Misconceptions about the debasement of money
We are on the road to serfdom


  1. Dr James Thompson says

    Congratulations. You have joined a very starry cast of authors. Now for your next book “An investor’s guide to real money”

  2. Ed Murray says

    Good for you. We should send 435 copies to Congress but they don’t even have enough time to read the laws they pass.

  3. John Campbell says

    A very hearty congratulations on your book so full of great ideas and great writing to match. I wish I could remember how I first discovered your book, but it has started me on a path of intellectual discovery and consistency. And not a moment to soon! I don’t miss the neocon morass, into which I had drifted.

    Here’s to your health, happiness, freedom and more books for us!

  4. Aurelian says

    It’s wonderful to see your fine book and the insights which it delivers gain recognition.
    I’m so pleased.

  5. A.M. Smith says

    Good job, Detlev! Maybe the establishment will take your advice and default on their debt…not gonna happen!

  6. Julian says

    I would like to add my congratulations to all those that have written above. I must add that your blog is one of the few places on the web where advocates of sound economics and sound money can go to escape the insanity that is taking over our financial markets. Your book, and this blog, appeared when they were most needed. We are all grateful for that.

  7. Srinivas Muthadi says

    Hearty Congratulations to you, Detlev! Hope this will make more people to read the book, in their interest.

  8. Single Acts of Tyranny says

    I know all too well how tough it is to break in with non-mainstream opinion, Great news and really well done.

  9. Peter says

    Congratulations Detlev!
    The debasement of paper books continues… Wait that’s not how it goes!!!

    I lent your book to my father of 60-something years so that he might realize how bad the outlook for the world is. After finishing the book in three days he wished to read it again due to how important he felt the book was. The book is a fantastic piece of work, truely inspired!

    “In the meantime, the debasement of paper money continues…” – Detlev Schlichter


  10. John Archer says

    [I submitted the following comment a couple of days ago but for some reason it has not been posted. A technical hitch with WordPress perhaps? But if not, I’ve got a nice smile so I can’t understand why. I hope nobody has been saying bad things about me.]

    Many congratulations. Well done.

    I bought your book on a good recommendation a while ago and am slowly making my way through it but am having to fight constant interruptions. Right from the outset it makes very good sense. I’m no economist but I have read some economics down years, mostly simply because I had to and not because I had any particular interest in the subject and I found lots of things rather ugly or unsatisfactory in one way or another, the treatment of money in particular. When I first read about the fractional reserve system 40 years or so ago in a standard textbook—in those days the reserve ratio was about 12.5% if I recall correctly—I was shocked not only by the thing itself but by the apparent complacency with which the author dealt with it and the implicit presumption that the reader be equally complacent and comfortable with it. I suppose if I read the equivalent textbook today I’d be expected to be ‘relaxed’ by reserve ratios of the order of 2% and the magnitude of the theft involved. “Nothing to see here, now move along.” Right.

    I especially like your crucial distinction between the two wholly different aspects of the monetary medium, namely the medium-of-exchange function and the commodity function (if any) and the rational reconstruction of the genesis of the former. In short, I like the way you think.

    I’m looking forward to finishing the book off and finding out whodunnit! :)

    Once again, well done.

    • says

      Thank you, John. Apologies for not publishing your message earlier. I am not sure what happened. Maybe it got caught -incorrectly- in the spam filter, although we tend to check that regularly. Maybe I take this opportunity and let all other readers of this website know as well that if you feel that you submitted a legitimate comment but it was not published please feel free to contact me. As a general rule, all comments get published. Only these exceptions apply and I can guarantee you that only very few comments have so far not made it because of them: 1) it is obviously spam; 2) it uses abusive language (we never rejected a comment because of this and I hope it stays that way); 3) the comment does not make sense, is unintelligible; 4) it is too long and/or has too many links to other sites. As to the last point, I don’t mind links to other sites and I do not care whether the linked sites agree with me or disagree with me (additionally, no comment was ever suppressed because it was negative or hostile to my views) but I cannot have the comment section of this site turned into a platform for other bloggers who put entire essays on it, or to use is as a marketing tool for other sites. I hope you understand. D.

  11. Robert Tuck says

    Congratulations. You and your valuable book fully deserve the acclaim.

    I see from the link you provided in your reply to Herr Hanke that you worked in the area of pensions (on the investment side primarily I presume?) for 19 years and understandably that these days you wouldn’t touch bonds—on reading between the lines, possibly not even with a barge pole.

    That being so I would like to ask you a question if I may. You might prefer not to answer this but I am intensely curious to know what kind of feedback you have had from any actuaries you might know, but especially from pension scheme actuaries concerned with the solvency of their funds and with the matching of assets to liabilities, in particular to the liabilities for pensions about to come into payment within the next few years. If your fears are well-grounded, and I believe they are, then there’s a lot of suffering coming down the line for pensioners in such plans even if they have the apparent good fortune to be guaranteed a (nominally) fully inflation-proofed pension backed by index-linked gilts. Just how good is that government promise if your fears are realised?

    On the other hand, stocks, and possibly gold, backing meat-two-veg pensions? Such a traditionally high-risk investment strategy would be an orthodox actuarial heresy par excellence. But with the fundamental risk shift that your analysis reveals?

    A real conundrum for anyone with that moral responsibility. Do they show any concern, or have they expressed an opinion one way or the other?

  12. Chase Taylor says

    Congrats Detlev!

    Very well deserved. Your book is my favorite concerning monetary policy and I use it regularly to teach friends about savings and interest rates. Your work has greatly assisted me in teaching economics to friends.

    In Liberty,


  13. says

    I think “paper money” should be the least if our concerns, it’s but a tiny fraction of the multi-trillions in credit currency that is out there.

    Over $40 Trillion of it has “POOFED!” out of existence since 2008, won’t be much longer before the rest of it goes.

    Same thing happened in the U.S. in 1930′s.

    • John Archer says


      I think “paper money” should be the least if our concerns, it’s but a tiny fraction of the multi-trillions in credit currency that is out there.” — Carl

      Detlev makes it clear right at the beginning of his book what he means by the snappy term “paper money”. He intends it to cover far more than just bank notes. In essence he means all fiat money not backed by gold or any other form of (necessarily suitably inflexible) commodity money and so it very much includes this magicked-up credit money you mention. In fact, that’s the whole point.

      Yes, the title of the book is strictly inaccurate but is hardly likely to mislead the bulk of his target audience as they are unlikely to take it in a narrow literal sense. That’s my take anyway. Perhaps a better title would have been “The Collapse of Fiat Money” but it doesn’t quite have that ring to it. On the other hand, those that do take it in the literal sense might be spurred (rightly, in my view) by the salutary shock of the title to pick the book up and read it. Maybe more than most, they need to. But either way they’d be well rewarded.

      And let’s not forget that it’s an economic endeavour as well. Marketing is important! :)

      • John Archer says

        I could have expressed that it little better as paper money can be backed by gold etc, which is fine, but I think you get the gist.

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