Leather, feathers, dried fish, rough salt, booze, tobacco. All of this used to be currency. But the one which turned out as a winner was another: counterfeit money - a creation from Ancient Greece you carry on your wallet righ now. Another thing you carry on you wallet is inflation - indeed: the value of the bills you carry there slowly fades away as the printing presses of money at your local central bank works 24/7 to stimulate your economy, or to rob your wallet without the inconvenience of point a gun in your head - something brazilian governments elevated to an art form throughout history. Also elevated to an art form, all around the world, is financial speculation. Derivatives, short selling, and stock exchanges crashes are as part of economic history as cells are part of our body - one thing can't exist without the other. Speculators and all sort of crazy profit seekers gave birth to the most prosperous world of all times. And destroyed it. And are bringing it back to life again. CRASH explains how. And tells how history, psychology and even biology explains the sage of money. Time to decipher the enigmas of economics - the most disturbing, intense and mysterious of all human creations. *** This is a four chapter excerpt of the Brazilian best-seller "Crash - A Brief History of Economics". For now, it's the only part of this book available in English - translated by Diane Whitty, under the supervision of the author.