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No it's not a self help book but it's an excellent read. It's a satire.

Slight spoiler alert.

http://en.wikipedia.org/...

Highly, highly recommended.

You may be familiar with this author he's a satirical fantasy writer tapping the same vein as  Douglas Adams' Hitchhiker's Guide.  If youy are not here's wiki's blurb:

Moist von Lipwig is bored with his job as the Postmaster General of the Ankh-Morpork Post Office, which is running smoothly without any challenges, so Lord Vetinari the Patrician tries to convince him to take over the Royal Bank of Ankh-Morpork and the Royal Mint. Moist, content with his new lifestyle, refuses. However, when the current chairwoman, Topsy Lavish, dies, she leaves 50% of the shares in the bank to her dog, Mr Fusspot (who already owns 1% of the bank, giving him a majority and making him chairman) - and she leaves the dog to Moist. She also made sure that the Assassins' Guild would fulfill a contract on Moist if anything happens to the dog or if he does not do as her last will commands.

Faced with no alternatives, Moist tries to take over the bank and in doing so finds out that people do not trust banks much, that the production of money runs slowly and at a loss, and that people now use stamps as currency rather than coins. His various ambitious changes include making money that is not backed by gold but by the city itself. Unfortunately, neither the chief cashier (Mr. Bent, who is rumored to be a vampire but is actually something much worse) nor the Lavish family are too happy with him and try to dispose of him. Cosmo Lavish tries to go one step further - he is attempting to replace Vetinari by taking on his identity - with little success. However all the while, the reappearance of a character from his past adds more pressure to his unfortunate scenario.

There are some great lines in it about how the Hydraulic money model "Glooper" machine is accurate because money/water evaporates--leaving you consistently with less money at the end of the week than you thought you had. Von Lipwig nee Albert Spangler suggests that the flaw in the machine proves it's near perfection.

Oh and the hem lines! Did you know that women's hemlines rise when the currency is in crisis?  Explains a lot doesn't it?

It's quite a funny thing to read these days. especially in the light of all the hereditary wealth sloshing around in the US and the soon to be overwhelming mortgage crisis. Totally skewers the mysteries of high finance as the machinations of the venal power seekers. Jerome A Paris would love it.  The government might try to get it banned before the ordinary Joe gets a crash course in Discworld political science and high finance.

Originally posted to Salo on Mon Nov 26, 2007 at 08:37 AM PST.

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