A definitive cultural history of high finance from one of the industry's most astute analysts Written by internationally respected financial expert Satyajit Das, Extreme Money shows how real engineering was replaced by financial engineering in the twentieth century, enabling vast fortunes to be made not from goods produced or services performed, but from supplying and trading money. Extreme Money focuses on this eviscerated reality—the monetary shadow of real things—and what it means today. The high levels of economic growth and the wealth that inevitably follows, driven by cheap debt, financial engineering, and speculation, were never sustainable, and the last few years have borne this out. The book shows how policy makers and regulators unknowingly underwrote the risks, substantially reducing their ability to control economic outcomes. Extreme money concentrated economic power, wealth, and risk in the hands of a small community of gifted, dynamic financiers largely outside the regulatory purview and the democratic process, and there's no going back. Explains the extreme money games (via private equity, securitization, derivatives, hedge funds, and other means) invented by the elite financiers of last century Raises deeper questions about the nature of the economic structure and assumptions about ongoing financially engineered prosperity that readers, politicians, and financial figures need to be asking The book is timed to coincide with the next phase of the financial crisis, as prospects of recovery diminish and the global economy becomes mired in a Western version of Japan's 'Lost Decade' Ambitious in scope and coverage, the book is the indispensible, in-depth guide to the age of modern money. An age defined by extremes of financial behavior.