Here’s what four top authors have to say about Neil Irwin’s “The Alchemists”

March 1, 2013 No Comments by Neil

These are advance comments from four leading authors of books about economics and finance–Liaquat Ahamed, Alan S. Binder, Roger Lowenstein, and Sebastian Mallaby–about Neil Irwin’s  The Alchemists: Three Central Bankers and a World on Fire. Pre-order the book, available April 4 from The Penguin Press, here.


“Brilliantly reported and riveting, Neil Irwin’s The Alchemists is a must read for anyone who wants to understand the global reach of the financial crisis through which we are still living. The international perspective brings a fascinating and wholly new dimension to the story, one that has until now not been adequately told.”

— Liaquat Ahamed, author of Lords of Finance


So you thought central banking was boring. Well, it usually is, but not when Neil Irwin writes about it. The Alchemists is engrossing, entertaining, and enlightening all at once. What more could you ask for?

— Alan S. Blinder, author of After the Music Stopped


Most accounts of the financial crisis focus on a familiar trio of government regulators: America’s Bernanke, Paulson and Geithner. Neil Irwin departs from this conventional framework to capture the truly global nature of the crisis. The heroes of Irwin’s riveting, superbly paced The Alchemists are Ben Bernanke and his fellow central bankers, England’s Mervyn King and Europe’s Jean-Claude Trichet. In Irwin’s nimble hands, the reader sees the global contagion unfurl, country by country, like some menacing medieval plague, proving convincingly–as his bankers learn–that in the unfettered markets of the 21st century, central banks must hang together if they are to have any hope of engineering the long-awaited, and still-delayed, soft landing for the world economy. Perfectly timed to assess his subjects’ careers, The Alchemists should take its place on the small shelf of entertaining and insightful central banking literature alongside Liaquat Ahamed’s Lord of Finance.

— Roger Lowenstein, author of The End of Wall Street and When Genius Failed: The Rise and Fall of Long-Term Capital Management.


Neil Irwin understands the mystery of money, and he tells his story with the perspective of a historian and the craft of crack journalist. More than just a reconstruction of the financial crisis, The Alchemists is about trust and hubris and sophisticated folly–a very human tale.

–Sebastian Mallaby, author of More Money than God


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