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.
Brings events to life without losing sight of the bigger issues
[Mr. Irwin] has provided an accessible, engrossing account of the tribulations that Mr. Bernanke, with Mervyn A. King of the Bank of England and Jean-Claude Trichet of the European Central Bank, endured in pulling the world financial system back from collapse... Mr. Irwin seems to have talked with everyone, read the right scholarly papers and interviewed important dissenters in the Fed, the European Central Bank, the Bank of England and the Bundesbank... He has a nice touch for translating central banking's mysteries, opaque and forbidding, into understandable English. He is astute in describing the internal and external politics of institutions traditionally expected to remain above politics of the usual sort.
A detailed and fast-moving account of these perilous years. This is the crisis as told through emails, phone calls, meetings and one very fateful walk along the beach in Deauville, France.