The modern financial system—centered on money and banks—has facilitated unprecedented economic growth in the last two centuries. Yet it has also produced a long string of economic catastrophes, including hyperinflation, deflation, bank failures, the recent global recession, and the current stagnation in many parts of the world. According to Lord King, the mechanisms of capitalist society rest on faith in a financial system that often defies reality and common sense. How can we avoid the boom–and–bust cycle? What must be done to provide a clear path to durable prosperity?