Professor Mervyn King on why he wrote

The end of alchemy is aimed at a wide audience, some economists but certainly lots of non-economists, to help them understand , first of all why I use the description: alchemy to talk about our system of money and banking It depends greatly on trust

Money doesn't have any intrinsic value, banks can collapse unless we really are confident that they have the ability to repay our deposits when we want them back, and I want to understand that this is the fragility in our economy that periodically has created crises over several hundred years, but also to go on to say maybe there are some new ideas which will enable us to eliminate the alchemy in our economy, and during my experience in the financial crisis I felt it was much less helpful to say or who was to blame for this, why don't we lock up some people and put them in jail and that will solve the problem It won't, this was a crisis of a system not of bad behavior by a few individuals, even though some individuals did indeed behave badly, but the fundamental challenge we have is to improve the system we've got, and we won't do that without having new ideas The aim of the end of alchemy is to put on the table some new ideas I'm sure it's not the last word on the subject, but I want other people to take forward these ideas