(excerpt from my book-in-progress)
It’s easy to separate the “real” economy from the financial world. One makes real things like cars and fridges, while the other manufactures money from money.
This has been a rich theme for authors for centuries. Take the 1900 L.Frank Baum classic the “Wonderful Wizard of Oz”. The yellow-brick road represented something real, gold. It was the path to follow. Meanwhile entering Emerald City, Dorothy had to put on green-tinted glasses. All faith was put in the illusory power of the Wizard of Oz. The green and the wizard represented paper money (the green dollar). When the curtain was pulled, the illusion was revealed for what it was – a powerless man.
Ironically, the very concept of a commercial novel when first popularised in the eighteenth century was viewed in equal disdain as finance. Selling stories about imaginary people was viewed as artificial, and not worthy to be sold. Something was being sold out of nothing, just like the money from money in finance.