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Short Synopsis
In Millionaire, Janet Gleeson lucidly reconstructs this epic drama where fortunes were made and lost, paupers grew rich, and lords fell into penury—and a modern fiscal philosophy was born.

Full Synopsis
On the death of France's most glorious king, Louis XIV, in 1715, few people benefited from the shift in power more than the intriguing financial genius from Edinburgh, John Law. Law had proposed to the English monarch that a bank be established to issue paper money with the credit based on the value of land. But Queen Anne was not about to take advice from a gambler and felon. So, in exile in Paris, he convinced the bankrupt court of Louis XV of the value of his idea.

Law soon engineered the revival of the French economy and found himself one of the most powerful men in Europe. The shareholders in his new trading company made such enormous profits that the term "millionaire" was coined to describe them. Paris was soon in a frenzy of speculation, conspiracies, and insatiable consumption. Before this first boom-and-bust cycle was complete, markets throughout Europe crashed, the mob began calling for Law's head, and his visionary ideas about what money could do were abandoned and forgotten.

In Millionaire, Janet Gleeson lucidly reconstructs this epic drama where fortunes were made and lost, paupers grew rich, and lords fell into penury—and a modern fiscal philosophy was born.

Millionaire

The Philanderer, Gambler, and Duelist Who Invented Modern Finance

Author Janet Gleeson

Narrated by Esther Wane

Publication date Oct 19, 2021

Running time 8 hrs

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