I feel the only way I can stay sane through this financial mess is to learn everything I possibly can. It's a way of keeping some control, I suppose. I have long — well, forever — allowed myself to be overwhelmed by talk about economics and finances. I'm a woman, was a girl, love literature and nature. You know the type. So much of what we are reading now depends on information I don't have, because I've fallen prey to the Myth of the English Major.

Time's up. Women, English Majors of all genders and predilictions, we've got to get a grip. Luckily, the op ed page of the New York Times carries "The Buck Stops Here," a primer on the faith-based dollar written by a friend and one of the most accomplished writers living today. AND, he writes about money, finances, markets, and interest rates, in a way we can understand. So, let me introduce you to James Grant.

Jim, by way of introduction, our readers will learn from you. Then, we'll have some questions we'd like to ask. Granted, Jim Grant, it took me three times through to truly understand the history of the United States Dollar, but I got it.

CRITICS of the administration’s Wall Street bailout condemn the waste of taxpayer dollars. But the taxpayers aren’t the weightiest American financial constituency, even in this election year. The dollar is the world’s currency. And it is on the world’s opinion of the dollar that the Treasury’s plan ultimately hangs.

It hangs by a thread, if Monday’s steep drop of the greenback against the euro is any indication. We Americans, constitutionally inattentive to developments in the foreign exchange markets, should be grateful for what we have. That a piece of paper of no intrinsic value should pass for good money the world over is nothing less than a secular miracle….

Click here to read the rest. The prose is, as always, elegant and clear. But I had a lot to learn. Thank you, Jim Grant. Here come the rest of us.

— Elizabeth Hemmerdinger

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