In the aftermath of the financial crisis and the deepest recession since the 1930s, capitalism is once again the subject of heated debate. While the end of the Cold War destroyed the credibility of the only systemic alternative, many in the developed world remain profoundly uncomfortable with the workings of capitalism, despite its extraordinary capacity to lift millions out of poverty and raise living standards. In this extraordinary book senior Financial Times columnist John Plender highlights and investigates a concern about the moral character of money that pre-dates the industrial revolution by more than two millennia. He explores this paradoxical aspect of the system in a historical context, looking at money, banking, entrepreneurship, art, taxation and other aspects of modern capitalism not only through the eyes of economists and business people, but through the views of philosophers, novelists, poets, artists and divines. It reaches its own conclusions on the future of a system that remains hostage to excessive risk taking by banks and under threat from an even bigger financial crisis than the one that struck in 2008.