Bestselling author Robert X. Cringely provides an insightful analysis of technology and its impact on our present and future economic lives. It traces the origins and the emergence of financial innovations, from the credit card and the automatic teller machine to derivative securities and electronic stock exchanges. Over the past 30 years, these innovations have changed the world of money irreversibly, leading towards what the author describes as the democratization of finance.What happens when we make financial systems that are ruthlessly efficient and lightning fast? What happens when capital can not only enter or leave a country overnight, but can do so at minimal cost and effort? Cringely examines a future high-tech world in which economic and financial systems become highly complex and almost impossible to control...a world in which artificial systems begin to take control of our economic lives.