Hans Magnus Enzensberger

Nothing but Money! - A Brief Economic Novel

Illustrated by Franz Greno
(German title: Immer das Geld!)
ca. 213 pages
Hans Magnus Enzensberger
Foto: Hans Magnus Enzensberger
© Jürgen Bauer

» […] one of Germany's leading public intellectualsLondon Review of Books

Hans Magnus Enzensberger was born in Kaufbeuren in 1929. As a poet, essayist, writer, publisher and translator, he is one of the world’s most influential and internationally renowned German intellectuals.

Awards (selection):
Sonningprisen 2010
Premio d’Annunzio 2006
Premio Principe de Asturias 2002
Heinrich-Heine-Preis 1998
Erich-Maria-Remarque-Friedenspreis 1993
Heinrich Böll-Preis 1985
Büchner-Preis 1963
Deutscher Kritikerpreis 1962

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A subversive educational course on the origin, meaning and value of money and our way of dealing with it

»Nameless gods reign the economy: coincidence and arbitrariness.«


Every time Aunt Fé comes to visit, the rather ordinary daily life of the Federmann family is turned upside down. Elderly, jaunty Aunt Fé is a sly lady. She lead an adventurous life and wasn’t spared from inflation, inheritances and bankruptcies, has experienced poverty and squandering, exile and abundance. Now she is rich and lives alone in her villa next to Lake Geneva.

But what does Aunt Fé want from the Federmanns, her only relatives? One thing is for certain: she does not want to bore them. Which is why she invites the three Federmann-children to a luxury hotel. She pampers, baffles, and excites them. Finally they feel taken seriously and receive answers to questions such as: Where does money come from? Why is it never enough, even though we’re dealing with millions and billions of it? Why would a central bank incur debts by printing endless amounts of money? Why are the black economy, the black market, black money and working under the table so essential everywhere? And why ever is the management constantly showered with bonuses?
Aunt Fé does away with the brokers’ nonsense. She explains the current operating system of greed and fear to the children matter-of-factly.

This is the right book at the right time: when phrases like Eurozone crisis, »Grexit«, bail-outs, quantitive easing, negative interest, and warnings of new financial bubbles building in the stock and property markets pop up everywhere, Enzensberger’s book deals with children’s questions on economy, starting from one basic question: What is money and where does it come from? This is not a theoretical treatise, but a novel with fascinating and vivid characters.


»perceptive, amusing, inspiring« Weltwoche

»Hans Magnus Enzensberger explains the essential in a funny way […] The praise of luxury is a pleasant affront to the hypocritical puritanical trend typical of our times; [praise that] he lets the cigar-smoking protagonist utter and that, in a way, continues seamlessly in the luxurious design of the book itself.« Nürnberger Nachrichten

»Enzensberger succeeds in igniting the reader’s enthusiasm for his witty critique of capitalism with humour as well as countless photos and diagrams, collage-like interspersed.« General-Anzeiger, Bonn

Other publications

Tumult/Tumult (2014)

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Verschwunden!/Gone! (2014)

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Herrn Zetts Betrachtungen, oder Brosamen, die er fallen ließ, aufgelesen von seinen Zuhörern/Mr. Zed’s Considerations or Crumbs That He Let Fall, Gleaned From His Listeners (2013)

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Enzensbergers Panoptikum/Enzensberger’s Panoptikum (2012)

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Sanftes Monster Brüssel oder Die Entmündigung Europas/Tender Monster Brussels or the Disenfranchisement of Europe (2011)

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Album/Album (2010)

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Meine Lieblings-Flops, gefolgt von einem Ideen-Magazin/My Favourite Flops, followed by a wealth of ideas (2010)

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Fortuna und Kalkül/Fortuna and Probability (2009)

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Hammerstein oder Der Eigensinn/Hammerstein or Idiosyncrasy (2008)

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Im Irrgarten der Intelligenz/The Labyrinth of Intelligence (2007)

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Schreckens Männer/Terror's Men (2006)

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Josefine und ich/Josefine and I (2006)

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Die Geschichte der Wolken/The History of the Clouds (2003)

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Die Elixiere der Wissenschaft/The Elixirs of Science (2002)

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Zickzack/Zigzag (1999)

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