To understand how humans react and adapt to economic change we need to study people who live in harsh environments. From war zones, natural disasters and failed states, to aging societies and the challenges of technological advancement, every life in this book has been hit by a seismic shock, violently broken or changed in some way. People living in these odd and marginal places are ignored by number crunching economists and political pollsters alike. Science suggests this is a mistake. This book tells the personal stories of humans living in extreme situations, and of the financial infrastructure they create. Here, economies are not concerned with the familiar stock market crashes, housing crises, or banking scandals of the financial pages.