The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi
It's hard to improve much on this book without killing off a sequel character. Bacigalupi is more descriptive than explanative, and makes this book a joy to read.
He seems to nail the wisdom of old Straits Chinese:
The problem with keeping money in a bank is that in the blink of a tiger's eye it will turn on you: what's yours becomes theirs, what was your sweat and labor and sold off portions of a lifetime become a stranger's.