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A Banquet of Consequences is an intricately researched, decisively written and devastating analysis of today’s economy.
Satyajit Das connects disparate strands of a story, and in doing so delivers a damning critique of global economic policies of the last 50 years. He argues that governments and citizens of every political hue are now so addicted to growth and resistant to change, that a prolonged period of chronic stagnation, sustained by large infusions of monetary morphine and continuous interventions, or an unavoidable financial, political and social breakdown are the only possible outcomes.
Africa is a continent with boundless potential — it has the natural resources, the population, and the landmass to become a major player on the global stage. Why then, is the gap between Africa and the rest of the world increasing?
While the continent has seen improvements in terms of key indicators of human wellbeing like infant mortality and life expectancy, Africa still suffers from massive poverty, weak economic growth, de-industrialisation, an underdeveloped agricultural sector and poor regional integration, among others. What needs to be done to unleash Africa’s potential and ignite a growth revolution?
In this book, Jakkie Cilliers examines where the continent is at and where it will be in 2040 if it continues on the current path.
How and why did the US become the most successful economy in history? One of The Economist's Best Books of 2017, America, Inc explains the rise of America's economic power and how so many US businesses have succeeded. In a winning, accessible style, Bhu Srinivasan boldly takes on four centuries of American enterprise, revealing the unexpected connections that link them. The story is entertaining, eye-opening and sweeping in its reach. America, Inc takes us on a journey through the inventions, techniques and industries that drove America forward: from the telegraph, the railroad, guns, radio and banking to flight, suburbia and sneakers, culminating with the Internet and mobile technology at the turn of the twenty-first century. We learn how Andrew Carnegie's early job as a telegraph messenger boy paved the way for his leadership of the steel empire that would make him one of history's richest men; how the gunmaker Remington reinvented itself in the postwar years to sell typewriters; and how the inner workings of the Mafia mirrored the trend of consolidation and regulation in more traditional business. Reliving the heady early days of Silicon Valley, we are reminded that the start-up is an idea as old as capitalism itself.
With Britain's empire collapsing and Stalin's ascendant, U.S. officials under new Secretary of State George C. Marshall set out to reconstruct western Europe as a bulwark against communist authoritarianism. Their massive, costly, and ambitious undertaking would confront Europeans and Americans alike with a vision at odds with their history and self-conceptions. In the process, they would drive the creation of NATO, the European Union, and a Western identity that continues to shape world events. This is the story behind the birth of the Cold War, and the U.S.-led liberal global order, told with verve, insight, and resonance for today. Bringing to bear fascinating new material from American, Russian, German, and other European archives, Benn Steil's book will forever change how we see the Marshall Plan. Focusing on the critical years 1947 to 1949, Steil's gripping narrative takes us through the seminal episodes marking the collapse of postwar U.S.-Soviet relations: the Prague coup, the Berlin blockade, and the division of Germany. In each case, Stalin's determination to crush the Marshall Plan and undermine American power in Europe is vividly portrayed. And in a riveting epilogue, Steil shows how the forces which clove Europe in two after the Second World War have reasserted themselves since the collapse of the Soviet Union. A polished and masterly work of historical narrative, The Marshall Plan is an instant classic of Cold War literature.
The epic successor to one of the most important books of the century: at once a retelling of global history, a scathing critique of contemporary politics, and a bold proposal for a new and fairer economic system.
Thomas Piketty’s bestselling Capital in the Twenty-First Century galvanized global debate about inequality. In this audacious follow-up, Piketty challenges us to revolutionize how we think about politics, ideology, and history. He exposes the ideas that have sustained inequality for the past millennium, reveals why the shallow politics of right and left are failing us today, and outlines the structure of a fairer economic system.
Our economy, Piketty observes, is not a natural fact. Markets, profits, and capital are all historical constructs that depend on choices. Piketty explores the material and ideological interactions of conflicting social groups that have given us slavery, serfdom, colonialism, communism, and hypercapitalism, shaping the lives of billions. He concludes that the great driver of human progress over the centuries has been the struggle for equality and education and not, as often argued, the assertion of property rights or the pursuit of stability. The new era of extreme inequality that has derailed that progress since the 1980s, he shows, is partly a reaction against communism, but it is also the fruit of ignorance, intellectual specialization, and our drift toward the dead-end politics of identity.
Once we understand this, we can begin to envision a more balanced approach to economics and politics. Piketty argues for a new “participatory” socialism, a system founded on an ideology of equality, social property, education, and the sharing of knowledge and power. Capital and Ideology is destined to be one of the indispensable books of our time, a work that will not only help us understand the world, but that will change it.
The global financial crisis in 2008 brought central banking to the centre stage, prompting questions about the role of national central banks and - in Europe - of the multi-country European Central Bank. What can central banks do, and what are their limitations? How have they performed? Currency, Credit and Crisis seeks to provide a coherent perspective on the functions of a central bank in a small country by assessing the way in which Ireland's financial crisis from 2010 to 2013 was handled. Drawing on his experiences as Governor of the Central Bank of Ireland and in research and policy work at the World Bank, Patrick Honohan offers a detailed analytical narrative of the origins of the crisis and of policy makers' conduct during its most fraught moments.
The age of human rights has been kindest to the rich. Even as state violations of political rights garnered unprecedented attention due to human rights campaigns, a commitment to material equality disappeared. In its place, economic liberalization has emerged as the dominant force in national and global economies. In this provocative book, Samuel Moyn analyzes how and why we chose to make human rights our highest ideals while simultaneously neglecting the demands of a broader social and economic justice. Moyn places the human rights movement in relation to this disturbing shift from an embrace of the welfare state to the neoliberal globalization of today and explores why the rise of human rights has occurred alongside exploding inequality. "Samuel Moyn breaks new ground in examining the relationship between human rights and economic fairness." -George Soros "[The book's] critical-and self-critical-energy is consistently bracing, and is surely a condition of restoring the pursuit of equality and justice as an indispensable modern tradition." -Pankaj Mishra, London Review of Books "No one has written with more penetrating skepticism about the history of human rights... Moyn asks whether human-rights theorists and advocates, in the quest to make the world better for all, have actually helped to make things worse...Sure to provoke a wider discussion." -Adam Kirsch, Wall Street Journal
'Big and timely ... Coggan's account of the rise of the world economy is accessible and mercifully free of jargon' Sunday Times
More tracks the development of the world economy, starting with the first obsidian blades that made their way from what is now Turkey to the Iran-Iraq border 7000 years before Christ, and ending with the Sino-American trade war that we are in right now.
Taking history in great strides, More illustrates broad changes by examining details from the design of the standard medieval cottage to the stranglehold that Paris's three belt-buckle-making guilds exercised over innovation in the field of holding up trousers. Along the way Coggan reveals that historical economies were far more sophisticated than we might imagine - tied together by webs of credit and financial instruments much like the modern economy.
Coggan shows how, at every step of our long journey, it was connections between people - allowing more trade, more specialisation, more ideas and more freedom - that always created the conditions of prosperity.
Why is it that some countries become rich while others remain poor? Do markets require regulation to function efficiently? If markets offer an efficient way of exchanging goods, why do individuals even create firms? How are economic transactions organized in the absence of a state that could enforce contracts and guarantee property rights? Institutional economics has allowed social scientists to answer many fundamental questions about the organization and functioning of societies. This introduction to institutional economics is concise, yet easy to understand. It not only caters to students of economics but to anybody interested in this topical research area and its specific subfields. Both formal and informal institutions (such as customs, habits, and traditions) are discussed with respect to their causes and consequences, highlighting the important part they play for economic growth and development.
The apartheid state was at war. It was a conflict intended to stifle demands for freedom, subjugate Southern Africa and benefit the grip on power by the ruling elite. It was a fight for survival, which was to intensify in the two decades before South Africa’s liberation in 1994. While internal resistance grew, the United Nations imposed mandatory sanctions prohibiting the sale of strategic goods such as arms and oil to South Africa. The regime was confronted with an existential threat – isolation. A covert network of over 50 countries, including big powers and sworn enemies, was constructed to counter sanctions to illegally supply guns to Pretoria. Under the cloak of secrecy, allies in corporations, banks, governments and intelligence agencies sprung into action.
Apartheid, Guns And Money: A Tale Of Profit is an exposť of this machinery created in defence of apartheid. They include heads of states, arms dealers, aristocrats, plutocrats, senators, bankers, spies, journalists and members of secret lobby groups. Moving in the shadows, these people were complicit in a crime against humanity. The motivation for some was ideological as part of the Cold War anti-communism crusade. Others felt kinship with the last white regime in Africa. The book also addresses questions of unsolved murders and domestic complicity by South African business with the apartheid state.
This deeply researched book lifts the lid on some of the darkest secrets of apartheid’s economic crimes never before fully investigated. The stories weave together material collected in over two dozen archives in eight countries over four years, providing readers with an insight into tens of thousands of pages of newly declassified documents. Interviews with businessmen, politicians, sanctions busters and freedom fighters provide eyewitness accounts of acts of complicity and contrition.
The book argues that networks of state capture have been with us for decades. These must be confronted to deal with the corrupt networks in our democratic political system. In forging the country’s future a new generation needs to grapple with the baffling silence of apartheid-era economic crime and ask difficult questions of those who benefitted from it. This book provides the evidence and the motivation to do so.
Throughout history, rich and poor countries alike have been lending, borrowing, crashing--and recovering--their way through an extraordinary range of financial crises. Each time, the experts have chimed, "this time is different"--claiming that the old rules of valuation no longer apply and that the new situation bears little similarity to past disasters. With this breakthrough study, leading economists Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff definitively prove them wrong. Covering sixty-six countries across five continents, "This Time Is Different" presents a comprehensive look at the varieties of financial crises, and guides us through eight astonishing centuries of government defaults, banking panics, and inflationary spikes--from medieval currency debasements to today's subprime catastrophe. Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff, leading economists whose work has been influential in the policy debate concerning the current financial crisis, provocatively argue that financial combustions are universal rites of passage for emerging and established market nations. The authors draw important lessons from history to show us how much--or how little--we have learned.
Using clear, sharp analysis and comprehensive data, Reinhart and Rogoff document that financial fallouts occur in clusters and strike with surprisingly consistent frequency, duration, and ferocity. They examine the patterns of currency crashes, high and hyperinflation, and government defaults on international and domestic debts--as well as the cycles in housing and equity prices, capital flows, unemployment, and government revenues around these crises. While countries do weather their financial storms, Reinhart and Rogoff prove that short memories make it all too easy for crises to recur.
An important book that will affect policy discussions for a long time to come, "This Time Is Different" exposes centuries of financial missteps.
"In principle, venture capital is where the ordinarily conservative, cynical domain of big money touches dreamy, long-shot enterprise. In practice, it has become the distinguishing big-business engine of our time...[A] first-rate history." -New Yorker "An excellent and original economic history of venture capital." -Tyler Cowen, Marginal Revolution "It is an article of faith that ready access to venture capital makes an economy more dynamic. Nicholas frames the case historically." -Wall Street Journal "A detailed, fact-filled account of America's most celebrated moneymen." -New Republic VC tells the riveting story of how the venture capital industry arose from America's longstanding identification with entrepreneurship and risk-taking. Whether the venture is a whaling voyage setting sail from New Bedford (as in VC's infancy) or the latest Silicon Valley startup, VC is a state of mind as much as a way of doing business, exemplified by an appetite for seeking extreme financial rewards, a tolerance for failure and experimentation, and a faith in the promise of innovation to generate new wealth. Tom Nicholas's authoritative history takes us on a roller coaster of entrepreneurial successes and setbacks. It describes how iconic firms like Kleiner Perkins and Sequoia invested in Genentech and Apple as it tells the larger story of VC's birth and evolution, revealing along the way why it is such a quintessentially American institution-one that has proven difficult to recreate elsewhere.
This lively book takes Oklahoma history into the world of Wild West
capitalism. It begins with a useful survey of banking from the
early days of the American republic until commercial patterns
coalesced in the East. It then follows the course of American
expansion westward, tracing the evolution of commerce and banking
in Oklahoma from their genesis to the eve of statehood in 1907.
The First World War left a legacy of chaos that is still with us a century later. Why did European leaders resort to war and why did they not end it sooner? Roger L. Ransom sheds new light on this enduring puzzle by employing insights from prospect theory and notions of risk and uncertainty. He reveals how the interplay of confidence, fear, and a propensity to gamble encouraged aggressive behavior by leaders who pursued risky military strategies in hopes of winning the war. The result was a series of military disasters and a war of attrition which gradually exhausted the belligerents without producing any hope of ending the war. Ultimately, he shows that the outcome of the war rested as much on the ability of the Allied powers to muster their superior economic resources to continue the fight as it did on success on the battlefield.
Between the end of the Middle Ages and the early nineteenth century, the long-established structures and practices of European trade, agriculture, and industry were disparately but profoundly transformed. Revised, updated, and expanded, this second edition of Transitions to Capitalism in Early Modern Europe narrates and analyses the diverse trends that greatly enlarged European commerce, permanently modified rural and urban production, gave birth to new social classes, remade consumer habits, and altered global economic geographies, culminating in capitalist industrial revolution. Broad in chronological and geographical scope and explicitly comparative, Robert S. DuPlessis' book introduces readers to a wealth of information drawn from throughout Eastern, Western and Mediterranean Europe, as well as to classic interpretations, current debates, new scholarship, and suggestions for further reading.
Mark Blackburn was one of the leading scholars of the numismatics and monetary history of the British Isles and Scandinavia during the early medieval period. He published more than 200 books and articles on the subject, and was instrumental in building bridges between numismatics and associated disciplines, in fostering international communication and cooperation, and in establishing initiatives to record new coin finds. This memorial volume of essays commemorates Mark Blackburn's considerable achievement and impact on the field, builds on his research and evaluates a vibrant period in the study of early medieval monetary history. Containing a broad range of high-quality research from both established figures and younger scholars, the essays in this volume maintain a tight focus on Europe in the early Middle Ages (6th-12th centuries), reflecting Mark's primary research interests. In geographical terms the scope of the volume stretches from Spain to the Baltic, with a concentration of papers on the British Isles. As well as a fitting tribute to remarkable scholar, the essays in this collection constitute a major body of research which will be of long-term value to anyone with an interest in the history of early medieval Europe.
A powerful new understanding of global currency trends, including the rise of the Chinese yuan At first glance, the modern history of the global economic system seems to support the long-held view that the leading world power's currency--the British pound, the U.S. dollar, and perhaps someday the Chinese yuan--invariably dominates international trade and finance. In How Global Currencies Work, three noted economists provide a reassessment of this history and the theories behind the conventional wisdom. Offering a new history of global finance over the past two centuries, and marshaling extensive new data to test established theories of how global currencies work, Barry Eichengreen, Arnaud Mehl, and Livia Chit?u argue for a new view, in which several national monies can share international currency status, and their importance can change rapidly. They demonstrate how changes in technology and in the structure of international trade and finance have reshaped the landscape of international currencies so that several international financial standards can coexist. They show that multiple international and reserve currencies have in fact coexisted in the pastupending the traditional view of the British pound's dominance prior to 1945 and the U.S. dollar's dominance more recently. Looking forward, the book tackles the implications of this new framework for major questions facing the future of the international monetary system, from whether the euro and the Chinese yuan might address their respective challenges and perhaps rival the dollar, to how increased currency competition might affect global financial stability.
The current political trend toward a drastically reduced government role in the economy and civil society begs a thorough discussion of the recent history of the free market movement in the United States. By providing a history of the political revitalization of classical liberalism since the 1960s, Bringing the Market Back In makes a significant step in understanding this discussion. When the market liberals came to power with the election of Ronald Reagan, they failed to translate their economic theories into dramatic political change. Although market liberals had developed remarkable intellectual strengths by 1980, the political movement to roll back the state was still in its infancy. The Gingrich Revolution of 1994 suggests that a better test of market liberalism's political feasibility may come in the last half of the 1990's.
Moving beyond the political polemics so common in the arena of contemporary economic policy, Kelley grounds his study in the little-known archival materials from the Libertarian Party and personal collections from the Hoover Institution Archives.
The story of Benjamin Rathbun's ruin reads like a primer for the scandals and studied neglect that triggered America's economic crisis today. Banker, builder and architect, a revered citizen of the flourishing American northwestern frontier-in the end he was also a convicted forger. And his forgeries were of such gravity that they added momentum to the Panic of 1837, the rapid collapse of a system of credit and debt that brought down the young nation's financial system. Rathbun was surely a rascal, but a rascal somehow of great decency. In Buffalo, a half-built landscape was strewn with Rathbun's broken vision. Concerned for the thousands who had depended upon him, he begged for release from jail long enough to fix the damage. Instead, he spent five years in prison shouldering the blame for others who fled to Texas, beyond the reach of American law.
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