This book takes a multi-disciplinary approach to the great
financial crisis of 2007-09. It combines the disciplines of
economics, finance, sociology and politics to analyse the causes,
consequences and challenges of the crisis. The authors propose that
the causes of the crisis should be understood at three
inter-related levels - the level of theory and ideology; the level
of financial industry practices and malpractices; and finally the
level of structural imbalances in the international economy. Above
all, the book is historical and holistic in perspective. This book
is an excellent read for the critical layman interested in
understanding the causes that underlie the global financial crisis.
The authors combine the inquisitive and critical mind of a scholar
and the lucid writing style of a journalist. The book provides a
perspective on the crisis that is both practical and down to earth
and at the same time, rigorous and holistic. Khor Hoe Ee, Chief
Economist, Abu Dhabi Council for Economic Development, and former
Assistant Managing Director, Economics, Monetary Authority of
Singapore The authors trace the rise of finance and its domination
over the real economy, the consequences of financial innovation and
deregulation for systemic fragility, and the failure of
conventional economic and financial theory to analyse and
anticipate the consequent dangers. Their main original contribution
is to relate these Western market developments to recent trends in
the East Asian region and to call for appropriate systemic reforms,
not only to avoid similar future crises, but also to address other
underlying development and analytical problems. K.S. Jomo,
Assistant Secretary General, Department of Economic and Social
Affairs, United Nations In linking wealth and income distribution
to financial instability, this book makes an important point that
is often missed in the debate on the crisis. Central Banks have
become strongly opposed to the idea of accommodating wage demands
with the help of monetary easing, but they have been increasingly
tolerant, or even supportive, of debt-financed consumption and
asset inflation. Indeed, by serving to concentrate wealth further
in the hands of a small rentier class, while protecting that class
from the risks of debt defaults, they are only adding to systemic
pressures that give rise to serious financial crises. Yilmaz Akyuz,
Special Economic Advisor, South Centre, and former Chief Economist
at United Nations Conference for Trade and Development
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