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Beyond the Crash: Overcoming the First Crisis of Globalization


The crisis exposed the contradiction of globalization itself: as economies have become more interconnected, regulators and governments have failed to keep pace and increase coordination. It is a failure intrinsic to unregulated global markets, an instability that resulted from the manner in which increasing flows of capital around the world happened and impacted the economy. And it is a failure of collective action at an international level to respond quickly enough to the ...

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Beyond the Crash: Overcoming the First Crisis of Globalization

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The crisis exposed the contradiction of globalization itself: as economies have become more interconnected, regulators and governments have failed to keep pace and increase coordination. It is a failure intrinsic to unregulated global markets, an instability that resulted from the manner in which increasing flows of capital around the world happened and impacted the economy. And it is a failure of collective action at an international level to respond quickly enough to the structural imbalances and inequities that arose.

At its simplest, then, this is the first true crisis of globalization. For the first time everybody, from the richest person in the richest city to the poorest person in the poorest slum, was affected by the same crisis. Although its roots are global, its impact is local, directly felt on nearly every main street, on nearly every shop floor, around nearly every kitchen table.

Billions of people around the world are in need of and are demanding a better globalization. It is the nature of power that you always leave tasks unfinished when you leave office. It is the nature of politics that the argument must continue. This book is my warning of a decade of lost growth and my answer to that fear with a call for a better globalization. It is an explanation of a pattern in the numbers that points to an enormous opportunity to alleviate poverty, create jobs, and grow. A future of low growth, high unemployment, decline, and decay is not inevitable; it's about the change we choose.

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Editorial Reviews

Anthony Faiola
Mirroring Brown's political style, the book is impersonal and plodding. But it is a credit to his intellect that the book's significance withstands his dry, textbook-like account of the world's descent into financial crisis, the breaking of that fall and the prescriptions for avoiding a repeat.
—The Washington Post
From the Publisher
'"Brown's] book is gripping because his matter-of-fact recounting of the early months of the crisis conveys the dilemmas and angst of polictymakers as they tried to handle the biggest economic drama in decades… The book conveys well Brown's sense of history, the rapid pace of change in the global economy and the failures of unfettered markets to manage things on their won. But it also conveys his moral sensibilities. He was a finance Minster who realized that finance was not an end in itself; that the true gauge of an economy was how it affected the well-being of its citizens. He was concerned about unemployment, not just inflation…. What is clear from this book is that Brown knew what needed to be done and tried to do it at a time when others were paralysed, captured by the financial community, or deluded by their past mistakes into trying to underestimate the severity of the crisis that their policies has helped create." Joseph Stiglitz, Financial Times

"When the economic crisis erupted in 2008-9, Brown, like Churchill in 1940, was the right man in the right place at the right time. He'd had 10 years as chancellor of the exchequer. He'd read widely and thought deeply about economics, finance, globalization. He was the one national leader who came to the crisis with a plan and the authority to push it through...This is his story of how he did it, told soberly, clearly, compellingly. It is not a defence of his premiership, but his personal account of a heroic moment in it. He does not claim credit for "saving the world", but lets the story speak for itself, and praises the contribution of his own team and the other world leaders. It is an interrupted story, because he did not survive long enough politically to finish the job. Since he left the scene efforts to co-ordinate recovery policies have fallen to pieces. This is the measure of his achievement – and the hole that his departure left." —Robert Skidelsky, The Guardian

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781451624069
  • Publisher: Free Press
  • Publication date: 10/4/2014
  • Pages: 336
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Gordon Brown served as British Prime Minister and leader of the Labour Party from 2007 to 2010. He served as Chancellor of the Exchequer from 1997 to 2007, making him the longest-serving Chancellor in modern history. Brown's time as Chancellor was marked by major reform of Britain's monetary and fiscal policy and sustained investment in health, education, and overseas aid. As Prime Minister, his tenure coincided with the recent financial crisis, and he was one of the first to initiate calls for global financial action; his administration also simultaneously introduced a range of rescue measures within the country. Brown has a Ph.D. in History from the University of Edinburgh, and he spent his early career working as a television journalist. He has been a Member of Parliament since 1983. He is married to Sarah Brown, a charity campaigner, and the couple has two young sons.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii

Prologue xvii

Introduction: The First Crisis of Globalization 1

Part 1

1 "All I Need Is Overnight Finance" 17

Part 2

2 The Problem Foreseen: Lessons from the Asian Crisis 69

3 The Problem Revealed: Capitalism without Capital 83

4 The Problem Assailed: The One-Trillion-Dollar Plan 113

Part 3

5 Going for Global Growth and Jobs 135

6 The American Challenge 143

7 China's Opportunity 151

8 India and the Asian Economies 163

9 Living with the Euro 181

10 Post-crisis Africa 97

11 A Plan for Global Growth 209

Part 4

Conclusion: Markets Need Morals 235

Appendix 243

Glossary 261

Notes 265

Bibliography 285

Index 293

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 1, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    False analyses, broken promises and lying boasts ...

    Ex-Chancellor, ex-Prime Minister, Gordon Brown claims not to know what the City does: he writes that after Lehman's went bust, "I was furious to discover that other major banks too were recklessly using their customers' own money to speculate." Does he think we are so stupid as to believe that he was so naïve? Again, he writes that, until 2008, we "had not fully appreciated that moral norms were not constraining the behaviour of those competing across complex and interlocked global entities that covered both shadow and formal banking systems." Yet Brown had been calling (fruitlessly) for constraining 'moral norms' for years. In 2008-9, global GDP fell by 5 per cent. More than 25 per cent of US and EU industrial capacity is idle. Brown admits that on current policies, unemployment will stay high for the next few years. Global poverty is growing, as are globalisation's other consequences: 'climate change, financial instability, inequality, and risks to security .' He claims, "this global problem does not offer simple national solutions" and "cannot be resolved without coordinated action." He asserts, "By committing huge resources to investment in its industries, China has been unable to substantially expand the income of its citizens", less than a page after he had noted, "In the past three decades 400 million Chinese people have escaped extreme poverty and millions have joined the middle classes." It wasn't global 'coordinated action' that took these 400 million people out of extreme poverty; it was the 'simple national solution' of huge investment in its industries. He urges China, Japan, India and the rest of Asia to open up their service sectors to imports. He wants labour market flexibility in every country, even though he admits it won't work: "even if Spain manages the deep structural reforms the IMF [International Monetary Fund] is prescribing, the IMF forecast is of low growth and continuously high unemployment." He also admits that cuts don't bring growth: "no precedent demonstrates that public-sector retrenchment will stimulate an early private-sector expansion and then jobs." At the end of the book, he reprints his 1998 speech at Harvard University in which he said, "the founders of Bretton Woods resolved that the failed policies of laissez-faire which resulted in vast inequities and recurring depression from the 1870s to the 1930s, would not be repeated." But laissez-faire capitalism, run by Thatcher, Labour and Con-Dem alike, has now again 'resulted in vast inequities and recurring depression'. He promised a new system of global financial regulation 'by summer' 1999, global crisis prevention and resolution 'by the end of 1999', and a global social code by 'the spring' of 1999. So, where are they all? The G20 Toronto Summit Declaration of June 2010 said, "we pledge to act together to achieve the commitments to reform the financial sector made at the Washington, London and Pittsburgh Summits by the agreed or accelerated timeframes." So, we pledge to carry out our pledges, pledges we have already made (and broken) three times. That's social-democracy - endless talk of reform, but no change. For 13 years at the top of government, Brown let finance capital rip. He promised an end to boom and bust, but he hyped up the boom and made us all pay for the inevitable bust.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 3, 2011

    recommended this book because it is important to know the enemy.

    this books fits the classic dupe of society by having order out of chaos. brown is a dedicated globalist. the globalists first create the problem, then they come in and supply the fix which will steal even more of our liberties by breaking down sovereignty. then eventually, the usa has no more bill of rights because the state and global corporations desire all the power. classic order out of chaos.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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