The Gods That Failed: How Blind Faith in Markets Has Cost Us Our Future

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Over the past three decades, governments have ceded economic control to a new elite of free-market operatives and their colleagues in national and international institutions like the IMF, the World Bank, and the World Trade Organization. They promised economic stability but have delivered chaos. Their speculation has left the global economy more vulnerable to a financial collapse than any time since 1929.

Two leading financial journalists dissect this financial elite, tracing ...

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The Gods that Failed: How Blind Faith in Markets Has Cost Us Our Future

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Overview

Over the past three decades, governments have ceded economic control to a new elite of free-market operatives and their colleagues in national and international institutions like the IMF, the World Bank, and the World Trade Organization. They promised economic stability but have delivered chaos. Their speculation has left the global economy more vulnerable to a financial collapse than any time since 1929.

Two leading financial journalists dissect this financial elite, tracing their origins to a secretive gathering of free-market economists in 1947, and propose a series of far-reaching reforms that can save us from a new depression.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Latest in the parade of where-were-they-a-year-ago expert financial authors are economics editors Elliott (of the Guardian) and Atkinson (of Britain's Mail on Sunday). Likening Wall Street professionals to "New Olympians" who opened a "Pandora's Box" of financial evils, the two are less than skilled with their analogies, but possess great knowledge and a perspective encompassing London, Wall Street and Washington DC. While it's true that free-market philosophies have been increasingly adopted, even by the left (Jimmy Carter's deregulation of airlines and telecommunications, Bill Clinton's NAFTA), the authors blame the current mess, somewhat fantastically, on an international group of 38 economic theorists (including Friedrich von Hayek, Karl Popper and Milton Friedman) who, meeting in Switzerland in 1947, set the course for "classical liberalism" to fight back against "what was seen as the tyranny of the collective." Aside from this, the authors provide an excellent, witty explanation for the past few years of economic boom and bust, with a broad approach that makes clear the multiple forces working to sink the economy (rather than focusing exclusively on, say, Alan Greenspan and the Federal Reserve). Though it's not impartial, this is a well-written, well-informed guide to today's crisis and a sharp critique of free market philosophies.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781568586021
  • Publisher: Avalon Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 2/3/2009
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Larry Elliott is the long-time Economics Editor of The Guardian. In 1997 he won the Business Journalist of the Year Award from the UK Press Gazette. He is a regular broadcaster on the BBC. He lives in London.

Dan Atkinson is the Economics Editor of Mail on Sunday, one of Britain’s highest circulation newspapers. He is an expert in issues of regulation and fraud. He lives in Sussex.

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Under the Volcano: 1929-1973-20?? 1

Chapter 2 The Rock and the Bear: A Tale of Two Banks 27

Chapter 3 Let's Go Round Again: The Free Marketeers' Sixty Years War 49

Chapter 4 Sunday, Monday, Happy Days: The Goldilocks Economy 87

Chapter 5 The Rainy Season: Middle America Feels the Squeeze 107

Chapter 6 The Odd Couple: Alan Greenspan, Gordon Brown, and the World's Biggest Bubble 131

Chapter 7 Here There Be Monsters: The Perils Lurking in the Uncharted Waters of the Financial Markets 159

Chapter 8 Last Tango on Wall Street: The Fall of the "American Miracle" 189

Chapter 9 Thunder in the West: Scanning the Horizon for the Perfect Storm 217

Chapter 10 After the Gold Rush: How the New Populism Makes the Financial System Safer, Gives Ordinary People a Bigger Slice of the Cake, and Puts the New Olympians Back in Their Cage 243

Afterword 273

Index 277

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