The Leaderless Economy: Why the World Economic System Fell Apart and How to Fix It

Overview

"Looking back, we know now that the Great Depression and the breakdown of the Bretton Woods system were turning points in modern economic history. Temin and Vines make a compelling case that we are now at another such juncture. Policymakers have signally failed to come to grips with the depth of this crisis--they would be well advised to read this book."--Jonathan Portes, Director of the National Institute of Economic and Social Research, London

"The global economy is deeply troubled, and the United States faces ...

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The Leaderless Economy: Why the World Economic System Fell Apart and How to Fix It

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Overview

"Looking back, we know now that the Great Depression and the breakdown of the Bretton Woods system were turning points in modern economic history. Temin and Vines make a compelling case that we are now at another such juncture. Policymakers have signally failed to come to grips with the depth of this crisis--they would be well advised to read this book."--Jonathan Portes, Director of the National Institute of Economic and Social Research, London

"The global economy is deeply troubled, and the United States faces no more pressing task than to fix it. Temin and Vines recount in rich detail the history of the modern world economy and the currents of economic thought that attempted to explain it, providing a fascinating explanation of the roots of today's crisis and the way forward."--Jeffry A. Frieden, coauthor of Lost Decades: The Making of America's Debt Crisis and the Long Recovery

"In this thoughtful and cogently argued book, Temin and Vines enlist the history of the Great Depression to provide a powerful set of dos and don'ts for the current financial crisis. The interesting question they pose is why today's policymakers, to a remarkable and alarming extent, have embraced the don'ts."--Barry Eichengreen, author of Exorbitant Privilege: The Rise and Fall of the Dollar and the Future of the International Monetary System

"For the world economy to truly return to health, advanced nations must cut domestic spending and make it up through higher exports, while emerging economies must do the reverse. Fiscal policies, interest rates, and exchange rates must adjust. Can it happen? Will it happen? Temin and Vines say it can, but only through international cooperation. Otherwise, history tells us, there are good reasons to worry. A great read."--Olivier Blanchard, International Monetary Fund

"This work dissects the global and euro area crises with refreshing clarity. It also sheds new light on Keynes's intellectual struggle to diagnose correctly the related events of the 1930s. The warning is clear: policymakers today need a clearer vision of how to deal with the domestic and international stress affecting their economies. Otherwise, they risk repeating the experience of the Great Depression rather than learning from it. Temin and Vines have done economists and the general public a huge service."--Max Watson, University of Oxford

"The Leaderless Economy focuses a historical lens on our current economic problems. While there have been many superficial analogies between the Great Depression and today, this illuminating book offers a more detailed, international economic look at those parallels."--Douglas A. Irwin, author of Peddling Protectionism: Smoot-Hawley and the Great Depression

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Two highly regarded economists, MIT’s Temin (Prometheus Shackled) and Oxford University–Balliol College’s Vines (The IMF and Its Critics), examine the evolution of Keynesian thought since the 1920s and discuss cures for today’s multinational unemployment, debt, and other economic problems. Exports and balance of trade, exchange rates, fiscal policy, and interest are among their moving parts. Conflicting solutions among nations worsen the economic crisis, they fear. As during the 1930s, the global economy no longer has a universally recognized leader or hegemon, yet international cooperation is essential to global industrial recovery. Temin and Vines explain why this is easy to say but hard to achieve, reviewing poor macroeconomic choices that have equal political traction with good ones. A powerful chapter on the American century and financial crisis since 2008 explores U.S. reversals and capacity for future global leadership. In addition, China’s “export-led development strategy” and emergent geoeconomic role get a close look. Saddled with a bland (and arguably misleading) title, Temin and Vines’s measured analysis will reward serious readers and economists who can keep up with global theory in motion. However, policy spinners looking for painless, politically popular remedies for high unemployment rates and deflationary trends will come away empty-handed. (Feb.)
Financial Times - Tony Barber
[The Leaderless Economy] presents sensible arguments in favour of a rebalanced world economic system.
Huffington Post - Glenn C. Altschuler
In The Leaderless Economy, Temin and Vines demonstrate that Keynes' economic theories remain robust and relevant. . . . [T]heir book provides a clear and compelling analysis of the roots of our global financial crisis and the lessons we can learn from it.
Bloomberg News - Daniel Akst
You can learn a lot by reading [The Leaderless Economy]. . . . The authors are commendably alert throughout to the economic and political complexities involved.
From the Publisher

One of Choice's Outstanding Academic Titles for 2013

"[T]emin and Vines's measured analysis will reward serious readers and economists who can keep up with global theory in motion."--Publishers Weekly

"A rigorous analysis of the collapse of the world economy in 2008--and why things don't seem to be getting better. . . . [S]obering . . ."--Kirkus Reviews

"[The Leaderless Economy] presents sensible arguments in favour of a rebalanced world economic system."--Tony Barber, Financial Times

"In The Leaderless Economy, Temin and Vines demonstrate that Keynes' economic theories remain robust and relevant. . . . [T]heir book provides a clear and compelling analysis of the roots of our global financial crisis and the lessons we can learn from it."--Glenn C. Altschuler, Huffington Post

"You can learn a lot by reading [The Leaderless Economy]. . . . The authors are commendably alert throughout to the economic and political complexities involved."--Daniel Akst, Bloomberg News

"Temin and Vines . . . offer a thoughtful exploration of the situation of the world financial system through detailed analysis and comparisons of the recent international economic crisis with circumstances during the Great Depression. . . . The book is a great resource for those interested in international economics and history. A must read for upper-division undergraduate students, business leaders, and future policy makers, and a pleasure for graduate students, faculty, and general readers."--Choice

"In this timely and important book, Peter Temin and David Vines argue that our current predicament is a catastrophe rivaled only by the Great Depression. Taking an in-depth look at the history of both, they explain what went wrong and why, and demonstrate why international leadership is needed to restore prosperity and prevent future crises."--World Book Industry

Kirkus Reviews
A rigorous analysis of the collapse of the world economy in 2008--and why things don't seem to be getting better. Following a crash and a modest bounce back, the world's economic recovery has been stalled for at least two years, write economists Temin (The Roman Market Economy, 2012, etc.) and Vines (co-author: The IMF and Its Critics, 2004, etc.); moreover, they add, "the world economy is 10 percent poorer than it would have been had economic growth continued smoothly after 2007." The crisis has been so deep and thorough that, in many ways, it parallels the Great Depression, which occasions a longish account of Keynesian economics and its theories of stimulus and monetary versus fiscal policy--all matters in which economists will be right at home, though general readers not so much. Divided among different shifting blocs at a time of economic regime change, whence leaderless, the world's economy risks falling into another Depression, the authors argue, unless appropriately post-Keynesian remedies are put into place, particularly to settle the deep imbalance in trade flows and payments. We need only look for examples at the imbalances that obtain between parts of the European Union and between the U.S. and China, but the authors give others over time. Examining alternatives such as a "floating exchange rate world" and a China willing to export less (and a U.S. willing to consume less, for that matter), they explore the possibilities, however remote, of avoiding further calamity. Suffice it to say that austerity is not one of them. Dense and detailed. One doesn't have to hold a doctorate in economics to read this sobering treatise, but it helps.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780691157436
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication date: 1/22/2013
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 1,412,361
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author


Peter Temin is the Elisha Gray II Professor Emeritus of Economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His books include "Prometheus Shackled", "The Roman Market Economy "(Princeton), and "The World Economy between the World Wars". David Vines is Professor of Economics and a Fellow of Balliol College, University of Oxford. His books include "The IMF and Its Critics" and "The Asian Financial Crisis".
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Table of Contents


Preface ix
ONE The World Economy Is Broken 1
TWO The British Century and the Great Depression 21
THREE Keynes from the Macmillan Committee to Bretton Woods 59
FOUR The American Century and the Global Financial Crisis 107
FIVE Restoring International Balance in Europe 151
SIX Restoring International Balance in the World 205
SEVEN Using Theory to Learn from History 243
Appendix 257
Notes 275
References
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