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Introduction: The View from James Street 1
Part 1 The Rise of China
1 Origins of Dysfunction: How We Got Here 31
2 Average Joes: Drowning in a Sea of Global Financial Liquidity 63
3 Virtue and Vice: The Savings and Debt Conundrum 98
4 The Long Reach: China's Insatiable Appetite 132
5 Race to the Bottom: Losers in the Global Economy 162
Part 2 The Rise of Global Finance
6 Global Finance Between a Rock and a Hard Place: Too Big to Fail and Too Big to Succeed 189
7 The Little Nation That Could: Cutting Bankers. Down to Size 229
8 PUGS and the Systemic Crisis: When Bond Vigilantes Get Their Dander Up 267
9 The Global Liquidity Machine 310
10 What Is to Be Done? Toward a Less Tumultuous World 337
Posted July 6, 2012
In his recently released book, The Unfair Trade: How Our Broken Global Financial System Destroys the Middle Class, Michael Casey takes an in-depth look at how the global financial crisis and its aftermath have affected the middle class. Digging deep into the causes and effects of globalization and their impacts on finance, industry and employment, Casey makes a convincing case that the global financial system is broken and in desperate need of a fix driven by international cooperation.
An editor at The Wall Street Journal and experienced international reporter, Casey effectively mixes macro and micro viewpoints on the financial crisis from interviews with his neighbors to visits to rural China to place what’s happened in a global and local context. What’s most impressive about the book is how he reveals the stories of individual people and their families in their struggles to make ends meet amid the chaotic workings of an international financial and economic system that’s akin to a Frankenstein. He shows the connections between China’s policies designed to give their products an advantage, the United State’s voracious appetite for cash and consumer goods, and how those factors impacts employment, social stability and politics on the other side of the globe and just around the corner.
As long as individual nations continue to put their own interests – or more accurately, the interests of their power elites – ahead of the best interests of economic and social justice, the system that we have now with crisis interspersed with periods of anemic recovery may be a fixture. It’s not a reassuring picture for families in the United States clinging to the middle class or the rural and urban poor in China and the rest of the third world as these groups will most likely continue to be economically disadvantaged.
In the final analysis, Casey does believe there is hope, He offers some compelling suggestions and solutions for how global trade imbalances and the inequity of the global financial system can be solved, most of which involve far greater international cooperation and institution of stricter regulation and regulatory enforcement. An emerging thought leader in the area of global finance, Casey’ has authored a book that is well worth a read if you’re concerned about the global economy and how it might be fixed. It could give you hope that we may actually eventually find our way out of the mess we’re in.
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