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The End of the Free Market: Who Wins the War Between States and Corporations?by Ian Bremmer
Synopses & Reviews
and#147;A world in which the leading liberal-democratic nation does not assume its role as world policeman will become a world in which dictatorships contend, or unite, to fill the breach. Americans seeking a return to an isolationist garden of Edenand#151;alone and undisturbed in the world, knowing neither good nor eviland#151;will soon find themselves living within shooting range of global pandemonium.and#8221;and#151;From the Introduction
In a brilliant book that will elevate foreign policy in the national conversation, Pulitzer Prizeand#150;winning columnist Bret Stephens makes a powerful case for American intervention abroad.
In December 2011 the last American soldier left Iraq. and#147;Weand#8217;re leaving behind a sovereign, stable, and self-reliant Iraq,and#8221; boasted President Obama. He was proved devastatingly wrong less than three years later as jihadists seized the Iraqi city of Mosul. The event cast another dark shadow over the future of global orderand#151;a shadow, which, Bret Stephens argues, we ignore at our peril.
America in Retreat identifies a profound crisis on the global horizon. As Americans seek to withdraw from the world to tend to domestic problems, Americaand#8217;s adversaries spy opportunity. Vladimir Putinand#8217;s ambitions to restore the glory of the czarist empire go effectively unchecked, as do Chinaand#8217;s attempts to expand its maritime claims in the South China Sea, as do Iranand#8217;s efforts to develop nuclear capabilities. Civil war in Syria displaces millions throughout the Middle East while turbocharging the forces of radical Islam. Long-time allies such as Japan, Saudi Arabia, and Israel, doubting the credibility of American security guarantees, are tempted to freelance their foreign policy, irrespective of U.S. interests.
Deploying his characteristic stylistic flair and intellectual prowess, Stephens argues for American reengagement abroad. He explains how military intervention in Iraq and Afghanistan was the right course of action, foolishly executed. He traces the intellectual continuity between anti-interventionist statesmen such as Henry Wallace and Robert Taft in the late 1940s and Barack Obama and Rand Paul today. And he makes an unapologetic case for Pax Americana, and#147;a world in which English is the default language of business, diplomacy, tourism, and technology; in which markets are global, capital is mobile, and trade is increasingly free; in which values of openness and tolerance are, when not the norm, often the aspiration.and#8221;
In a terrifying chapter imagining the world of 2019, Stephens shows what could lie in store if Americans continue on their current course. Yet we are not doomed to this future. Stephens makes a passionate rejoinder to those who argue that America is in decline, a process that is often beyond the reach of political cures. Instead, we are in retreatand#151;the result of faulty, but reversible, policy choices. By embracing its historic responsibility as the worldand#8217;s policeman, America can safeguard not only greater peace in the world but also greater prosperity at home.
At once lively and sobering, America in Retreat offers trenchant analysis of the gravest threat to global order, from a rising star of political commentary.and#160;
"'The power of the state is back,' announces Bremmer (The Fat Tail), president of the Eurasia Group, in this sobering examination of the threat the emerging powers of China, Russia, and Saudi Arabia pose to the free market. The book presents a whirlwind history of capitalism from mercantilism through the end of the cold war to the ascendancy of 'state capitalism,' a political and economic arrangement in which states exert their influence over markets and big business to serve their own interests. Bremmer provides informative case studies of economies with varying degrees of state control: Algeria's authoritarian regime, Mexico's relatively open and democratic system, and China, the 'leading practitioner of state capitalism,' in which Beijing has assumed only more economic power in the wake of the financial crisis. He weighs how free market economies can compete and concludes on a hopeful note, laying out a powerful case for the superiority of regulated free markets above state capitalism and a clear prescription for how the U.S. can defend its competitive advantage in the future." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
This work details the growing phenomenon of state capitalism, a system in which governments drive local economies through ownership of market-dominant companies. This trend threatens America's competitive edge and the conduct of free markets everywhere.
From the bestselling author of The End of the Free Market, the story of three provocative choices facing the worlds sole superpower.
Global policy expert Ian Bremmer calls for a complete rethink of Americas role in tomorrows world. In an increasingly volatile international environment, the question has never been more important. Bremmer explores three choices, each with its own benefits and drawbacks:
Independent America” argues that its time for Washington to declare independence from the responsibility to solve everyone elses problems. Instead, America should lead by example by investing in Americas enormous untapped potential.
Moneyball America” acknowledges that we cant manage every international challenge but asserts that we must defend U.S. interests wherever theyre threatened. It looks beyond phony arguments about American exceptionalism with a clear-eyed assessment of U.S. strengths and limitations.
Indispensable America” insists that only Washington can promote the values on which global stability increasingly depends in our hyper-connected world. Turning inward would threaten Americas security and prosperity.
Bremmer makes his best pitch for each scenario, offers his own conclusions, and challenges the reader to choose.
and#147;The next financial collapse will resembleand#160;nothing in history. . . . Deciding uponand#160;the best course to follow will requireand#160;comprehending a minefield of risks, whileand#160;poised at a crossroads, pondering theand#160;death of the dollar.and#8221;
The international monetary system has collapsed threeand#160;times in the past hundred years, in 1914, 1939, and 1971.and#160;Each collapse was followed by a period of tumult: war,and#160;civil unrest, or significant damage to the stability of theand#160;global economy. Now James Rickards, the acclaimedand#160;author of Currency Wars, shows why another collapseand#160;is rapidly approachingand#151;and why this time, nothing lessand#160;than the institution of money itself is at risk.
The American dollar has been the global reserveand#160;currency since the end of the Second World War. If theand#160;dollar fails, the entire international monetary system willand#160;fail with it. No other currency has the deep, liquid poolsand#160;of assets needed to do the job.
Optimists have always said, in essence, that thereand#8217;sand#160;nothing to worry aboutand#151;that confidence in the dollarand#160;will never truly be shaken, no matter how high ourand#160;national debt or how dysfunctional our government. Butand#160;in the last few years, the risks have become too big toand#160;ignore. While Washington is gridlocked and unable toand#160;make progress on our long-term problems, our biggestand#160;economic competitorsand#151;China, Russia, and the oilproducingand#160;nations of the Middle Eastand#151;are doing everythingand#160;possible to end U.S. monetary hegemony. Theand#160;potential results: Financial warfare. Deflation. Hyperinflation.and#160;Market collapse. Chaos.
Rickards offers a bracing analysis of these andand#160;other threats to the dollar. The fundamental problem isand#160;that money and wealth have become more and moreand#160;detached. Money is transitory and ephemeral, and it mayand#160;soon be worthless if central bankers and politicians continueand#160;on their current path. But true wealth is permanentand#160;and tangible, and it has real value worldwide.
The author shows how everyday citizens who saveand#160;and invest have become guinea pigs in the centraland#160;bankersand#8217; laboratory. The worldand#8217;s major financial playersand#151;national governments, big banks, multilateraland#160;institutionsand#151;will always muddle through by patchingand#160;together new rules of the
game. The real victims of theand#160;next crisis will be small investors who assumed that whatand#160;worked for decades will keep working.
Fortunately, itand#8217;s not too late to prepare for the comingand#160;death of money. Rickards explains the power ofand#160;converting unreliable money into real wealth: gold, land,and#160;fine art, and other long-term stores of value. As he writes:and#160;and#147;The coming collapse of the dollar and the internationaland#160;monetary system is entirely foreseeable. . . . Only nationsand#160;and individuals who make provision today will surviveand#160;the maelstrom to come.and#8221;
About the Author
Ian Bremmer is the president of Eurasia Group, the world's leading global political risk research and consulting firm. He has written for The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Newsweek, Foreign Affairs, and other publications, and his previous books are The J Curve: A New Way to Understand Why Nations Rise and Fall and The Fat Tail: The Power of Political Knowledge for Strategic Investing.
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