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The Boom and the Bubble: The US in the World Economyby Robert Brenner
Synopses & Reviews
A sustained period of significant growth in the US, however, seemed to save the day against all the odds. So impressive was the surface appearance of this rescue mission that all manner of commentators proclaimed—once again—that a ‘new economy’ or ‘new paradigm’ of unlimited and harmonious growth had been forged.
Today, as recession looms, the babble about Internet start-ups is exposed as vapid. Yet the pundits are no nearer an understanding of how or why the boom turned into a bubble, or why the bubble has burst. In this crisp and forensic book, Robert Brenner demonstrates that the boom was always a fragile phenomenon—buoyed up by absurd levels of debt and stock-market overvaluation—which never broke free from the fundamental malady of overcapacity and overproduction which continues to afflict the global economy.
Carefully dismantling the myths and hype that surround the US boom in terms of profitability, investment, and productivity, Brenner restores the properly international context to the process. He portrays the ‘zero-sum’ character of the American success, which presupposed the relative weakness of its main German and Japanese competitors: a strategy that has laid huge obstacles in the path of a ‘soft landing’ to end the current phase of growth.
A substantial new Postscript provides and up-to-date analysis of the Bush economic debacle—the crisis of manufacturing, the telecom bust, the record twin deficits, plummeting employment, and the real estate bubble.
This text shows that the "New Economy" was a fragile phenomenon which was never freed from fundamental problems continuing to afflict the global economy. Dismantling the hype surrounding US expansion, it shows that transcending economic stagnation in the future is not yet a foregone conclusion.
Brenner demonstrates that the new economy was always a fragile phenomenon.
In this crisp and far-sighted book, Robert Brenner demonstrates that the "New Economy" was always a fragile phenomenon that never broke free from fundamental problems continuing to afflict the global economy. Carefully dismantling the myths and hype that surround the US expansion, he shows that transcending economic stagnation in the near future is anything but a foregone conclusion.
About the Author
Robert Brenner is Director of the Center for Social Theory and Comparative History at UCLA. He is the author of The Boom and the Bubble, Merchants and Revolution, The Economics of Global Turbulence and co-editor of Rebel Rank and File.
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