Synopses & Reviews
When the crash of the U. S. stock market became public knowledge in the fall of 2008, it was already old news. The real crash, the silent crash, had taken place over the previous year, in bizarre feeder markets where the sun doesn't shine, and the SEC doesn't dare, or bother, to tread: the bond and real estate derivative markets where geeks invent impenetrable securities to profit from the misery of lower- and middle-class Americans who can't pay their debts. The smart people who understood what was or might be happening were paralyzed by hope and fear; in any case, they weren't talking.
The crucial question is this: Who understood the risk inherent in the assumption of ever-rising real estate prices, a risk compounded daily by the creation of those arcane, artificial securities loosely based on piles of doubtful mortgages? Michael Lewis turns the inquiry on its head to create a fresh, character-driven narrative brimming with indignation and dark humor, a fitting sequel to his #1 best-selling Liar's Poker
. Who got it right? he asks. Who saw the real estate market for the black hole it would become, and eventually made billions of dollars from that perception? And what qualities of character made those few persist when their peers and colleagues dismissed them as Chicken Littles?
Out of this handful of unlikely — really unlikely — heroes, Lewis fashions a story as compelling and unusual as any of his earlier bestsellers, proving yet again that he is the finest and funniest chronicler of our times.
"Superb: Michael Lewis doing what he does best, illuminating the idiocy, madness and greed of modern finance....Lewis achieves what I previously imagined impossible: He makes sub-prime sexy all over again." Pam Houston
"No one writes with more narrative panache about money and finance than Mr. Lewis....[he] does a nimble job of using his subjects' stories to explicate the greed, idiocies and hypocrisies of a system notably lacking in grown-up supervision....Writing in faintly Tom Wolfe-ian prose, Mr. Lewis does a colorful job of introducing the lay reader to the Darwinian world of the bond market." Andrew Leonard
"One of the best business books of the past two decades." Andrew Leonard Salon.com
"I read Lewis for the same reasons I watch Tiger Woods. I'll never play like that. But it's good to be reminded every now and again what genius looks like." Malcolm Gladwell New York Times Book Review
"The emerging rock-star of Europe's anti-austerity uprising."
"The book is one of those exceedingly rare publications of which one can say they are urgent, timely and absolutely necessary."
"Varoufakis is a rare economist: skilled at explaining ideas, happy to join in public debates and able to put his discipline in a broader context."
"Yanis is one of the best, brightest and most innovative economists on the planet."
"Clearly and strongly written, with logical organization building towards simple conclusions, the book is an easy yet rewarding read ... perhaps should become the standard way we think about the nature of our increasingly dysfunctional world economy."
"In the most comprehensive guide to the contemporary economic crisis yet written, Varoufakis traces out the path from post-war US economic supremacy to the current predicament. This book's provocative thesis, written in lively and impassioned prose, is that which neither the US nor the EU nor any other nation can now restore robust global growth. Whether you agree or disagree, this book's lively and impassioned prose will engage you both heart and mind, and hold you in thrall to the last word. The Global Minotaur is a masterwork that registers for all time the challenge of our time."
"If you want to know how serious the current crisis is, you should read his book. With much eloquence, Yanis Varoufakis argues that the current financial problems are connected to the emerging fault lines of the international monetary system. The US (the Minotaur) used to govern the international monetary system, but no more; and this crucially means that there is no surplus recycling mechanism that can reliably stabilise the world economy. The elephant in the room, so to speak, is a stumbling Minotaur."
"It is the work of our greatest financial journalist, at the top of his game. And it's essential reading." Vanity Fair
The real story of the crash began in bizarre feeder markets where the sun doesn't shine and the SEC doesn't dare, or bother, to tread: the bond and real estate derivative markets where geeks invent impenetrable securities to profit from the misery of lower- and middle-class Americans who can't pay their debts. The smart people who understood what was or might be happening were paralyzed by hope and fear; in any case, they weren't talking. Michael Lewis creates a fresh, character-driven narrative brimming with indignation and dark humor, a fitting sequel to his #1 bestseller . Out of a handful of unlikely-really unlikely-heroes, Lewis fashions a story as compelling and unusual as any of his earlier bestsellers, proving yet again that he is the finest and funniest chronicler of our time.
The #1 New York Times bestseller: "It is the work of our greatest financial journalist, at the top of his game. And it's essential reading."—Graydon Carter, Vanity Fair
In this provocative book, Yanis Varoufakis—the fiery former finance minister in Greek’s new Syriza-led government—explodes the myth that financialization, ineffective regulation of banks, and generalized greed and globalization were the root causes of the global economic crisis. Rather, he shows, they are symptoms of a much deeper malaise, one that can be traced all the way back to the Great Depression, then through the stagflation of the 1970s, when a “Global Minotaur” was born. Today’s deepening crisis in Europe, Varoufakis shows, is just one of the inevitable signs of the weakening Minotaur—of a global system that is now as unsustainable as it is unbalanced. Rather than simply diagnose a problem, however, Varoufakis also offers a solution, a program for introducing reason into what has become a perniciously irrational economic order.
An essential, powerfully polemical account of the hidden histories that continue to shape our world and economy today, this book from a major player on the stage of world finance, and with a new introduction by Paul Mason, will be essential reading for economists, policy makers, and regular citizens alike.
About the Author
Yanis Varoufakis is the Greek Minister of Finance and an MP for Syriza. He is also Professor of Economics at the University of Athens and Visiting Professor at the University of Texas. Born in Athens, 1961, Varoufakis completed his secondary education in Greece before moving to England where he read mathematics and economics at the Universities of Essex and Birmingham. He has taught at various British Universities (Essex, East Anglia, Cambridge, Glasgow), and spent twelve years teaching at the University of Sydney (Australia).
Table of Contents
Foreword by Paul Mason
2. Laboratories of the future
3. The Global Plan
4. The Global Minotaur
5. The beast's handmaidens
7. The handmaidens strike back
8. The Minotaur's global legacy: the dimming sun, the wounded tigers, a flighty Europa and an anxious dragon
9. A future without the Minotaur?