Synopses & Reviews
Over the past three decades, governments have ceded economic control to a new elite of free-market operatives and their colleagues in national and international institutions like the IMF, the World Bank, and the World Trade Organization. They promised economic stability but have delivered chaos. Their speculation has left the global economy more vulnerable to a financial collapse than any time since 1929.
Two leading financial journalists dissect this financial elite, tracing their origins to a secretive gathering of free-market economists in 1947, and propose a series of far-reaching reforms that can save us from a new depression.
"Latest in the parade of where-were-they-a-year-ago expert financial authors are economics editors Elliott (of the Guardian) and Atkinson (of Britain's Mail on Sunday). Likening Wall Street professionals to 'New Olympians' who opened a 'Pandora's Box' of financial evils, the two are less than skilled with their analogies, but possess great knowledge and a perspective encompassing London, Wall Street and Washington DC. While it's true that free-market philosophies have been increasingly adopted, even by the left (Jimmy Carter's deregulation of airlines and telecommunications, Bill Clinton's NAFTA), the authors blame the current mess, somewhat fantastically, on an international group of 38 economic theorists (including Friedrich von Hayek, Karl Popper and Milton Friedman) who, meeting in Switzerland in 1947, set the course for 'classical liberalism' to fight back against 'what was seen as the tyranny of the collective.' Aside from this, the authors provide an excellent, witty explanation for the past few years of economic boom and bust, with a broad approach that makes clear the multiple forces working to sink the economy (rather than focusing exclusively on, say, Alan Greenspan and the Federal Reserve). Though it's not impartial, this is a well-written, well-informed guide to today's crisis and a sharp critique of free market philosophies." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
Two of our leading financial journalists demythologize the cult of free markets, and offer a devastating critique of the ideas and policies that have led to our current economic crisis
About the Author
is the long-time Economics Editor of The Guardian
. In 1997 he won the Business Journalist of the Year Award from the UK Press Gazette
. He is a regular broadcaster on the BBC. He lives in London.
Dan Atkinson is the Economics Editor of Mail on Sunday, one of Britains highest circulation newspapers. He is an expert in issues of regulation and fraud. He lives in Sussex.