Synopses & Reviews
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.
John Lanchester's brilliant survey of the current financial crisis explains how the booming global economy collapsed seemingly overnight.
For most people, the reasons for the sudden collapse of our economy still remain obscure. I.O.U.
is the story of how we came to experience such a complete financial disaster, starting with the magical proliferation of credit that led to an explosion of lending on the global and local landscapes of banking and finance. Viewing the crisis through the lens of politics, culture, and contemporary history—from the invention and widespread misuse of financial instruments to the culpability of subprime mortgages—Lanchester deftly draws conclusions on the limitations of financial and governmental regulation, capitalism’s deepest flaw, and most important, on the plain and simple facts of human nature where cash is concerned.
With newly updated, superbly written reportage, Lanchester delivers a shrewd perspective and a digestible, comprehensive analysis that connects the dots for expert and casual reader alike. Part economic primer, part fiscal and historical analysis, I.O.U. is an eye-opener of a book.
About the Author
John Lanchester is the author of the novels The Debt to Pleasure, Mr. Phillips, and Fragrant Harbor; and a memoir, Family Romance. He is a contributing editor at the London Review of Books and his work has appeared in The New York Times, The New Yorker, The Observer, and The Daily Telegraph, among others. Among several other prizes, including the Whitbread and Hawthornden Awards, Lanchester was awarded the 2008 E.M. Forster Award by the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He lives in London.
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?