Synopses & Reviews
Like all of us, though few so visibly, Alan Greenspan was forced by the financial crisis of 2008 to question some fundamental assumptions about risk management and economic forecasting. No one with any meaningful role in economic decision making in the world saw beforehand the storm for what it was. How had our models so utterly failed us?
To answer this question, Alan Greenspan embarked on a rigorous and far-reaching multiyear examination of how Homo economicus predicts the economic future, and how it can predict it better. Economic risk is a fact of life in every realm, from home to business to government at all levels. Whether were conscious of it or not, we make wagers on the future virtually every day, one way or another. Very often, however, were steering by out-of-date maps, when were not driven by factors entirely beyond our conscious control.
The Map and the Territory is nothing less than an effort to update our forecasting conceptual grid. It integrates the history of economic prediction, the new work of behavioral economists, and the fruits of the authors own remarkable career to offer a thrillingly lucid and empirically based grounding in what we can
know about economic forecasting and what we cant.The book explores how culture is and isn't destiny and probes what we can predict about the world's biggest looming challenges, from debt and the reform of the welfare state to natural disasters in an age of global warming.
No map is the territory, but Greenspans approach, grounded in his trademark rigor, wisdom, and unprecedented context, ensures that this particular map will assist in safe journeys down many different roads, traveled by individuals, businesses, and the state.
Larry Summers, Financial Times:
"No other American economic policy maker in the past half-century could have written so thoughtfully about the implications of the Enlightenment for economic policy or have attempted, as Greenspan did while in office and does again here, to compute the physical weight of all the goods that comprise American gross domestic product. The range of topics and arguments makes this book a very important statement, whether one ultimately agrees or disagrees with the authorand#8230;..Greenspanand#8217;s range, vision and boldness is especially important at a time like the present, when Washington is preoccupied with the political and pettyand#8230;.Greenspan has written a major work and#8230;.[A] splendid book.and#8221;
Burton Malkiel, The Wall Street Journal:
and#8220;The Map and the Territoryand#160;is a model of expositional clarity, with complex and recondite matters made accessible to the lay reader. The book should be must reading for anyone interested in the way our financial markets workand#8212;and sometimes fail to do so."
and#8220;Compelling and hugely enlighteningand#8230;This exposition of a lifetime as a practicing economist is full of insights and lessons for financiers, security analysts, business students and public policy makers, especially Presidents, congressmen, central bankers and the FDIC, SEC, CFTC, FHLB. It should be required reading for some of the insights into the way markets perform.and#8221;
N. Gregory Mankiw, The New York Times Book Review:
and#8220;The book offers much wisdomand#8230;.[Greenspan] sees the world through a different set of eyes than do many others in his field. He is driven less by theory, more by data and practical experienceand#8230;.Greenspanand#8217;s new book lays out his worldview in light of the financial crisis, the deep recession and the meager recovery of the past five years. His critics often condemn him as an ideologue, but the book demonstrates the unfairness of that accusation. On a wide range of topicsand#8212;from monetary, fiscal and financial policy to productivity, inequality and globalizationand#8212;he offers readers a thoughtful, nuanced and open-minded perspective, tempered by many years of having seen both business and public policy from the insideand#8230;.Whether or not youand#8217;re an economist, you canand#8217;t help coming away from The Map and the Territory with greater insight into many of the crucial issues facing the nation. Greenspanand#8217;s path to fame may have been unconventional, but after reading this book, youand#8217;ll understand why five American presidents turned to him and made him one of the great economic policy makers of our time.and#8221;
A business leader and esteemed economic thinker outlines simple solutions to Americaandrsquo;s five most pressing public policy issues, from healthcare to education to inequality
America today confronts a host of urgent problems, many of them seemingly intractableandmdash;but some we are entirely capable of solving. Inand#160;Five Easy Theses
, James M. Stone presents specific, common-sense solutions to a handful of our most pressing challenges, showing how simple it would be to shore up Social Security, rein in an out-of-control financial sector, reduce inequality, and make healthcare and education better and more affordable. The means are right in front of us, Stone explains, in various policy options thatandmdash;if implementedandmdash;could preserve or enhance government revenue while also channeling the national economy toward the greater good.
Accessible and thought-provoking,and#160;Five Easy Thesesand#160;reveals that a more democratic, prosperous America is well within our reach.
About the Author
JAMES M. STONEandnbsp;is CEO of the Plymouth Rock family of insurance companies, vice chairman of web-based international news service Global Post, and a founding member of the Administrative Committee of Lindsay Goldberg, a large New Yorkandndash;based private equity company. Stone has also served as chairman of the United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission under President Jimmy Carter, as commissioner of insurance for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and as lecturer in economics at Harvard University. A fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the author of numerous articles on insurance, finance, and economics, as well as a book on the securities industry, he holds a Ph.D. in economics from Harvard and lives in Boston, Massachusetts.