Icelanders wanted to stop fishing and become investment bankers. The Greeks wanted to turn their country into a pinata stuffed with cash and allow as many citizens as possible to take a whack at it. The Germans wanted to be even more German; the Irish wanted to stop being Irish.
Michael Lewis's investigation of bubbles beyond our shores is so brilliantly, sadly hilarious that it leads the American reader to a comfortable complacency: oh, those foolish foreigners. But when he turns a merciless eye on California and Washington, DC, we see that the narrative is a trap baited with humor, and we understand the reckoning that awaits the greatest and greediest of debtor nations.
Currency wars are one of the most destructive and feared outcomes in international economics. At best, they offer the sorry spectacle of countries' stealing growth from their trading partners. At worst, they degenerate into sequential bouts of inflation, recession, retaliation, and sometimes actual violence. Left unchecked, the next currency war could lead to a crisis worse than the panic of 2008.
Currency wars have happened before-twice in the last century alone-and they always end badly. Time and again, paper currencies have collapsed, assets have been frozen, gold has been confiscated, and capital controls have been imposed. And the next crash is overdue. Recent headlines about the debasement of the dollar, bailouts in Greece and Ireland, and Chinese currency manipulation are all indicators of the growing conflict.
As James Rickards argues in Currency Wars, this is more than just a concern for economists and investors. The United States is facing serious threats to its national security, from clandestine gold purchases by China to the hidden agendas of sovereign wealth funds. Greater than any single threat is the very real danger of the collapse of the dollar itself.
Baffling to many observers is the rank failure of economists to foresee or prevent the economic catastrophes of recent years. Not only have their theories failed to prevent calamity, they are making the currency wars worse. The U. S. Federal Reserve has engaged in the greatest gamble in the history of finance, a sustained effort to stimulate the economy by printing money on a trillion-dollar scale. Its solutions present hidden new dangers while resolving none of the current dilemmas.
While the outcome of the new currency war is not yet certain, some version of the worst-case scenario is almost inevitable if U.S. and world economic leaders fail to learn from the mistakes of their predecessors. Rickards untangles the web of failed paradigms, wishful thinking, and arrogance driving current public policy and points the way toward a more informed and effective course of action.
From the Hardcover edition.
In short, either we embrace radical change ourselves or radical changes will be visited upon our physical world. The status quo is no longer an option.
In This Changes Everything Naomi Klein argues that climate change isn’t just another issue to be neatly filed between taxes and health care. It’s an alarm that calls us to fix an economic system that is already failing us in many ways. Klein meticulously builds the case for how massively reducing our greenhouse emissions is our best chance to simultaneously reduce gaping inequalities, re-imagine our broken democracies, and rebuild our gutted local economies. She exposes the ideological desperation of the climate-change deniers, the messianic delusions of the would-be geoengineers, and the tragic defeatism of too many mainstream green initiatives. And she demonstrates precisely why the market has not—and cannot—fix the climate crisis but will instead make things worse, with ever more extreme and ecologically damaging extraction methods, accompanied by rampant disaster capitalism.
Klein argues that the changes to our relationship with nature and one another that are required to respond to the climate crisis humanely should not be viewed as grim penance, but rather as a kind of gift—a catalyst to transform broken economic and cultural priorities and to heal long-festering historical wounds. And she documents the inspiring movements that have already begun this process: communities that are not just refusing to be sites of further fossil fuel extraction but are building the next, regeneration-based economies right now.
Can we pull off these changes in time? Nothing is certain. Nothing except that climate change changes everything. And for a very brief time, the nature of that change is still up to us.
The U.S. dollar has been the global reserve currency since the end of World War II. If the dollar fails, the entire international monetary system will fail with it. But optimists have always said, in essence, that confidence in the dollar will never truly be shaken, no matter how high our national debt or how dysfunctional our government.
In the last few years, however, the risks have become too big to ignore. While Washington is gridlocked, our biggest rivals—China, Russia, and the oil-producing nations of the Middle East—are doing everything possible to end U.S. monetary hegemony. The potential results: Financial warfare. Deflation. Hyperinflation. Market collapse. Chaos.
James Rickards, the acclaimed author of Currency Wars, shows why money itself is now at risk and what we can all do to protect ourselves. He explains the power of converting unreliable investments into real wealth: gold, land, fine art, and other long-term stores of value.
Chua shows how in non-Western countries around the globe, free markets have concentrated starkly disproportionate wealth in the hands of a resented ethnic minority. These “market-dominant minorities” – Chinese in Southeast Asia, Croatians in the former Yugoslavia, whites in Latin America and South Africa, Indians in East Africa, Lebanese in West Africa, Jews in post-communist Russia – become objects of violent hatred. At the same time, democracy empowers the impoverished majority, unleashing ethnic demagoguery, confiscation, and sometimes genocidal revenge. She also argues that the United States has become the world’s most visible market-dominant minority, a fact that helps explain the rising tide of anti-Americanism around the world. Chua is a friend of globalization, but she urges us to find ways to spread its benefits and curb its most destructive aspects.
Over the past two centuries or so, capitalism has undergone profound changes—economic cycles that veer from boom to bust—from which it has always emerged transformed and strengthened. Surveying this turbulent history, Paul Mason’s Postcapitalism argues that we are on the brink of a change so big and so profound that this time capitalism itself, the immensely complex system within which entire societies function, will mutate into something wholly new.
At the heart of this change is information technology, a revolution that is driven by capitalism but, with its tendency to push the value of much of what we make toward zero, has the potential to destroy an economy based on markets, wages, and private ownership. Almost unnoticed, in the niches and hollows of the market system, swaths of economic life are beginning to move to a different rhythm. Vast numbers of people are changing how they behave and live, in ways contrary to the current system of state-backed corporate capitalism. And as the terrain changes, new paths open.
In this bold and prophetic book, Mason shows how, from the ashes of the crisis, we have the chance to create a more socially just and sustainable economy. Although the dangers ahead are profound, he argues that there is cause for hope. This is the first time in human history in which, equipped with an understanding of what is happening around us, we can predict and shape the future.
In Left Behind, Sebastian Edwards explains why the nations of Latin America have failed to share in the fruits of globalization and forcefully highlights the dangers of the recent turn to economic populism in the region. He begins by detailing the many ways Latin American governments have stifled economic development over the years through excessive regulation, currency manipulation, and thoroughgoing corruption. He then turns to the neoliberal reforms of the early 1990s, which called for the elimination of deficits, lowering of trade barriers, and privatization of inefficient public enterprises—and which, Edwards argues, held the promise of freeing Latin America from the burdens of the past. Flawed implementation, however, meant the promised gains of globalization were never felt by the mass of citizens, and growing frustration with stalled progress has led to a resurgence of populism throughout the region, exemplified by the economic policies of Venezuela’sHugo Chávez. But such measures, Edwards warns, are a recipe for disaster; instead, he argues, the way forward for Latin America lies in further market reforms, more honestly pursued and fairly implemented. As an example of the promise of that approach, Edwards points to Latin America's giant, Brazil, which under the successful administration of President Luis Inácio da Silva (Lula) has finally begun to show signs of reaching its true economic potential.
As the global financial crisis has reminded us, the risks posed by failing economies extend far beyond their national borders. Putting Latin America back on a path toward sustained growth is crucial not just for the region but for the world, and Left Behind offers a clear, concise blueprint for the way forward.
Sometime around 1750, English entrepreneurs unleashed the astounding energies of steam and coal, and the world was forever changed. The emergence of factories, railroads, and gunboats propelled the West's rise to power in the nineteenth century, and the development of computers and nuclear weapons in the twentieth century secured its global supremacy. Now, at the beginning of the twenty-first century, many worry that the emerging economic power of China and India spells the end of the West as a superpower. In order to understand this possibility, we need to look back in time. Why has the West dominated the globe for the past two hundred years, and will its power last?
Describing the patterns of human history, the archaeologist and historian Ian Morris offers surprising new answers to both questions. It is not, he reveals, differences of race or culture, or even the strivings of great individuals, that explain Western dominance. It is the effects of geography on the everyday efforts of ordinary people as they deal with crises of resources, disease, migration, and climate. As geography and human ingenuity continue to interact, the world will change in astonishing ways, transforming Western rule in the process.
Deeply researched and brilliantly argued, Why the West Rules—for Now spans fifty thousand years of history and offers fresh insights on nearly every page. The book brings together the latest findings across disciplines—from ancient history to neuroscience—not only to explain why the West came to rule the world but also to predict what the future will bring in the next hundred years.
Connectivity is the most revolutionary force of the twenty-first century. Mankind is reengineering the planet, investing up to ten trillion dollars per year in transportation, energy, and communications infrastructure linking the world’s burgeoning megacities together. This has profound consequences for geopolitics, economics, demographics, the environment, and social identity. Connectivity, not geography, is our destiny.
In Connectography, visionary strategist Parag Khanna travels from Ukraine to Iran, Mongolia to North Korea, Pakistan to Nigeria, and across the Arctic Circle and the South China Sea to explain the rapid and unprecedented changes affecting every part of the planet. He shows how militaries are deployed to protect supply chains as much as borders, and how nations are less at war over territory than engaged in tugs-of-war over pipelines, railways, shipping lanes, and Internet cables. The new arms race is to connect to the most markets—a race China is now winning, having launched a wave of infrastructure investments to unite Eurasia around its new Silk Roads. The United States can only regain ground by fusing with its neighbors into a super-continental North American Union of shared resources and prosperity.
Connectography offers a unique and hopeful vision for the future. Khanna argues that new energy discoveries and technologies have eliminated the need for resource wars; ambitious transport corridors and power grids are unscrambling Africa’s fraught colonial borders; even the Arab world is evolving a more peaceful map as it builds resource and trade routes across its war-torn landscape. At the same time, thriving hubs such as Singapore and Dubai are injecting dynamism into young and heavily populated regions, cyber-communities empower commerce across vast distances, and the world’s ballooning financial assets are being wisely invested into building an inclusive global society. Beneath the chaos of a world that appears to be falling apart is a new foundation of connectivity pulling it together.
Praise for Connectography
“Incredible . . . With the world rapidly changing and urbanizing, [Khanna’s] proposals might be the best way to confront a radically different future.”—The Washington Post
“Clear and coherent . . . a well-researched account of how companies are weaving ever more complicated supply chains that pull the world together even as they squeeze out inefficiencies. . . . [He] has succeeded in demonstrating that the forces of globalization are winning.”—Adrian Woolridge, The Wall Street Journal
“Bold . . . With an eye for vivid details, Khanna has . . . produced an engaging geopolitical travelogue.”—Foreign Affairs
“For those who fear that the world is becoming too inward-looking, Connectography is a refreshing, optimistic vision.”—The Economist
“Connectivity has become a basic human right, and gives everyone on the planet the opportunity to provide for their family and contribute to our shared future. Connectography charts the future of this connected world.”—Marc Andreessen, general partner, Andreessen Horowitz
“Khanna’s scholarship and foresight are world-class. A must-read for the next president.”—Chuck Hagel, former U.S. secretary of defense
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The World Is Curved picks up where Thomas Friedman’s The World Is Flat left off, taking readers on an insider’s tour through the private offices of central bankers, finance ministers, even prime ministers. Smick reveals how today’s risky environment came to be—and why the mortgage mess is a symptom of potentially far more devastating trouble. He wrestles with the two questions on everyone’s mind: How bad could things really get in today’s volatile economy? And what can we do about it?
Drawing on riveting anecdotes in language anyone can understand, Smick explains:
Why the churning cauldron we call China (the next great bubble to burst) represents a powerful threat to everyone’s pocketbookHow Japanese housewives have taken control of their nation’s savings, and why it matters to usHow greed-driven bankers and investment bankers have put everyone’s pensions and 401(k)s at riskWhy today’s “incredible shrinking central banks” may not be able to save us when the next crisis hitsWhy the big-money Russian, Chinese, Saudi, and Dubai sovereign wealth funds represent a tectonic shift in global financial power, away from the United States, Europe, and JapanWhy the world desperately needs a “big think” financial doctrine to guide today’s dangerous ocean of moneyThe World Is Curved is the rare book that speaks simultaneously to the Wall Street, Washington, and London elite, yet its apt storytelling shows Main Street readers how to survive in these turbulent times.
Oil Kings is the story of how oil came to dominate U.S. domestic and international affairs. As Richard Nixon fought off Watergate inquiries in 1973, the U.S. economy reacted to an oil shortage initiated by Arab nations in retaliation for American support of Israel in the Arab- Israeli war. The price of oil skyrocketed, causing serious inflation. One man the U.S. could rely on in the Middle East was the Shah of Iran, a loyal ally whose grand ambitions had made him a leading customer for American weapons. Iran sold the U.S. oil; the U.S. sold Iran missiles and fighter jets. But the Shah’s economy depended almost entirely on oil, and the U.S. economy could not tolerate annual double-digit increases in the price of this essential commodity. European economies were hit even harder by the soaring oil prices, and several NATO allies were at risk of default on their debt.
In 1976, with the U.S. economy in peril, President Gerald Ford, locked in a tight election race, decided he had to find a country that would sell oil to the U.S. more cheaply and break the OPEC monopoly, which the Shah refused to do. On the advice of Treasury Secretary William Simon and against the advice of Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, Ford made a deal to sell advanced weaponry to the Saudis in exchange for a modest price hike on oil.
Ford lost the election, but the deal had lasting consequences. The Shah’s economy was destabilized, and disaffected elements in Iran mobilized to overthrow him. The U.S. had embarked on a long relationship with the autocratic Saudi kingdom that continues to this day.
Andrew Scott Cooper draws on newly declassified documents and interviews with some key figures of the time to show how Nixon, Ford, Kissinger, the CIA, and the State and Treasury departments—as well as the Shah and the Saudi royal family— maneuvered to control events in the Middle East. He details the secret U.S.-Saudi plan to circumvent OPEC that destabilized the Shah. He reveals how close the U.S. came to sending troops into the Persian Gulf to break the Arab oil embargo. The Oil Kings provides solid evidence that U.S. officials ignored warning signs of a potential hostage crisis in Iran. It discloses that U.S. officials offered to sell nuclear power and nuclear fuel to the Shah. And it shows how the Ford Administration barely averted a European debt crisis that could have triggered a financial catastrophe in the U.S. Brilliantly reported and filled with astonishing details about some of the key figures of the time, The Oil Kings is the history of an era that we thought we knew, an era whose momentous reverberations still influence events at home and abroad today.
Bok first describes the principal findings of happiness researchers. He considers how reliable the results appear to be and whether they deserve to be taken into account in devising government policies. Recognizing both the strengths and weaknesses of happiness research, Bok looks at the policy implications for economic growth, equality, retirement, unemployment, health care, mental health, family programs, education, and government quality, among other subjects. Timely and incisive, The Politics of Happiness sheds new light on what makes people happy and how government policy could foster greater satisfaction for all.
But cross-border differences are larger than we often assume, explains Pankaj Ghemawat in Redefining Global Strategy. Most economic activity—including direct investment, tourism, and communication—happens locally, not internationally.
In this “semiglobalized” world, one-size-fits-all strategies don’t stand a chance. Companies must instead reckon with cross-border differences. Ghemawat shows you how—by providing tools for:
· Assessing the cultural, administrative, geographic, and economic differences between countries at the industry level and deciding which ones merit attention.
· Tracking the implications of particular border-crossing moves for your company’s ability to create value.
· Creating superior performance with strategies optimized for adaptation (adjusting to differences), aggregation (overcoming differences), and arbitrage (exploiting differences), and for compound objectives.
In-depth examples reveal how companies such as Cemex, Toyota, Procter & Gamble, Tata Consultancy Services, IBM, and GE Healthcare have adroitly managed cross-border differences—as well as how other well-known companies have failed at this challenge.
Crucial for any business competing across borders, this book will transform the way you approach global strategy.
Among the specific topics tackled here are China's interest in African oil; military and security relations; the influx and goals of Chinese aid to sub-Saharan Africa; human rights issues; and China's overall strategy in the region. China's insatiable demand for energy and raw materials responds to sub-Saharan Africa's relatively abundant supplies of unprocessed metals, diamonds, and gold, while offering a growing market for Africa's agriculture and light manufactures. As this book illustrates, this evolving symbiosis could be the making of Africa, the poorest and most troubled continent, while it further powers China's expansive economic machine.
Contributors include Deborah Brautigam (American University), Harry Broadman (World Bank), Stephen Brown (University of Ottawa), Martyn J. Davies (Stellenbosch University), Joshua Eisenman (UCLA), Chin-Hao Huang (Stockholm International Peace Research Institute), Paul Hubbard (Australian Department of the Treasury),Wenran Jiang (University of Alberta), Darren Kew (University of Massachusetts– Boston), Henry Lee (Harvard University), Li Anshan (Peking University), Ndubisi Obiorah (Centre for Law and Social Action, Nigeria), Stephanie Rupp (National University of Singapore), Dan Shalmon (Georgetown University), David Shinn (GeorgeWashington University), Chandra Lekha Sriram (University of East London), and Yusuf Atang Tanko (University of Massachusetts–Boston)
drilling techniques for oil and natural gas are propelling an energy production
renaissance in the United States. As the US economy struggles to emerge from
the Great Recession, many see the boom as a possible source of economic
salvation that could reduce unemployment and revitalize American manufacturing.
Until now, however, there has been little objective analysis of the energy boom’s
economic consequences. In this major study, Trevor Houser and Shashank Mohan
fill that gap. Houser and Mohan assess the impact of the recent and projected
increase in domestic energy production on US GDP, employment growth,
manufacturing competitiveness, household expenditures, and international trade
balance. Alongside its economic impact, they also explore the consequences for
the environment and global warming, providing guidance for policymakers to
navigate these issues.
An Economist Best Book of the Year, 2015
A Bloomberg Best Book of the Year, 2015
The finance sector of Western economies is too large and attracts too many of the smartest college graduates. Financialization over the past three decades has created a structure that lacks resilience and supports absurd volumes of trading. The finance sector devotes too little attention to the search for new investment opportunities and the stewardship of existing ones, and far too much to secondary-market dealing in existing assets. Regulation has contributed more to the problems than the solutions.
Why? What is finance for? John Kay, with wide practical and academic experience in the world of finance, understands the operation of the financial sector better than most. He believes in good banks and effective asset managers, but good banks and effective asset managers are not what he sees.
In a dazzling and revelatory tour of the financial world as it has emerged from the wreckage of the 2008 crisis, Kay does not flinch in his criticism: we do need some of the things that Citigroup and Goldman Sachs do, but we do not need Citigroup and Goldman to do them. And many of the things done by Citigroup and Goldman do not need to be done at all. The finance sector needs to be reminded of its primary purpose: to manage other people's money for the benefit of businesses and households. It is an aberration when the some of the finest mathematical and scientific minds are tasked with devising algorithms for the sole purpose of exploiting the weakness of other algorithms for computerized trading in securities. To travel further down that road leads to ruin.
"Quite simply the best guide to the global economy today." —Fareed Zakaria
Shaped by his twenty-five years traveling the world, and enlivened by encounters with villagers from Rio to Beijing, tycoons, and presidents, Ruchir Sharma’s The Rise and Fall of Nations rethinks the "dismal science" of economics as a practical art. Narrowing the thousands of factors that can shape a country’s fortunes to ten clear rules, Sharma explains how to spot political, economic, and social changes in real time. He shows how to read political headlines, black markets, the price of onions, and billionaire rankings as signals of booms, busts, and protests. Set in a post-crisis age that has turned the world upside down, replacing fast growth with slow growth and political calm with revolt, Sharma’s pioneering book is an entertaining field guide to understanding change in this era or any era.
A Library Journal Best Book of 2016
—from “China Makes, the World Takes”
Since December 2006, The Atlantic Magazine's James Fallows has been writing some of the most discerning accounts of the economic and political transformation occurring in China. The ten essays collected here cover a wide-range of topics: from visionary tycoons and TV-battling entrepreneurs, to environmental pollution and how China subsidizes our economy. Fallows expertly and lucidly explains the economic, political, social, and cultural forces at work turning China into a world superpower at breakneck speed. This eye-opening and cautionary account is essential reading for all concerned not only with China's but America's future role in the world.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
If you trust what you hear in the news, America is in trouble. We've moved our manufacturing overseas. We've lost our competitive edge to China, Germany, Japan, and Brazil. We've entered our final days as an economic leader.
Don't believe it! This provocative book from a former deputy assistant secretary of commerce will explode the myths you’ve been fed by the media and reinforce your faith in American ingenuity. Author Ro Khanna takes you inside Washington's economic think tanks and onto the front lines of the most innovative companies in the nation. You'll discover:How small and large businesses are spurring innovation and growth Why the accepted wisdom about American manufacturing is wrong How America can stay ahead of lower-cost factories in China and Brazil Why manufacturing is so important to our national security and future How to keep the best jobs, companies, and opportunities here in America
Despite everything you've heard about the economy, one fact remains: America continues to be a world leader in manufacturing. Some of the world's best products are still being made here. The world's greatest innovations are still being developed by Apple, Google, and countless others.
This book will prove to you that smart companies are staying ahead of the curve--and you can, too. You'll learn how a fourth-generation business, the Globe Manufacturing Company, customized its firefighting suits to beat foreign competitors. You'll discover how Vitamix worked with clients like Starbucks to produce a superior coffee blender. And you'll hear behind-the-scenes stories from the American steel industry, aerospace companies, the defense technology sector, and other world-class leaders. You'll also learn why companies like Solyndra fail--and what lessons we can take from them.
This is more than a book. It is a wake-up call that will spark debate, shatter beliefs, and inspire action in every American who wants to succeed in the future. This is Entrepreneurial Nation.
The emergence of China as a world economic power is one of the biggest stories of our time. Every business that intends to be an important part of the fast-changing global economy needs to know how to play the game in China. Who better to be your guide than Jack Perkowski, the pioneer who went to China in the early 1990s. Equipped with just a concept, he built a company step-by-step from the ground up–ASIMCO Technologies–that became a major player in China’s fast-growing automotive business.
Perkowski’s story is as rich, involving, and improbable as those of nineteenth-century titans such as Rockefeller and Carnegie or of twentieth-century ones like Michael Dell and Bill Gates, but with one obvious difference: They and others built their companies when America was emerging or dominant. Perkowski built his at the dawn of the Chinese century.
Perkowski’s insights about the challenges and potential of western involvement in today’s great Chinese expansion–gained on the ground in China itself over the past fifteen years–are of inestimable value and relevance to us all. For instance:
• The good news about China: Everything is possible. The bad news: Nothing is easy.
• To build a business in China, you must develop a local management team–avoiding both former bureaucrats of the state-run enterprises and the country’s new breed of wildcat entrepreneurs.
• You must learn the real reason why China is able to produce goods so cheaply.
• Forget your notions about the Chinese economy being rigidly controlled by Beijing–it is, in fact, highly decentralized and locally driven. As the Chinese say, “The mountains are high and the emperor is far away.”
Perkowski tells his story with clarity, lots of humor, and a gripping sense of adventure. He takes us along on his own version of the Long March, when he visited two factories a day for nine months, hitting every province, going through endless rounds of dinners and the inevitable drinking games, and eating what seemed like every part of every animal. He vividly describes what it’s like to be a westerner living and working in China and the dramatic transformation he’s seen in the country, from a place left behind by the modern world to a place where a new world is being born.
Filled with hard-nosed lessons for anyone with ambitions of breaking into the Chinese market, and a rich source of practical wisdom about the realities of China today, Managing the Dragon answers the questions people ask Perkowski most often about his unique experience, as well as those they never think of asking–but should.
From the Hardcover edition.
'Mr. Connolly's longstanding proposition that the foisting of a common currency upon so many disparate nations would end in ruin is getting a much wider hearing...' New York Times, 17 November 2011
When first published in 1995, The Rotten Heart of Europe caused outrage and delight - here was a Brussels insider, a senior EU economist, daring to talk openly about the likely pitfalls of European monetary union.
Bernard Connolly lost his job at the Commission, but his book was greeted as a profound and persuasive expose of the would-be 'monetary masters of the world.' His brave act of defiance became headline news - and his book a major international bestseller.
In a substantial new introduction, Connolly returns to his prophetic account of the double-talk surrounding the efforts of politicians, bankers and bureaucrats to force Europe into a crippling monetary straitjacket. Hidden agendas are laid bare, skulduggery exposed and economic fallacies are skewered, producing a horrifying conclusion. No one who wants to understand the workings of the EU, past, present and future can afford to miss this enthralling and deeply disturbing book.
Winner Take All is about the commodity dynamics that the world will face over the next several decades. In particular, it is about the implications of China's rush for resources across all regions of the world. The scale of China's resource campaign for hard commodities (metals and minerals) and soft commodities (timber and food) is among the largest in history. To be sure, China is not the first country to launch a global crusade to secure resources. From Britain's transcontinental operations dating back to the end of the 16th century, to the rise of modern European and American transnational corporations between the mid 1860's and 1870's, the industrial revolution that powered these economies created a voracious demand for raw materials and created the need to go far beyond their native countries.
So too is China's resource rush today. Although still in its early stages, already the breadth of China's operation is awesome, and seemingly unstoppable. China's global charge for commodities is a story of China's quest to secure its claims on resource assets, and to guarantee the flow of inputs needed to continue to drive economic development. Moyo, an expert in global commodities markets, explains the implications of China's resource grab in a world of diminishing resources.
The world’s great manufacturing juggernaut—the $3 trillion automotive industry—is in the throes of a revolution. Its future will include cars Henry Ford and Karl Benz could scarcely imagine. They will drive themselves, won’t consume oil, and will come in radical shapes and sizes. But the path to that future is fraught. The top contenders are two traditional manufacturing giants, the US and Japan, and a newcomer, China.
Team America has a powerful and little-known weapon in its arsenal: a small group of technology buffs and regulators from California. The story of why and how these men and women could shape the future—how you move, how you work, how you live on Earth—is an unexpected tale filled with unforgettable characters: a scorned chemistry professor, a South African visionary who went for broke, an ambitious Chinese ex-pat, a quixotic Japanese nuclear engineer, and a string of billion-dollar wagers by governments and corporations.
“To explain the scramble for the next-generation auto—and the roles played in that race by governments, auto makers, venture capitalists, environmentalists, and private inventors—comes Levi Tillemann’s The Great Race…Mr. Tillemann seems ideally cast to guide us through the big ideas percolating in the world’s far-flung workshops and labs” (The Wall Street Journal). His account is incisive and riveting, explaining how America bounced back in this global contest and what it will take to command the industrial future.
Aside from the editors, the contributors are Omar Bello, Adriana Bermúdez, Matías Braun, Javier Corrales, Jonathan Di John, Rafael Di Tella, Javier Donna, Samuel Freije, Dan Levy, Robert MacCulloch, Osmel Manzano, Francisco Monaldi, María Antonia Moreno, Daniel Ortega, Michael Penfold, José Pineda, Lant Pritchett, Cameron A. Shelton, and Dean Yang.
In this utterly surprising and deeply personal book, acclaimed National Public Radio reporter Rob Gifford, a fluent Mandarin speaker, takes the dramatic journey along Route 312 from its start in the boomtown of Shanghai to its end on the border with Kazakhstan. Gifford reveals the rich mosaic of modern Chinese life in all its contradictions, as he poses the crucial questions that all of us are asking about China: Will it really be the next global superpower? Is it as solid and as powerful as it looks from the outside? And who are the ordinary Chinese people, to whom the twenty-first century is supposed to belong?
Gifford is not alone on his journey. The largest migration in human history is taking place along highways such as Route 312, as tens of millions of people leave their homes in search of work. He sees signs of the booming urban economy everywhere, but he also uncovers many of the country’s frailties, and some of the deep-seated problems that could derail China’s rise.
The whole compelling adventure is told through the cast of colorful characters Gifford meets: garrulous talk-show hosts and ambitious yuppies, impoverished peasants and tragic prostitutes, cell-phone salesmen, AIDS patients, and Tibetan monks. He rides with members of a Shanghai jeep club, hitchhikes across the Gobi desert, and sings karaoke with migrant workers at truck stops along the way.
As he recounts his travels along Route 312, Rob Gifford gives a face to what has historically, for Westerners, been a faceless country and breathes life into a nation that is so often reduced to economic statistics. Finally, he sounds a warning that all is not well in the Chinese heartlands, that serious problems lie ahead, and that the future of the West has become inextricably linked with the fate of 1.3 billion Chinese people.
“Informative, delightful, and powerfully moving . . . Rob Gifford’s acute powers of observation, his sense of humor and adventure, and his determination to explore the wrenching dilemmas of China’s explosive development open readers’ eyes and reward their minds.”
–Robert A. Kapp, president, U.S.-China Business Council, 1994-2004
From the Hardcover edition.
But these are all symptoms. Until we isolate and tackle fundamental causes, we will fail to extirpate the disease. ECONned is the first book to examine the unquestioned role of economists as policy-makers, and how they helped create an unmitigated economic disaster.
Here, Yves Smith looks at how economists in key policy positions put doctrine before hard evidence, ignoring the deteriorating conditions and rising dangers that eventually led them, and us, off the cliff and into financial meltdown. Intelligently written for the layman, Smith takes us on a terrifying investigation of the financial realm over the last twenty-five years of misrepresentations, naive interpretations of economic conditions, rationalizations of bad outcomes, and rejection of clear signs of growing instability.
In eConned, author Yves Smith reveals:
--why the measures taken by the Obama Administration are mere palliatives and are unlikely to pave the way for a solid recovery
--how economists have come to play a profoundly anti-democratic role in policy
--how financial models and concepts that were discredited more than thirty years ago are still widely used by banks, regulators, and investors
--how management and employees of major financial firms looted them, enriching themselves and leaving the mess to taxpayers
--how financial regulation enabled predatory behavior by Wall Street towards investors
--how economics has no theory of financial systems, yet economists fearlessly prescribe how to manage them
In order to substantiate his theory, concepts such as primitive accumulation, governmentality and post-colonial capitalist formation are discussed in detail. Analyzing critical questions from a third world perspective such as: Will the integration into the global capitalist network bring to the third world new economic opportunities? Will this capitalist network make the third world countries an easy prey for predatory multinational corporations? The end result is a discourse, drawing on Marx and Foucault, which envisages the post-colonial capitalist formation, albeit in an entirely different light, in the era of globalization.
Long overshadowed by Japan and China, South Korea is a small country that happens to be one of the great national success stories of the postwar period. From a failed state with no democratic tradition, ruined and partitioned by war, and sapped by a half-century of colonial rule, South Korea transformed itself in just fifty years into an economic powerhouse and a democracy that serves as a model for other countries. With no natural resources and a tradition of authoritarian rule, Korea managed to accomplish a second Asian miracle.
Daniel Tudor is a journalist who has lived in and written about Korea for almost a decade. In Korea: The Impossible Country, Tudor examines Korea's cultural foundations; the Korean character; the public sphere in politics, business, and the workplace as well as the family, dating, and marriage. In doing so, he touches on topics as diverse as shamanism, clan-ism, the dilemma posed by North Korea, the myths about doing business in Korea, the Koreans' renowned hard-partying ethos, and why the infatuation with learning English is now causing huge social problems.
South Korea has undergone two miracles at once: economic development and complete democratization. The question now is, will it become as some see Japan, a rich yet aging society, devoid of energy and momentum? Or will the dynamism of Korean society and its willingness to change—as well as the opportunity it has now to welcome outsiders into its fold—enable it to experience a third miracle that will propel it into the ranks of the world's leading nations in terms of human culture, democracy, and wealth?
More than just one journalist's account, Korea: The Impossible Country also draws on interviews with many of the people who made South Korea what it is today. These include:
Choi Min-sik, the star of "Old Boy". Park Won-soon, Mayor of Seoul. Soyeon Yi, Korea's first astronaut Hong Myung-bo, legendary captain of Korea's 2002 FIFA World Cup team. Shin Joong-hyun, the 'Godfather of Korean Rock'. Ko Un, poet. Hong Seok-cheon, restaurateur, and the first Korean celebrity to 'come out'.
And many more, including a former advisor to President Park Chung-hee; a Shaman priestess ('mudang'); the boss of Korea's largest matchmaking agency; a 'room salon' hostess; an architect; as well as chefs, musicians, academics, entrepreneurs, homemakers, and chaebol conglomerate employees.
Created by the governors of the Bank of England and the Reichsbank in 1930, and protected by an international treaty, the BIS and its assets are legally beyond the reach of any government or jurisdiction. The bank is untouchable. Swiss authorities have no jurisdiction over the bank or its premises. The BIS has just 140 customers but made tax-free profits of 1.17 billion in 2011–2012.
Since its creation, the bank has been at the heart of global events but has often gone unnoticed. Under Thomas McKittrick, the bank's American president from 1940–1946, the BIS was open for business throughout the Second World War. The BIS accepted looted Nazi gold, conducted foreign exchange deals for the Reichsbank, and was used by both the Allies and the Axis powers as a secret contact point to keep the channels of international finance open.
After 1945 the BIS—still behind the scenes—for decades provided the necessary technical and administrative support for the trans-European currency project, from the first attempts to harmonize exchange rates in the late 1940s to the launch of the Euro in 2002. It now stands at the center of efforts to build a new global financial and regulatory architecture, once again proving that it has the power to shape the financial rules of our world. Yet despite its pivotal role in the financial and political history of the last century and during the economic current crisis, the BIS has remained largely unknown—until now.
Temin and Vines argue that the financial collapse of the 1930s was an "end-of-regime crisis" in which the economic leader of the nineteenth century, Great Britain, found itself unable to stem international panic as countries abandoned the gold standard. They trace how John Maynard Keynes struggled for years to identify the causes of the Great Depression, and draw valuable lessons from his intellectual journey. Today we are in the midst of a similar crisis, one in which the regime that led the world economy in the twentieth century--that of the United States--is ending. Temin and Vines show how America emerged from World War II as an economic and military powerhouse, but how deregulation and a lax attitude toward international monetary flows left the nation incapable of reining in an overleveraged financial sector and powerless to contain the 2008 financial panic. Fixed exchange rates in Europe and Asia have exacerbated the problem.
The Leaderless Economy provides a blueprint for how renewed international leadership can bring today's industrial nations back into financial balance--domestically and between each other.
Carlo Bastasin reveals and analyzes what has been happening behind the scenes in European negotiations since the financial crisis began with the collapse of major financial institutions in 2008. He argues that the crisis in the euro zone actually has a political origin, having emerged from the self-interested abuses of national politics. Moreover, the crisis is reinforced even now by the obstinate defense of national prerogatives in politics and finance as well as by the lack of commitment for shared or supranational sovereignty. While the prevalent view is that monetary union was a flawed project from the start and is in need of amending, Bastasin shows that the failures have to do almost entirely with national opportunism—not only in Greece but in most countries, including Germany—and concludes that the crisis will lead to Europe's political union.
Bastasin's work is an engrossing historical chronicle, interweaving moments of high drama with individual personalities on the world stage. German ChancellorAngela Merkel, French President Nicolas Sarkozy, and national and European central bankers, among others, play key roles. Saving Europe is also a rigorous attempt to make larger sense of what has happened in the euro zone and what might happen next. Given the central importance of Europe within the fragile world economy as well as growing speculation that the euro might disappear, this is essential reading for anyone trying to grasp international economics and politics. Just as important, it is a compelling tale of people, personalities, power, and money. There is no other book like it.
The trillions of dollars that make up the flow of international finance—money that is often steered away from the people who deserve it the most—have not just undermined the lives of working and middle class Americans. It is a world-wide phenomenon that is changing the culture of Argentina; destroying the factory system in Northern Mexico, enabling drug cartels to recruit thousands of young men into their gangs; that has taken down the economies of Iceland, Ireland, Spain, Greece, and possibly Italy; and is driving American companies such as a 60-year-old family owned manufacturer of printed circuit boards to shutter all but one of its factories.
Veteran journalist Michael Casey has traveled the world—from China to Iceland, Spain to Argentina, Indonesia to Australia—recounting extraordinary stories about ordinary people from one continent to another whose lives are inextricably linked. By tracing the flow of money and goods across the world, he illustrates how an American homeowner’s life is shaped by the same economic and social policies that determine those of a low wage migrant worker on an assembly line in China. This combination of financial acumen, narrative-driven reporting, and compelling story-telling gives The Unfair Trade a unique human angle.
Casey shows that our economic problems are largely caused by political agendas that prevent the free market from encouraging fair competition and impeding the allocation of resources. Until governments work together to make this global system more efficient—until China removes incentives for its citizens to save excessively, for example, or the U.S. ends the de facto subsidies enjoyed by politically powerful banks—the global playing field will remain lopsided, job creation will lag, and our economies will be vulnerable to new crises.
Slow, incremental change has become a relic of the past. Today's shifts come fast and big, what Darrell West calls megachanges, in which dramatic disruptions in trends and policies occur on a regular basis.
Domestically, we see megachange at work in the new attitudes and policies toward same-sex marriage, health care, smoking, and the widespread legalization of marijuana use. Globally, we have seen the extraordinary rise and then collapse of the Arab Spring, the emergence of religious zealotry, the growing influence of nonstate actors, the spread of ISIS-fomented terrorism, the rise of new economic and political powers in Asia, and the fracturing of once-stable international alliances.
Long-held assumptions have been shattered, and the proliferation of unexpected events is confounding experts in the United States and around the globe. Many of the social and political institutions that used to anchor domestic and international politics have grown weak or are in need of dramatic reform.
What to do? West says that we should alter our expectations about the speed and magnitude of political and social change. We also need to recognize that many of our current governing processes are geared to slow deliberation and promote incremental change, not large-scale transformation. With megachange becoming the new normal, our domestic and global institutions must develop the ability to tackle the massive economic, political, and social shifts that we face.
Thomas Piketty’s work has proved that unfettered markets lead to increasing inequality. Without meaningful regulation, capitalist economies will concentrate wealth in an ever smaller number of hands. For years, this critical challenge to democracy has been the focus of Piketty’s monthly newspaper columns, which pierce the surface of current events to reveal the economic forces underneath. Why Save the Bankers? brings together selected columns from the period bookended by the September 2008 collapse of Lehman Brothers and the terrorist attacks in Paris in November 2015. In crystalline prose, Piketty examines a wide range of topics, and along the way he decodes the European Union’s economic troubles, weighs in on oligarchy in the United States, wonders whether debts actually need to be paid back, and discovers surprising lessons about inequality by examining the career of Steve Jobs. Coursing with insight and flashes of wit, these brief essays offer a view of recent history through the eyes of one of the most influential economic thinkers of our time.
“Anyone with an interest in politics, monetary policy, or international diplomacy will get a kick out of Piketty’s clear discussion.” — Shelf Awareness
“If you have been influenced by Piketty's landmark work on inequality, make sure to read this next.” — Naomi Klein, author of The Shock Doctrine and This Changes Everything
In China, leading experts provide an overview of the region, highlighting key issues as they developed in the People’s Republic of China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. Edited with an introduction by David B. H. Denoon, an authority on China, this volume of articles covers recent events and key issues in understanding this growing superpower. Organized into three thematic sections—foreign policy and national security, economic policy and social issues, and domestic politics and governance—the essays cover salient topics such as China's military power, de-communization, growing economic strength, nationalism, and the possibility for democracy. The volume also contains current maps as well as a “Recent Chronology of Events” which provides a decade's worth of information on the region, organized by year and by country.
Contributors: Liu Binyan, David B.H. Denoon, Bruce J. Dickson, June Teufel Dreyer, Michael Dutton, Elizabeth Economy, Barry Eichengreen, Edward Friedman, Dru C. Gladney, Paul H. B. Godwin, Merle Goldman, Richard Madsen, Barry Naughton, Lucian W. Pye, Tony Saich, David Shambaugh, Robert Sutter, Michael D. Swaine, and Tyrene White.
Topics covered include exchange rate regimes, contagion (transmission of currency crises across countries), the current account of the balance of payments, the role of private sector investors and of speculators, the reaction of the official sector (including the multilaterals), capital controls, bank supervision and weaknesses, and the roles of cronyism, corruption, and large players (including hedge funds).
Ably balancing detailed case studies, cross-country comparisons, and theoretical concerns, this book will make a major contribution to ongoing efforts to understand and prevent international currency crises.
Feenstra explores a wealth of material, such as the Ricardian and Heckscher-Ohlin models, extensions to many goods and factors, and the role of tariffs, quotas, and other trade policies. He examines imperfect competition, offshoring, political economy, multinationals, endogenous growth, the gravity equation, and the organization of the firm in international trade. Feenstra also includes a new chapter on monopolistic competition with heterogeneous firms, with many applications of that model. In addition to known results, the book looks at some particularly important unpublished results by various authors. Two appendices draw on index numbers and discrete choice models to describe methods applicable to research problems in international trade.
Completely revised with the latest developments and brand-new materials, Advanced International Trade is a classic textbook that will be used widely by students and practitioners of economics for a long time to come.Updated second edition of the essential graduate textbookCurrent approaches and a new chapter on monopolistic competition with heterogeneous firmsSupplementary materials in each chapterTheoretical and empirical exercisesTwo appendices describe methods for international trade research
The latest in the NBER’s influential Studies in Income and Wealth series, which has played a key role in the development of national account statistics in the United States and other nations, this volume explores collaborative solutions between academics, policy researchers, and official statisticians to some of today’s most important economic measurement challenges. Contributors to this volume extend past research on the integration and extension of national accounts to establish an even more comprehensive understanding of the distribution of economic growth and its impact on well-being, including health, human capital, and the environment. The research contributions assess, among other topics, specific conceptual and empirical proposals for extending national accounts.
In this indispensable new book, one of the world’s most successful investors, Jim Rogers, brings his unerring investment acumen to bear on this huge and unruly land now being opened to the world and exploding in potential.
Rogers didn’t just wake up a Sinophile yesterday. He’s been tracking the Chinese economy since he first went to China in 1984 in preparation for his round-the-world motorcycle trip and then again, later, when he saw Shanghai’s newly reopened stock exchange (which looked like an OTB office). In the decades that followed–especially in recent years, with the easing of Communist party financial dictates–the facts speak for themselves:
• The Chinese economy’s growth rate has averaged 9 percent since the start of the 1980s.
• China’s savings rate is over 35 percent (in America, it’s 2 percent).
• 40 percent of China’s output goes to exports (so there’s no crippling foreign debt).
• $60 billion a year in direct foreign investment, combined with a trade surplus, has brought Beijing’s foreign currency reserves to over $1 trillion.
• China’s fixed assets–ports, bridges, and roads–double every two and a half years.
In short, if projections hold, China will surpass the United States as the world’s largest economy in as little as twenty years. But the time to act is now. In A Bull in China, you’ll learn what industries offer the newest and best opportunities, from power, energy, and agriculture to tourism, water, and infrastructure. In his trademark down-to-earth style, Rogers demystifies the state policies that are driving earnings and innovation, takes the intimidation factor out of the A-shares, B-shares, and ADRs of Chinese offerings, and encourages any reader to trust his or her own expertise (if you’re a car mechanic, check out their auto industry).
A Bull in China also features fascinating profiles of “Red Chip” companies, such as Yantu Changyu, China’s largest winemaker, which sells a “Healthy Liquor” line mixed with herbal medicines. Plus, if you want to export something to China yourself–or even buy land there–Rogers tells you the steps you need to take.
No other book–and no other author–can better help you benefit from the new Chinese revolution. Jim Rogers shows you how to make the “amazing energy, potential, and entrepreneurial spirit of a billion people” work for you.
From the Hardcover edition.
Bringing together authors from various East Asian and Pacific nations, this volume examines the institutional factors influencing financial innovation, the consequences of financial development, widespread consolidation occurring through mergers and acquisitions, and the implementation of policy reform. Financial Sector Development in the Pacific Rim offers the comparative analysis necessary to answer broad questions about economic development and the future of Asia.
Interest and Prices seeks to provide theoretical foundations for a rule-based approach to monetary policy suitable for a world of instant communications and ever more efficient financial markets. In such a world, effective monetary policy requires that central banks construct a conscious and articulate account of what they are doing. Michael Woodford reexamines the foundations of monetary economics, and shows how interest-rate policy can be used to achieve an inflation target in the absence of either commodity backing or control of a monetary aggregate.
The book further shows how the tools of modern macroeconomic theory can be used to design an optimal inflation-targeting regime--one that balances stabilization goals with the pursuit of price stability in a way that is grounded in an explicit welfare analysis, and that takes account of the "New Classical" critique of traditional policy evaluation exercises. It thus argues that rule-based policymaking need not mean adherence to a rigid framework unrelated to stabilization objectives for the sake of credibility, while at the same time showing the advantages of rule-based over purely discretionary policymaking.
Each chapter in this book presents in-depth information on the business environment and culture in the top twenty trading partners of the United States: Canada, Mexico, Japan, China, United Kingdom, Germany, South Korea, Netherlands, France, Singapore, Taiwan, Belgium, Australia, Brazil, Hong Kong, Switzerland, Malaysia, Italy, India, and Israel. Chapters contain both practical tips and illustrative examples, and the book concludes with a listing of resources (books, magazines, organizations, and Web sites) for additional information. In addition, Passport to Success contains useful overview material that will help business people plan a trip abroad or a campaign to win customers in another country. Besides trade statistics and information on global trade agreements, readers will find information on using the Internet productively to conduct or seek business, how women can succeed in countries with traditional, male-oriented business cultures, how to build cross-cultural relationships, and ways language can enhance—or obstruct—business dealings. Every businessperson is now a player in the global market for goods and services. This book provides valuable tips that will help people avoid missteps and increase their sales and personal success when dealing with counterparts in other countries.