End This Depression Now!

W. W. Norton & Company
20
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A New York Times best-selling call to arms from Nobel Prize–winning economist Paul Krugman.
The Great Recession is more than four years old—and counting. Yet, as Paul Krugman points out in this powerful volley, "Nations rich in resources, talent, and knowledge—all the ingredients for prosperity and a decent standard of living for all—remain in a state of intense pain."

How bad have things gotten? How did we get stuck in what now can only be called a depression? And above all, how do we free ourselves? Krugman pursues these questions with his characteristic lucidity and insight. He has a powerful message for anyone who has suffered over these past four years—a quick, strong recovery is just one step away, if our leaders can find the "intellectual clarity and political will" to end this depression now.
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About the author

Paul Krugman, recipient of the 2008 Nobel Prize in Economics and best-selling author, has been a columnist at The New York Times for twenty years. A Distinguished Professor at City University of New York, he resides in New York City.

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Additional Information

Publisher
W. W. Norton & Company
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Published on
Apr 30, 2012
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Pages
288
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ISBN
9780393088878
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
Political Science / Political Economy
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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This book takes a multi-disciplinary approach to the great financial crisis of 2007-09. It combines the disciplines of economics, finance, sociology and politics to analyse the causes, consequences and challenges of the crisis. The authors propose that the causes of the crisis should be understood at three inter-related levels - the level of theory and ideology; the level of financial industry practices and malpractices; and finally the level of structural imbalances in the international economy. Above all, the book is historical and holistic in perspective. This book is an excellent read for the critical layman interested in understanding the causes that underlie the global financial crisis. The authors combine the inquisitive and critical mind of a scholar and the lucid writing style of a journalist. The book provides a perspective on the crisis that is both practical and down to earth and at the same time, rigorous and holistic. Khor Hoe Ee, Chief Economist, Abu Dhabi Council for Economic Development, and former Assistant Managing Director, Economics, Monetary Authority of Singapore The authors trace the rise of finance and its domination over the real economy, the consequences of financial innovation and deregulation for systemic fragility, and the failure of conventional economic and financial theory to analyse and anticipate the consequent dangers. Their main original contribution is to relate these Western market developments to recent trends in the East Asian region and to call for appropriate systemic reforms, not only to avoid similar future crises, but also to address other underlying development and analytical problems. K.S. Jomo, Assistant Secretary General, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, United Nations In linking wealth and income distribution to financial instability, this book makes an important point that is often missed in the debate on the crisis. Central Banks have become strongly opposed to the idea of accommodating wage demands with the help of monetary easing, but they have been increasingly tolerant, or even supportive, of debt-financed consumption and asset inflation. Indeed, by serving to concentrate wealth further in the hands of a small rentier class, while protecting that class from the risks of debt defaults, they are only adding to systemic pressures that give rise to serious financial crises. Yilmaz Akyuz, Special Economic Advisor, South Centre, and former Chief Economist at United Nations Conference for Trade and Development
Robust financial markets support capitalism, they don't imperil it. But in 2008, Washington policymakers were compelled to replace private risk-takers in the financial system with government capital so that money and credit flows wouldn't stop, precipitating a depression.

Washington's actions weren't the start of government distortions in the financial industry, Nicole Gelinas writes, but the natural result of 25 years' worth of such distortions.

In the early eighties, modern finance began to escape reasonable regulations, including the most important regulation of all, that of the marketplace. The government gradually adopted a "too big to fail" policy for the largest or most complex financial companies, saving lenders to failing firms from losses. As a result, these companies became impervious to the vital market discipline that the threat of loss provides.

Adding to the problem, Wall Street created financial instruments that escaped other reasonable limits, including gentle constraints on speculative borrowing and requirements for the disclosure of important facts.

The financial industry eventually posed an untenable risk to the economy -- a risk that culminated in the trillions of dollars' worth of government bailouts and guarantees that Washington scrambled starting in late 2008.

Even as banks and markets seem to heal, lenders to financial companies continue to understand that the government would protect them in the future if necessary. This implicit guarantee harms economic growth, because it forces good companies to compete against bad.

History and recent events make clear what Washington must do.

First, policymakers must reintroduce market discipline to the financial world. They can do so by re-creating a credible, consistent way in which big financial companies can fail, with lenders taking their warranted losses. Second, policymakers can reapply prudent financial regulations so that markets, and the economy, can better withstand inevitable excesses of optimism and pessimism. Sensible regulations have worked well in the past and can work well again.

As Gelinas explains in this richly detailed book, adequate regulation of financial firms and markets is a prerequisite for free-market capitalism -- not a barrier to it.
Aspen Policy Books is a series devoted to developing new thinking on U.S. national security policy. This book, a collection of papers prepared for the 2009 summer Aspen Strategy Group conference, addresses the critical intersection of the global financial recession and its potential impact on America's foreign policy and national security. The authors explore the possible shift in global power, the changing relationship between the U.S. and China, and the impact on America's development policy. They also assess the capacity of domestic and international institutions to respond to the crisis.

Contents:

Part 1: Historical Perspectives and Current Conditions
1. Economic Conditions and U.S. National Security in the 1930s and Today
2. Pulling Back from the Crisis: A Roadmap for the Future of the American Economy Part 2: Predictions on the Course and Extent of the Global Economic Crisis and Its Larger Implications
3. Global Recession and National Security
4. Rebalancing Economic Engagement: The Foreign Policy Consequences
5. Sustaining the Recovery and Containing the Deficit: A Balancing Act for Policy Part 3: Are Institutions Ready for the Challenge?
6. Interdependence, Global Issues Management, and Global Economic Governance
7. Picking up the Pieces: The Global Crisis and Implications for U.S. Economic Policymaking Part 4: Consequences for Development and Democracy
8. Priorities for Progress: Security and Development at a Time of Global Economic Turmoil
9. The Impact of the Global Financial Crisis on Democracy Part 5: Concluding Observations
10. Summary of the Aspen Strategy Group Deliberations

Contributors include Richard Cooper (Harvard University), Kemal Dervis, (Brookings Institution), Martin Feldstein (Harvard University), Michael Green (Center for Strategic and International Studies), David Leonhardt (New York Times), Sylvia Mathews Burwell (Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation), David McCormick (Carnegie Mellon's Heinz College), Laura Tyson (University of California-Berkeley), and Bruce Stokes (National Journal).

In an unparalleled collaboration, two leading global thinkers in technology and foreign affairs give us their widely anticipated, transformational vision of the future: a world where everyone is connected—a world full of challenges and benefits that are ours to meet and to harness.

Eric Schmidt is one of Silicon Valley’s great leaders, having taken Google from a small startup to one of the world’s most influential companies. Jared Cohen is the director of Google Ideas and a former adviser to secretaries of state Condoleezza Rice and Hillary Clinton. With their combined knowledge and experiences, the authors are uniquely positioned to take on some of the toughest questions about our future: Who will be more powerful in the future, the citizen or the state? Will technology make terrorism easier or harder to carry out? What is the relationship between privacy and security, and how much will we have to give up to be part of the new digital age?

In this groundbreaking book, Schmidt and Cohen combine observation and insight to outline the promise and peril awaiting us in the coming decades. At once pragmatic and inspirational, this is a forward-thinking account of where our world is headed and what this means for people, states and businesses.

With the confidence and clarity of visionaries, Schmidt and Cohen illustrate just how much we have to look forward to—and beware of—as the greatest information and technology revolution in human history continues to evolve. On individual, community and state levels, across every geographical and socioeconomic spectrum, they reveal the dramatic developments—good and bad—that will transform both our everyday lives and our understanding of self and society, as technology advances and our virtual identities become more and more fundamentally real.

As Schmidt and Cohen’s nuanced vision of the near future unfolds, an urban professional takes his driverless car to work, attends meetings via hologram and dispenses housekeeping robots by voice; a Congolese fisherwoman uses her smart phone to monitor market demand and coordinate sales (saving on costly refrigeration and preventing overfishing); the potential arises for “virtual statehood” and “Internet asylum” to liberate political dissidents and oppressed minorities, but also for tech-savvy autocracies (and perhaps democracies) to exploit their citizens’ mobile devices for ever more ubiquitous surveillance. Along the way, we meet a cadre of international figures—including Julian Assange—who explain their own visions of our technology-saturated future.

Inspiring, provocative and absorbing, The New Digital Age is a brilliant analysis of how our hyper-connected world will soon look, from two of our most prescient and informed public thinkers.
A groundbreaking work that identifies the real culprit behind one of the great economic crimes of our time— the growing inequality of incomes between the vast majority of Americans and the richest of the rich.

We all know that the very rich have gotten a lot richer these past few decades while most Americans haven’t. In fact, the exorbitantly paid have continued to thrive during the current economic crisis, even as the rest of Americans have continued to fall behind. Why do the “haveit- alls” have so much more? And how have they managed to restructure the economy to reap the lion’s share of the gains and shift the costs of their new economic playground downward, tearing new holes in the safety net and saddling all of us with increased debt and risk? Lots of so-called experts claim to have solved this great mystery, but no one has really gotten to the bottom of it—until now.

In their lively and provocative Winner-Take-All Politics, renowned political scientists Jacob S. Hacker and Paul Pierson demonstrate convincingly that the usual suspects—foreign trade and financial globalization, technological changes in the workplace, increased education at the top—are largely innocent of the charges against them. Instead, they indict an unlikely suspect and take us on an entertaining tour of the mountain of evidence against the culprit. The guilty party is American politics. Runaway inequality and the present economic crisis reflect what government has done to aid the rich and what it has not done to safeguard the interests of the middle class. The winner-take-all economy is primarily a result of winner-take-all politics.

In an innovative historical departure, Hacker and Pierson trace the rise of the winner-take-all economy back to the late 1970s when, under a Democratic president and a Democratic Congress, a major transformation of American politics occurred. With big business and conservative ideologues organizing themselves to undo the regulations and progressive tax policies that had helped ensure a fair distribution of economic rewards, deregulation got under way, taxes were cut for the wealthiest, and business decisively defeated labor in Washington. And this transformation continued under Reagan and the Bushes as well as under Clinton, with both parties catering to the interests of those at the very top. Hacker and Pierson’s gripping narration of the epic battles waged during President Obama’s first two years in office reveals an unpleasant but catalyzing truth: winner-take-all politics, while under challenge, is still very much with us.

Winner-Take-All Politics—part revelatory history, part political analysis, part intellectual journey— shows how a political system that traditionally has been responsive to the interests of the middle class has been hijacked by the superrich. In doing so, it not only changes how we think about American politics, but also points the way to rebuilding a democracy that serves the interests of the many rather than just those of the wealthy few.
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