Paper Promises: Debt, Money, and the New World Order

Sold by PublicAffairs
6
Free sample

Longlisted for the 2012 Financial Times and Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year Award

For the past forty years western economies have splurged on debt. Now, as the reality dawns that many debts cannot be repaid, we find ourselves again in crisis. But the oncoming defaults have a time-worn place in our economic history. As with the crises in the 1930s and 1970s, governments will fall, currencies will lose their value, and new systems will emerge. Just as Britain set the terms of the international system in the nineteenth century, and America in the twentieth century, a new system will be set by today's creditors in China and the Middle East. In the process, rich will be pitted against poor, young against old, public sector workers against taxpayers and one country against another.

In Paper Promises, Economist columnist Philip Coggan helps us to understand the origins of this mess and how it will affect the new global economy by explaining how our attitudes towards debt have changed throughout history, and how they may be about to change again.

Read more

More by Philip Coggan

See more

Reviews

4.2
6 total
Loading...

Additional Information

Publisher
PublicAffairs
Read more
Published on
Jan 17, 2012
Read more
Pages
304
Read more
ISBN
9781610391276
Read more
Language
English
Read more
Genres
Business & Economics / Economic Conditions
Business & Economics / International / Economics
History / Modern / 21st Century
Read more
Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
Read more
Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
Read more
Eligible for Family Library

Reading information

Smartphones and Tablets

Install the Google Play Books app for Android and iPad/iPhone. It syncs automatically with your account and allows you to read online or offline wherever you are.

Laptops and Computers

You can read books purchased on Google Play using your computer's web browser.

eReaders and other devices

To read on e-ink devices like the Sony eReader or Barnes & Noble Nook, you'll need to download a file and transfer it to your device. Please follow the detailed Help center instructions to transfer the files to supported eReaders.
Philip Coggan
The Last Vote is a wake-up call showing why we cannot afford to take democracy for granted, from Philip Coggan, award-winning author of Paper Promises and The Money Machine

Can we afford to take democracy for granted? It's now so much a part of our lives that we could be forgiven for thinking it mainly takes care of itself. Almost half the world's population now lives in a democratic state, while some Western democracies have now had universal suffrage for almost a century and have endured through even the most severe of global upheavals.

In The Last Vote, Philip Coggan shows how democracy today faces threats that we ignore at our own risk. Amid the turmoil of the financial crisis, high debt levels, and an ever-growing gap between the richest and the rest, it is easy to forget that the ultimate victim could be our democracy itself.
Tracing democracy's history and development, from the classical world through the revolution of the Enlightenment and on to its astounding success in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, Coggan revisits the assumptions on which it is founded. What exactly is democracy? Why should we value it? What are its flaws? And could we do any better?

The Last Vote is a wake-up call, and an illuminating defence of a system, which, in Churchill's words, is the worst possible form of government, except for all the others that have been tried. Reasoned, lucid and balanced, Coggan's argument parrots neither the agenda of left nor right, but calls for us all to work together to ensure we don't end up in an even greater mess than we're in today. Finally, he proposes ideas for change and improvement to the system itself so the next vote we cast will not be the last.

Praise for Paper Promises:

'This book stands way above anything written on the present economic crisis' Nassim Taleb, author of The Black Swan

'Bold and confident... This book should be taken very seriously' John Authers, Financial Times

'The most illuminating account of the financial crisis to appear to date ... written with a lucidity that conveys deep insights without a trace of jargon' John Gray, New Statesman

Philip Coggan was a Financial Times journalist for over twenty years, and is now the Buttonwood columnist for the Economist. In 2009 he was named Senior Financial Journalist in the Harold Wincott awards and was voted Best Communicator at the Business Journalist of the Year Awards. He is the author of The Money Machine, and Paper Promises, winner of the Spears Business Book of the Year Award and longlisted for the Financial Times Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year Award.

Luigi Zingales
Born in Italy, University of Chicago economist Luigi Zingales witnessed firsthand the consequences of high inflation and unemployment—paired with rampant nepotism and cronyism—on a country's economy. This experience profoundly shaped his professional interests, and in 1988 he arrived in the United States, armed with a political passion and the belief that economists should not merely interpret the world, but should change it for the better.
In A Capitalism for the People, Zingales makes a forceful, philosophical, and at times personal argument that the roots of American capitalism are dying, and that the result is a drift toward the more corrupt systems found throughout Europe and much of the rest of the world. American capitalism, according to Zingales, grew in a unique incubator that provided it with a distinct flavor of competitiveness, a meritocratic nature that fostered trust in markets and a faith in mobility. Lately, however, that trust has been eroded by a betrayal of our pro-business elites, whose lobbying has come to dictate the market rather than be subject to it, and this betrayal has taken place with the complicity of our intellectual class.

Because of this trend, much of the country is questioning—often with great anger—whether the system that has for so long buoyed their hopes has now betrayed them once and for all. What we are left with is either anti-market pitchfork populism or pro-business technocratic insularity. Neither of these options presents a way to preserve what the author calls “the lighthouse” of American capitalism. Zingales argues that the way forward is pro-market populism, a fostering of truly free and open competition for the good of the people—not for the good of big business.

Drawing on the historical record of American populism at the turn of the twentieth century, Zingales illustrates how our current circumstances aren't all that different. People in the middle and at the bottom are getting squeezed, while people at the top are only growing richer. The solutions now, as then, are reforms to economic policy that level the playing field. Reforms that may be anti-business (specifically anti-big business), but are squarely pro-market. The question is whether we can once again muster the courage to confront the powers that be.

©2018 GoogleSite Terms of ServicePrivacyDevelopersArtistsAbout Google
By purchasing this item, you are transacting with Google Payments and agreeing to the Google Payments Terms of Service and Privacy Notice.