《Preloved Paperback + Winner Of The Economics Nobel Prize Explains Current Financial Crisis & The Coming Global Economic Order》Joseph E. Stiglitz - FREEFALL : America, Free Markets, and the Sinking of the World Economy
This New York Times & The Wall Street Journal bestseller in paperback edition is a preloved book and wrapped with protective book-wrapper. Noted that the book has the appearance of yellowing and stiill in good condition. Nobel Prize winner Joseph E. Stiglitz explains the current financial crisis—and the coming global economic order. This acclaimed and inspiring book, by one of the world's leading economic thinkers, dissects the flawed ideas the led to the crisis, but also looks to the future. Drawing on his years spent shaping policy at the World Bank, Nobel Laureate Joseph Stiglitz shows why far more radical reforms are needed to avoid future crises. Freefall: America, Free Markets, and the Sinking of the World Economy is a book on the causes and consequences of the Great Recession by economist and Nobel laureate Joseph E. Stiglitz, first published in 2010. The current global financial crisis carries a “made-in-America” label. In this forthright and incisive book, Nobel Laureate Joseph E. Stiglitz explains how America exported bad economics, bad policies, and bad behavior to the rest of the world, only to cobble together a haphazard and ineffective response when the markets finally seized up. Drawing on his academic expertise, his years spent shaping policy in the Clinton administration and at the World Bank, and his more recent role as head of a UN commission charged with reforming the global financial system, Stiglitz outlines a way forward building on ideas that he has championed his entire career: restoring the balance between markets and government, addressing the inequalities of the global financial system, and demanding more good ideas (and less ideology) from economists. While focusing on the roots of the financial crisis of 2007-08 and the subsequent global economic slowdown, which he claims to find mainly in fiscal policy as conducted during the Bush presidency and decisions made by the Federal Reserve, Stiglitz also talks about the failure to cope with the recession during the months succeeding the Wall Street Crash of 2008. Finally, he sketches various schemes as to the possible future of the American economy, vigorously proposing a profound policy shift. In compliance with Stiglitz's general attitude towards economic policy, Freefall contains "proposals to tame the banking sector and to foster a more humanistic style of capitalism in the United States and abroad." Freefall is an instant classic, combining an enthralling whodunit account of the current crisis with a bracing discussion of the broader economic issues at stake. According to an assessment written by Larry Elliott for The Guardian, the book "reeks of 'I told you so'." because during the years preceding the crisis, Stiglitz had "warned policy makers repeatedly that the United States was headed toward a deep, painful recession if pre-emptive interventions were not made." In a decade in which per capital GDP in the US increased by ten percent while average wages decreased by 4 percent we have learnt that some rising tides only lift the biggest of boats. The increasing inequity of the US is but reflective of the increasing inequity in the rest of the world. But inequity has social, moral and even economic costs. One thing that clearly got under Joseph’s skin was that after bringing the world economy to the brink of total collapse due to their failing in the basic requirements of their jobs, after only being saved by what may well prove to be a terribly flawed policy of pouring nearly a trillion dollars into the financial system to keep it afloat, the guys who got us into this mess gave themselves huge bonuses! The breathtaking audacity of such an action ought to have caused some kind of revolution – instead we effectively said, “Oh those guys, will they never learn…” Of course, even bankers couldn’t justify talking ‘performance bonuses’ at such at time – and so they called these dump-trucks full of money things like ‘retention fees’. What is also clear is that, despite his clear warnings that we need more regulation, more effective government intervention in the economy, a closer alignment of incentives toward social needs – nothing is likely to change. And why? The theory is that the US public is so enamoured with the idea that they live in the best of all possible worlds that too much of their effort is spent trying to find ways to justify the unjustifiable (to which the most unjustifiable is the extreme and increasing inequity that is central to economic, foreign policy, environmental degradation and elsewhere) that there is no strength left to look at how we might actually make the world a better place. Anyway, if this is already the best of all possible worlds … Markets are efficient, self-interest brings social good, the blind-hand of the market fixes all, big government is bad government – all of these are myths carefully and clearly explained and deconstructed in this book. He also gives a fascinating explanation of the work he did in winning the Nobel Prize around how information asymmetries (even seemingly minor ones) destroy the possibility of market efficiency. And all this in clear and easily understood prose. He points to the normative role neoliberal economics plays – saying that the more time people spend in business school and economics classes the more selfish and (let's not be cute) repulsive they become. It really is time to worry about the consequences of breeding generations of greedy bastards whose sole reason for being is to pillage and to gorge. This is a lucid book, it is a book that challenges the existing assumptions (particularly neoliberal economic assumptions) and presents a way forward for a more stable, ecologically sustainable and more just society. It is written by a winner of the Nobel Prize for Economics (not that that is anything worth boasting about – they even gave one of those to Milton Friedman) and a chief economist with the World Bank. This is a guy from the centre of the establishment – when people like him start telling us things have got to change, well, who knows, perhaps it is time to start paying attention. Joseph Stiglitz has made the transition from being at the centre of one of the main institutions of the Washington Consensus, to a principled opponent of these very same institutions, and the current "free" market orthodoxy which still tenaciously holds it grip on economic thinking at the global and national level. In "Freefall" he looks at the current economic debacle, how it happened, its origins, the inadequate response, as well as speculating on what might get us out of this awful mess. His focus is almost wholly on the US experience with only occasional sideway glances at events in Europe and across the globe. The narrative of the events, and processes, that led to the credit crunch are put before the reader in a concise and comprehensive manner, including the variety of complex financial innovations that contributed to the crash. Stiglitz then looks at the Bush and the Obama administrations, he is fairly scathing about the latter, in particular regarding his economic team, almost all of them have played a part in getting the US economy into its current state. Unsurprisingly he finds their responses to be inadequate, and primarily focused at preserving financial institutions that have failed, and a policy environment that has failed, at the expense of the majority of the US population (he calls the bank rescue program "The Great American Robbery"). Stiglitz appears to favour some sort of bankruptcy proceeding for banks, as well as legislating for a return to the separation of commercial banks from investment banks, amongst other measures. Next Stiglitz looks at the mortgage industry, particularly the sub-prime segment of it. The details of the practice of this industry in the US (and even in the UK where 42% of mortgages applications are apparently still self-certified) is enough to make the jaw drop of even the most cynical of readers. This is followed with a more general appraisal of Americas position with rising public debt, it's relationship with China, and a still dysfunctional financial sector. One of the more interesting chapters is Stiglitz look at the rise and failure of the free-market economics: one still awaits its fall or it being reduced to its proper place. Issues highlighted include persistent failure to deal with reality as opposed to the asinine assumptions it makes regarding it, the poor record it has regarding growth, and its failure to improve the circumstances of the American population (US GDP grew by 10% between 2000 and 2008, median household income fell by 4%!). The final chapter "Towards a New Society" steps back from the crisis and looks at how we can begin to move towards a society that works for the majority of the population, rather than one run in the interests of the few. ---------------------------------------------------- Review by The Guardian : Larry Elliott doubts that the lessons of the past year's global economic recession have been learned No one can say they weren't warned. A decade ago, newly sacked from his job as chief economist at the World Bank, Joseph Stiglitz laid bare how the free-market ideologues at the US Treasury and the International Monetary Fund had botched the Asian financial crisis of the late 1990s. It was a full-on attack from a Washington insider and it hurt, especially when Stiglitz said many of those responsible for forcing countries such as Thailand and Indonesia into deeper, longer recessions were "third-rate graduates from first-rate universities". He concluded his essay in the New Republic by warning the IMF and the US Treasury that unless they began a dialogue with their critics "things will continue to go very, very wrong". Now they have. The Asian crisis of 1997-98 was merely the warm-up act for the events of the past two and a half years. Problems that first surfaced on the periphery of the global economy gradually worked their way to its core – the United States. The warnings of Stiglitz and a handful of other dissident voices were ignored, as a naïve belief in the self-correcting nature of markets allowed the conditions to develop for the biggest financial and economic shock since the great depression in the 1930s. In the circumstances, it is hardly surprising that Freefall reeks of "I told you so". Stiglitz has waited a long time for his views to be vindicated and was not going to spurn the opportunity to settle some scores. Some of the targets are obvious enough – corporate welfare for Wall Street, George Bush's tax breaks for the rich, the failed nostrums from the Chicago school of free-market economists. But he also finds time for some personal revenge. Larry Summers, formerly Bill Clinton's treasury secretary and now chief economic adviser to Barack Obama, is a particular hate figure. Stiglitz says Summers was too accommodating to the demands of Wall Street in the 90s and is making the same mistake now. It was Summers, incensed by the constant criticism of the Washington consensus, who orchestrated Stiglitz's departure from the World Bank. There is more, though, to Freefall than sheer gloating – however justified. Stiglitz's argument is simple; the period of unchallenged American economic hegemony lasted a mere 19 years, from the demolition of the Berlin wall in the autumn of 1989 to the collapse of Lehman Brothers in September 2008. Swift action by governments – forced to abandon a hands-off approach to economic management by the scale of the crisis – has prevented a great recession from turning into a second great depression. Lessons need to be learned from this near-death experience; if they are not, if the warnings go unheeded as they did a decade ago, the future will be punctuated by systemic crises. The chances of that happening are quite high. Already, there is a whiff of business as usual as a receding sense of danger blunts the appetite for radical reform. Obama soft-pedalled on reform of Wall Street until goaded into action this month by the loss of the Senate seat in Massachusetts; in Britain the imminent election will be dominated not by which party has the right policies to cut the City down to size but which can be trusted to cut the budget deficit. Revisionist versions of the crisis, suggesting the problem was too much government rather than too little, are doing the rounds. In that respect, Freefall is the wrong title for this book. It was clearly commissioned and conceived about a year ago, when the charts showed industrial production and trade collapsing at the same pace as they had in the early 30s. But conditions have improved since the panic of late 2008 and early 2009; by pursuing policies that were diametrically opposite to those foisted on struggling Asian countries by the IMF and the US Treasury in the late 90s, growth has returned far more quickly than expected. China is booming, while Europe, Japan and the United States all started growing again by the third quarter of 2009. Having dished it out, Stiglitz can expect to cop it from his opponents if, as looks entirely possible, 2010 is a year of recovery. But his underlying analysis is correct. The global economy was – and remains – seriously unbalanced between debtor and creditor nations. Corporate welfare has reached fresh heights with the billions of dollars ladled out to commercial banks, investment banks and America's biggest insurance company, AIG. America, as the book rightly notes, has lived off one bubble after another for years. Stiglitz wants this to be a moment of "reckoning and reflection" – a reassessment of the sort of economy in which financiers enriched themselves by selling over-priced and risky products to some of the most vulnerable citizens in America. Materialism has outweighed moral commitment, the needs of the environment have been ignored, and there has been a catastrophic break down in trust. He concludes the book by asking: "Will we seize the opportunity to restore our sense of balance between the market and the state, between individualism and the community, between man and nature, between means and ends?" Faced with a similar set of circumstances in the 30s, the New Deal generation of Roosevelt proved ready to meet the challenge. Stiglitz clearly doubts whether Obama is made of the same stern stuff. About the Author： Joseph E. Stiglitz received his PhD from MIT in 1967, became a full professor at Yale in 1970, and was awarded the John Bates Clark Award in 1979, which is given biennially by the American Economic Association to an economist under 40 who has made the most significant contribution to the field. He has taught at Princeton, Stanford, and MIT, and was the Drummond Professor and a fellow of All Souls College, Oxford. He is now a professor at Columbia University and co-chair of Columbia University's Committee on Global Thought. He is also the co-founder and co-president of the Initiative for Policy Dialogue at Columbia. In 2001, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in economics for his analyses of markets with asymmetric information, and was a lead author of the 1995 Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize. In 2011, Time named Professor Stiglitz one of the 100 most influential people in the world. Professor Stiglitz was a member of the Council of Economic Advisers from 1993-95, during the Clinton administration, and served as its chairman from 1995-97. He then became chief economist and senior vice president of the World Bank from 1997-2000. In 2008, he was asked by the French President Nicolas Sarkozy to chair the Commission on the Measurement of Economic Performance and Social Progress, which released its final report in September 2009. In 2009, he was appointed by the President of the United Nations General Assembly as chair of the Commission of Experts on Reform of the International Financial and Monetary System, which also released its report in September 2009. Professor Stiglitz helped create a new branch of economics-The Economics of Information-exploring the consequences of information asymmetries and pioneering such pivotal concepts as adverse selection and moral hazard, which have now become standard tools not only for theorists but also for policy analysts. He has made major contributions to the theories of welfare economics and of income and wealth distribution, and his work has helped explain the circumstances in which markets do not work well and how selective government intervention can improve market performance. Recognized around the world as a leading economic educator, Professor Stiglitz has written books that have been translated into more than a dozen languages. He also founded one of the leading economics journals, The Journal of Economic Perspectives. His book, Globalization and Its Discontents (Norton, 2001), has been translated into 35 languages and has sold more than a million copies worldwide. Other recent books include ➽ The Roaring Nineties (Norton); ➽ Towards a New Paradigm in Monetary Economics (Cambridge University Press), with Bruce Greenwald; ➽ Fair Trade for All (Oxford University Press), with Andrew Charlton; ➽ Making Globalization Work (Norton and Penguin/ Allen Lane, 2006); ➽ The Three Trillion Dollar War: The True Cost of the Iraq Conflict (Norton and Penguin/ Allen Lane, 2008), with Linda Bilmes at Harvard University; ➽ Freefall: America, Free Markets, and the Sinking of the World Economy (Norton and Penguin/ Allen Lane, 2010); and ➽ The Price of Inequality: How Today's Divided Society Endangers Our Future (Norton and Penguin/ Allen Lane, 2012).
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