Popular Economics Books
This pocket-sized and fully illustrated book is packed full of information that will help you crack the world of money and understand the economic theories that have shaped the world and the way we all live.
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Providing accessible accounts of everything from how Keynesian models work to the ways in which inflation affects interest rates, this is a book for anyone who is interested in finance but needs a little guidance getting their head around the more complex side of it.
Among the global finance issues covered are recessions, economic forecasting and globalisation.
Over the last twenty years, "Adbusters" magazine has challenged consumerism, championed the environment and provided a platform for some of our greatest thinkers. In 2011, they instigated Occupy Wall Street, sparking a huge international movement. Now Kalle Lasn, editor and founder of "Adbusters", brings us this thought provoking book, which provides the building blocks, in texts and visuals, for a new way of looking at and changing our world. Illustrated in the distinctive style of the magazine and drawing on a brilliant cast of contributers, "Meme Wars" debunks many of the assumptions about how we run our societies today. Placing fresh emphasis on the environmental and human factors that are often left out in discussions of economics and examining alternative economies, "Meme Wars" is designed to be 'a textbook for the future' - one that brings to light inspiring ideas for positive change.
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This is an endlessly interesting collection for anyone who has a passion for science and data. All illustrated and full of fascinating information, the Freakonomics-style books cover the topics of big data, maths and money and will delight anyone who enjoys numbers and economics.
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Man vs Big Data explains everyday data in an accessible style, revealing how data is used for medical advancements, developing everyday tools and recording our movements and actions; Man vs Maths explains how we use everyday mathematics to do everything from building a skyscraper to finding love; and Man vs Money reveals how money plays a role in everything the world revolves around, covering issues including modern banking, crowd funding and virtual currencies.
In this witty and revelatory investigation of the so-called dismal science, University of British Columbia professor Marina Adshade skips the usual widgets and uncovers how the market comes to bear on our most intimate decisions: sex, dating, courtship, love, marriage, even breaking up. The science of 'sexonomics' is born: * How much money does an ugly guy need to have to attract as many women via an online dating site as a hot man? * Is modern marriage just an opportunity to consume more goods and services? * Does raising the price of beer reduce risky sex? * Why does a spike in the sale of sex toys predict an upcoming recession, while an increase in the number of breast lifts indicates a perkier economy is on the way? * Which comes first: a prosperous nation or a promiscuous one? Once you read Dirty Money, you'll never look at your money - or your relationships - the same way again
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In this searing and entertaining indictment of the super-rich, Linda McQuaig and Neil Brooks challenge the idea that today's cavernous income inequality is the result of merit, and reveal how the global economic system has been hijacked by the wealthiest, with disastrous consequences for us all. The high taxes and strong social programmes of the 1950s, '60s and '70s gave us sky-high economic growth and rising equality. In recent years, however, we've been constantly told that taxes and government spending are bad. McQuaig and Brooks systematically debunk these claims. As their research shows, not only do lower taxes correlate with worse societal outcomes - from health to the environment - they also fail to produce economic prosperity. A daring challenge to the conventional wisdom, The Trouble with Billionaires provides the most compelling case yet for rejecting the Coalition's mean-spirited mix of tax breaks for the rich and austerity for the rest.
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Forget the 1 per cent - it's time to get to grips with the 0.1 per cent...There has always been some gap between rich and poor, but it has never been wider - and now the rich are getting wealthier at such breakneck speed that the middle classes are being squeezed out. While the wealthiest 10 per cent of Americans, for example, receive half the nation's income, the real money flows even higher up, in the top 0.1 per cent. As a transglobal class of highly successful professionals, these self-made oligarchs often have more in common with one another than with their own countrymen. But how is this happening, and who are the people making it happen? Chrystia Freeland, acclaimed business journalist and Global Editor-at-Large of Reuters, has unprecedented access to the richest and most successful people on the planet, from Davos to Dubai, and dissects their lives with intelligence, empathy and objectivity. Pacily written and powerfully researched, Plutocrats could not provide a more timely insight into the current state of Capitalism and its most wealthy players. "A superb piece of reportage ...a tremendous illumination". ((New Statesman on Freeland's previous title, Sale of the Century)).
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Darryl Cunningham's latest graphic investigation takes us to the heart of free-world politics and the financial crisis, as he traces the roots of our age of selfishness to the right-wing thinkers of the previous century in three fascinating chapters - Ayn Rand, Supercrash, and The Age of Selfishness. Cunningham draws a fascinating portrait of the New Right and the charismatic Ayn Rand, whose soirees were attended by the young Alan Greenspan. He shows how the US Neo-Cons have hijacked the economic debate and led the way to a world dominated by apparently unstoppable market forces. Cunningham both explains the Supercrash of 2008 and shows us what led up to it. He examines the neurological basis of political thinking, and asks why it is so difficult for us to change our minds - even when faced with powerful evidence that a certain course of action is not working. He takes a fascinating look at research carried out on the psychological differences between liberals and conservatives and suggests how their traits have defined their specific political and economic policies.
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Following the economic crisis of 2008 a website was registered by a computer programmer called Satoshi Nakamoto - bitcoin.org. A new form of money was born: electronic cash. Does Bitcoin have the potential to change how the world transacts financially? Does Bitcoin have the potential to change the world? Is it just a passing fad or is it a major scam? Dominic's new book explains what it is, how it came about and features interviews with some of the key players in Bitcoin's development and examines some of the mysteries behind Bitcoin. Frisby considers the potential economic, political and social implications of this new currency and tells it in an engaging style that reads like a thriller.
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Who are rip off label jeans actually ripping off? Why does it cost less to install a lift than to move a piano? And why don't maintenance men ever call when they are meant to? The Secret Life of Money answers questions like these - questions that strike us about the businesses we have to deal with on a day-to-day basis. The answers to these puzzles reveal the very different ways in which businesses around us actually make their money - it is often not in the ways that we might expect. Have you ever wondered why there are so few brands of whisky and why new ones only ever appear in times of recession? Why is it that shops are so keen on offering cashback? If the APR of loan sharks is so excessively high then why don't they own the whole world? A lighthearted and authoritative guide, The Secret Life of Money has practical merit, too. Why have the UK banks had mis-selling scandal after mis-selling scandal? When you know what's unusual about UK current accounts you can spot the pattern, and know how to avoid it in managing your own money. Everything you ever wanted to know about short selling on the stock market but were too afraid to ask - when it's explained through the medium of Jimmy Choo shoes it makes a lot more sense.
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Selected as a Financial Times Best Book of 2013 Governments today in both Europe and the United States have succeeded in casting government spending as reckless wastefulness that has made the economy worse. In contrast, they have advanced a policy of draconian budget cuts-austerity-to solve the financial crisis. We are told that we have all lived beyond our means and now need to tighten our belts. This view conveniently forgets where all that debt came from. Not from an orgy of government spending, but as the direct result of bailing out, recapitalizing, and adding liquidity to the broken banking system. Through these actions private debt was rechristened as government debt while those responsible for generating it walked away scot free, placing the blame on the state, and the burden on the taxpayer. That burden now takes the form of a global turn to austerity, the policy of reducing domestic wages and prices to restore competitiveness and balance the budget. The problem, according to political economist Mark Blyth, is that austerity is a very dangerous idea. First of all, it doesn't work. As the past four years and countless historical examples from the last 100 years show, while it makes sense for any one state to try and cut its way to growth, it simply cannot work when all states try it simultaneously: all we do is shrink the economy. In the worst case, austerity policies worsened the Great Depression and created the conditions for seizures of power by the forces responsible for the Second World War: the Nazis and the Japanese military establishment. As Blyth amply demonstrates, the arguments for austerity are tenuous and the evidence thin. Rather than expanding growth and opportunity, the repeated revival of this dead economic idea has almost always led to low growth along with increases in wealth and income inequality. Austerity demolishes the conventional wisdom, marshaling an army of facts to demand that we austerity for what it is, and what it costs us.
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Modern football is big business. From the ill received takeover of Manchester United by the Glazer family to Paris Saint Germain's current shopping spree for the best players on the planet, football finance has become an increasingly important part of the game. Barely a summer goes by now without a cherished club going into administration or a wealthy businessman funding a mid table team's ascension to Champions League competitor. Meanwhile, the twice annual multimillion pound merrygoround of transfer season sees players (and now managers) signed for sums thought impossible just a decade ago. Understanding football finance has become essential for comprehending the beautiful game. But for many fans, football finance remains, frustratingly, a world that is opaque and difficult to grasp. Stefan Szymanski, coauthor of the bestselling Soccernomics, tackles every football fan's burning questions in Money and Soccer: A Soccernomics Guide. From the abolition of the maximum wage in the 1960s, through to the impact of TV money both at home and abroad in the 1990s and 2000s, Szymanski explains how money, or lack of, affects your favourite club. Drawing on extensive research into financial records dating back to the 1970s, Szymanski provides clear analysis of the way that clubs have transformed in the modern era. Szymanski, a renowned expert on sports management and economics, looks at what we can learn from comparing the ascension of Europe's biggest clubs to their lofty perches and with new financial models across the world. Through careful research and informative stories drawn from around the globe, Szymanski provides an accessibleguide to the world of football finance.
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From one of the most respected economic thinkers and writers of our time, a brilliant argument about the history and future of economic growth. The years since the Great Crisis of 2008 have seen slow growth, high unemployment, falling home values, chronic deficits, a deepening disaster in Europe and a stale argument between two false solutions, "austerity" on one side and "stimulus" on the other. Both sides and practically all analyses of the crisis so far take for granted that the economic growth from the early 1950s until 2000 interrupted only by the troubled 1970s-represented a normal performance. From this perspective, the crisis was an interruption, caused by bad policy or bad people, and full recovery is to be expected if the cause is corrected. The End of Normalchallenges this view. Placing the crisis in perspective, Galbraith argues that the 1970s already ended the age of easy growth. The 1980s and 1990s saw only uneven growth, with rising inequality within and between countries. And the 2000s saw the end even of that, despite frantic efforts to keep growth going with tax cuts, war spending and financial deregulation. When the crisis finally came, stimulus and automatic stabilization were able to place a floor under economic collapse. But they are not able to bring about a return to high growth and full employment. In The End of Normal, "Galbraith puts his pessimism into an engaging, plausible frame. His contentions deserve the attention of all economists and serious financial minds across the political spectrum" (Publishers Weekly).
In The Shifts and the Shocks, Martin Wolf - one of the world's most influential economic commentators and author of Why Globalization Works - presents his controversial and highly original analysis of the economic course of the last seven years. There have been many books that have sought to explain the causes and courses of the financial and economic crisis which began in 2007-8. The Shifts and the Shocks is not another detailed history of the crisis, but the most persuasive and complete account yet published of what the crisis should teach us about modern economies and economics. The book identifies the origin of the crisis in the complex interaction between globalization, hugely destabilizing global imbalances and our dangerously fragile financial system. In the eurozone, these sources of instability were multiplied by the tragically defective architecture of the monetary union. It also shows how much of the orthodoxy that shaped monetary and financial policy before the crisis occurred was complacent and wrong. In doing so, it mercilessly reveals the failures of the financial, political and intellectual elites who ran the system. The book also examines what has been done to reform the financial and monetary systems since the worst of the crisis passed. 'Are we now on a sustainable course?' Wolf asks. 'The answer is no.' He explains with great clarity why 'further crises seem certain' and why the management of the eurozone in particular 'guarantees a huge political crisis at some point in the future.' Wolf provides far more ambitious and comprehensive plans for reform than any currently being implemented. Written with all the intellectual command and trenchant judgement that have made Martin Wolf one of the world's most influential economic commentators, The Shifts and the Shocks matches impressive analysis with no-holds-barred criticism and persuasive prescription for a more stable future. It is a book no-one with an interest in global affairs will want to neglect. "We have been inundated with books about the 'financial' aspects of the crisis. There have also been many books about specific institutions or memoirs by retired policy-makers. We need something different. There are two dimensions of the crisis that have received surprisingly little treatment. One is the link between developments in the macro-economy and the behaviour of the financial sector. The other is the global dimension of the crisis. Both these lie at the heart of Martin Wolf's analysis of the causes of the crisis and of his proposals to reduce the risk of another crisis. For these two reasons this is an important book that will be influential. Most important of all, it is in my view the right analysis and remedy." (Mervyn King). "To think straight about the causes and solutions of the financial crisis we must reject orthodox assumptions that more finance and global financial integration are limitlessly beneficial. The Shifts and the Shocks does just that, providing an intellectually sparkling and vital account of why the crisis occurred, and of the radical reforms needed if we are to avoid a future repeat." (Adair Turner). "Martin Wolf is unsurpassed in the world of economic journalists. His superb book may be the best of all those spawned by the Great Recession. It is analytical and rigorous without ever succumbing to fatalism or complacency." (Lawrence Summers).
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The End of Money is an essential introduction to cryptocurrencies and the blockchain revolution. On this journey you'll discover how this staggering new technology has the potential to enable an ultra-libertarian society beyond government control. Murder for hire. Drug trafficking. Embezzlement. Money laundering. Market manipulation. Governments overthrown. These might sound like plot lines of a conspiracy thriller, but they are true stories from the short history of "cryptocurrencies". Originally conceived by computer hackers and cryptographers, these digital currencies, represent a completely new sort of financial transaction - one that doesn't need banks. Yet it's the technology that underpins these cryptocurrencies that has financiers, lawmakers and governments sitting up and taking notice. Hailed as the greatest advancement since the invention of the internet, the blockchain is moving away from being the backbone for a digital currency and making inroads into other core concepts of society: identity, ownership and even the rule of law.
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Capitalism has lifted millions out of poverty. Under its guiding hand, living standards throughout the Western world have been transformed. Further afield, the trail blazed by Japan is being followed by other emerging market countries across the globe, creating prosperity on a breathtaking scale.And yet, capitalism is unloved. From its discontents to its outright enemies, voices compete to point out the flaws in the system that allow increasingly powerful elites to grab an ever larger share of our collective wealth.In this incisive, clear-sighted guide, award winning Financial Times journalist John Plender explores the paradoxes and pitfalls inherent in this extraordinarily dynamic mechanism - and in our attitudes to it. Taking us on a journey from the Venetian merchants of the Rennaissance to the gleaming temples of commerce in 21st-century Canary Wharf via the South Sea Bubble, Dutch tulip mania and manic-depressive gambling addicts, Plender shows us our economic creation through the eyes of philosophers, novelists, poets, artists and the divines.Along the way, he delves into the ethics of debt; reveals the truth about the unashamedly materialistic artistic giants who pioneered copyrighting; and traces the path of our instinctive conviction that entrepreneurs are greedy, unethical opportunists, hell-bent on capital accumulation, while manufacturing is innately virtuous. Thoughtful, eloquent and above all compelling, Capitalism is a remarkable contribution to the enduring debate.
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ECONOMIST, FINANCIAL TIMES and EVENING STANDARD BOOKS OF THE YEAR 2015 Shortlisted for the Financial Times and McKinsey Business Book of the Year Award From the renowned and entertaining behavioural economist and co-author of the seminal work Nudge, Misbehaving is an irreverent and enlightening look into human foibles. Traditional economics assumes that rational forces shape everything. Behavioural economics knows better. Richard Thaler has spent his career studying the notion that humans are central to the economy - and that we're error-prone individuals, not Spock-like automatons. Now behavioural economics is hugely influential, changing the way we think not just about money, but about ourselves, our world and all kinds of everyday decisions. Whether buying an alarm clock, selling football tickets, or applying for a mortgage, we all succumb to biases and make decisions that deviate from the standards of rationality assumed by economists. In other words, we misbehave. Dismissed at first by economists as an amusing sideshow, the study of human miscalculations and their effects on markets now drives efforts to make better decisions in our lives, our businesses, and our governments. Coupling recent discoveries in human psychology with a practical understanding of incentives and market behaviour, Thaler enlightens readers about how to make smarter decisions in an increasingly mystifying world. He reveals how behavioural economic analysis opens up new ways to look at everything from household finance to assigning faculty offices in a new building, to TV quiz shows, sports transfer seasons, and businesses like Uber. When economics meets psychology, the implications for individuals, managers and policy makers are both profound and entertaining.
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The present is a contest between the bright and dark sides of discovery. To avoid being torn apart by its stresses, we need to recognize the fact-and gain courage and wisdom from the past. Age of Discovery shows how. Now is the best moment in history to be alive, but we have never felt more anxious or divided. Human health, aggregate wealth and education are flourishing. Scientific discovery is racing forward. But the same global flows of trade, capital, people and ideas that make gains possible for some people deliver big losses to others-and make us all more vulnerable to one another. Business and science are working giant revolutions upon our societies, but our politics and institutions evolve at a much slower pace. That's why, in a moment when everyone ought to be celebrating giant global gains, many of us are righteously angry at being left out and stressed about where we're headed. To make sense of present shocks, we need to step back and recognize: we've been here before. The first Renaissance, the time of Columbus, Copernicus, Gutenberg and others, likewise redrew all maps of the world, democratized communication and sparked a flourishing of creative achievement. But their world also grappled with the same dark side of rapid change: social division, political extremism, insecurity, pandemics and other unintended consequences of discovery. Now is the second Renaissance. We can still flourish-if we learn from the first.
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NEW PAPERBACK EDITION WITH ADDITIONAL INTRODUCTION AND END NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR Why, years after the banking crisis, is the global economy still mired in recession and burdened by enormous debts? Why have the tried-and-tested economic policies of the past failed us this time? In Life After Growth, leading City analyst Tim Morgan sets out a ground-breaking analysis of how the economy really works. Economists are mistaken, he argues, when they limit their interpretation of the economy to matters of money. Ultimately, the economy is an energy system, not a monetary one. From this, it follows that we need to think in terms of two economies, not one - a 'real' economy of work, energy, resources, goods and services, and a parallel, 'financial' economy of money and debt. These two economies have parted company, allowing the financial economy to pile up promises that the real economy cannot meet. Starting with the discovery of agriculture, Tim Morgan traces the rise of the economy in terms of work, energy and resources. The driving factor, he explains, has been cheap and abundant energy. As energy has become increasingly costly to obtain, the potential for prosperity has diminished, to the point where growth in the real economy has ceased. An immediate problem is that our commitments - including debt, investments and welfare promises - cannot be honoured, which means that we can expect the financial system to be wracked by value destruction. At the same time, we need to adapt to a future in which prosperity can no longer be taken for granted.
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In Wealth, Poverty, and Politics , Dr. Thomas Sowell of the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, examines the reasons for large differences in income and wealth between nations and among groups within nations. A wide range of geographic, demographic, cultural, and political factors are examined, not to find a single factor or a single combination of factors that will explain all economic differences, but to show how particular combinations of factors limit or expand the possibilities for specific nations and peoples at specific times and places.Dr. Sowell also examines some popular explanations of these differences and shows why they will not stand up under scrutiny. In doing so, he takes on some of the reigning titans of the redistributionist movement,including John Rawls, Thomas Piketty, Paul Krugman, and Joseph Stiglitz,and shows how a remarkable number of their claims cannot withstand plain common sense, expressed in plain English.
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'Basic Income is an idea whose time has come, and Guy Standing has pioneered our understanding of it...Standing's analysis is vital' Paul Mason Shouldn't everyone receive a stake in society's wealth? Could we create a fairer world by granting a guaranteed income to all? What would this mean for our health, wealth and happiness? Basic Income is a regular cash transfer from the state, received by all individual citizens. It is an acknowledgement that everyone plays a part in generating the wealth currently enjoyed only by a few. Political parties across the world are now adopting it as official policy and the idea generates headlines every day. Guy Standing has been at the forefront of thought about Basic Income for the past thirty years, and in this book he covers in authoritative detail its effects on the economy, poverty, work and labour; dissects and disproves the standard arguments against Basic Income; explains what we can learn from pilots across the world and illustrates exactly why a Basic Income has now become such an urgent necessity.
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Perhaps no economist was more vindicated by the global financial crisis than Hyman P. Minsky (1919-96). Although a handful of economists raised alarms as early as 2000, Minsky's warnings began a half-century earlier, with writings that set out a compelling theory of financial instability. Yet even today he remains largely outside mainstream economics; few people have a good grasp of his writings, and fewer still understand their full importance. Why Minsky Matters makes the maverick economist's critically valuable insights accessible to general readers for the first time. L. Randall Wray shows that by understanding Minsky we will not only see the next crisis coming but we might be able to act quickly enough to prevent it. As Wray explains, Minsky's most important idea is that "stability is destabilizing": to the degree that the economy achieves what looks to be robust and stable growth, it is setting up the conditions in which a crash becomes ever more likely. Before the financial crisis, mainstream economists pointed to much evidence that the economy was more stable, but their predictions were completely wrong because they disregarded Minsky's insight. Wray also introduces Minsky's significant work on money and banking, poverty and unemployment, and the evolution of capitalism, as well as his proposals for reforming the financial system and promoting economic stability. A much-needed introduction to an economist whose ideas are more relevant than ever, Why Minsky Matters is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand why economic crises are becoming more frequent and severe--and what we can do about it.
Economics in Minutes condenses key economics concepts into 200 short and easily digested essays. Featuring not only fundamental ideas, such as the role of money and how the stock market works, but also subjects that are increasingly important to us today - unemployment, government debt and corporate tax avoidance, for example - it is the ideal introduction to a complex contemporary field. Key topics are succinctly described and accompanied by illustrations, making them simple to read and easy to remember. This convenient little reference guide will allow readers to understand the theories underpinning a subject that affects our lives on a daily basis. Chapters include: Supply and demand, Globalization, Market failure, GDP and happiness, Risk and uncertainty, Living standards and productivity, Game theory, Economics and culture.
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This is the story of a 21st century revolution being led by the most unlikely of rebels: accountants. It is only the second revolution in accounting since double-entry bookkeeping emerged in medieval Italy - and it is of seismic proportions, driven by the 2008 financial crash and the environmental crisis. The changes it will wreak are profound and far-reaching. They will transform not only the way the world does business but alter the very nature of corporate capitalism. The accounts of nations and corporations are vital to the 21st century global economy. They translate value into the language of modern times - numbers and money - in the shape of GDP and profit figures. They rule the world. But increasingly the world is coming to realise that the seemingly endless growth that capital offers us is in fact limited by the earth's resources and comes at a huge price to the planet and our own wellbeing. It simply cannot be sustained. This revolution demands that we start accounting for nature and society. It urges us to rethink our idea of capital, insisting that the familiar categories of industrial and financial capital bequeathed by the mercantile and industrial ages be broadened to include four new categories of wealth: intellectual, human, social and natural. Incorporating them into our financial statements and GDP figures could be the only way to address the many crises we face today. Just two years ago this revolution seemed idealistic and unlikely. Today it is unfolding at speed. 2012 was the sea-change year, in which two key initiatives took root: an international movement to transform corporate accounting, and the rise of natural capital accounting for nations and the global economy. Six Capitals tells the story of their rise to prominence, which signals a new age in capitalism, and evaluates their promise - and their threat. The revolution is here. But will we embrace its potential or deny its urgency? Can accountants save the planet - or will we destroy it for future generations?
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Low-level dishonesty is rife everywhere, in the form of exaggeration, selective use of facts, economy with the truth, careful drafting - from Trump and the Brexit debate to companies that tell us 'your call is important to us'. How did we get to a place where bullshit is not just rife but apparently so effective that it's become the communications strategy of our times? This brilliantly insightful book steps inside the panoply of deception employed in all walks of life and assesses how it has come to this. It sets out the surprising logic which explains why bullshit is both pervasive and persistent. Why are company annual reports often nonsense? Why should you not trust estate agents? And above all, why has political campaigning become the art of stretching the truth? Drawing on behavioural science, economics, psychology and of course his knowledge of the media, Evan ends by providing readers with a tool-kit to handle the kinds of deceptions we encounter every day, and charts a route through the muddy waters of the post-truth age.
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