Economic Systems & Structures
In this title, radical sociologist David Harvey explains how capitalism came to dominate the world, why it resulted in the current financial crisis - and why it's time for a change. For three centuries the capitalist system has shaped western society, informed its rulers, and conditioned the lives of its people. Has the time come to move beyond it? Using his unrivalled knowledge of the subject, Harvey lays bare the follies of the international financial system, looking at the nature of capitalism, how it works and why sometimes it doesn't. He examines the vast flows of money that surge round the world in daily volumes well in excess of the sum of all its economies. He looks at the cycles of boom and bust in the world's housing and stock markets and shows that periodic episodes of meltdown are not only inevitable in the capitalist system but essential to its survival. "The Enigma of Capitalism" is a timely call-to-arms for the end of the capitalism, and makes a compelling case for a new social order that would allow us to live within a system that could be responsible, just and humane.
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The global financial crisis of 2007 to 2009 ruined businesses and banks, individuals and even nations, and seemed to land a mortal blow to the capitalist system. But capitalism was not destroyed, rather it was irrevocably altered: the forces that precipitated the crisis are now contributing to the evolution of a new, stronger version of the capitalist model. Tracing the development of capitalism from the late eighteenth century through three distinct historical phases, Kaletsky shows how at each of these transitions the existing economic order appeared to be fatally threatened, only for capitalism to reinvent itself and emerge stronger than before. The turning point for our most recent age of capitalism came on 15 September 2008 when Lehman Brothers collapsed, setting off market chaos which, had it not been for government bailouts and guarantees, would have toppled every bank in the Western world, an incident which set off the fourth major systemic transformation in capitalism's history - Capitalism 4.0. Understanding Capitalism 4.0 will be critical to the continued recovery of our global economies. In this controversial and wide-ranging book, Anatole Kaletsky, one of the world's foremost economic commentators, puts recent financial events into historical and ideological perspective. He describes the emerging features of this new capitalist model, explains how it differs from the previous versions - and how it will change politics, finance, international relations and economic thinking in the next decade.
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In "23 Things They Don't Tell You About Capitalism" one of today's most iconoclastic thinkers destroys the biggest myths about the world we live in. There's no such thing as a 'free' market. Globalization isn't making the world richer. We don't live in a digital world - the washing machine has changed lives more than the internet. Poor countries are more entrepreneurial than rich ones. Higher paid managers don't produce better results. This galvanizing, fact-packed book about money, equality, freedom and greed proves that the free market isn't just bad for people - it's an inefficient way of running economies too. Here Chang lays out the alternatives, and shows there's a better way.
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What is capitalism? Is capitalism the same everywhere? Is there an alternative? The word 'capitalism' is one that is heard and used frequently, but what is capitalism really all about, and what does it mean? This Very Short Introduction addresses questions such as 'what is capital?' before discussing the history and development of capitalism through several detailed case studies, ranging from the tulipomania of 17th century Holland, the Great Depression of the 1930s, and in this new edition, the impact of the global financial crisis that started in 2007-8. James Fulcher looks at the different forms that capitalism takes in Britain, Japan, Sweden, and the United States, and explores whether capitalism has escaped the nation-state by going global. It ends by asking whether there is an alternative to capitalism, discussing socialism, communal and cooperative experiments, and the alternatives proposed by environmentalists. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
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You thought capitalism was permanent? Think again. David Harvey unravels the contradictions at the heart of capitalism - its drive, for example, to accumulate capital beyond the means of investing it, its imperative to use the cheapest methods of production that leads to consumers with no means of consumption, and its compulsion to exploit nature to the point of extinction. These are the tensions which underpin the persistence of mass unemployment, the downward spirals of Europe and Japan, and the unstable lurches forward of China and India. Not that the contradictions of capital are all bad: they can lead to the innovations that make capitalism resilient and, it seems, permanent. Yet appearances can deceive: while many of capital's contradictions can be managed, others will be fatal to our society. This new book is both an incisive guide to the world around us and a manifesto for change.
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In How Will Capitalism End? the acclaimed analyst of contemporary politics and economics Wolfgang Streeck argues that capitalism is now in a critical condition. Growth is giving way to secular stagnation; inequality is leading to instability; and confidence in the capitalist money economy has all but evaporated. Capitalism's shotgun marriage with democracy since 1945 is breaking up as the regulatory institutions restraining its advance have collapsed, and after the final victory of capitalism over its enemies no political agency capable of rebuilding them is in sight. The capitalist system is stricken with at least five worsening disorders for which no cure is at hand: declining growth, oligarchy, starvation of the public sphere, corruption and international anarchy. In this arresting book Wolfgang Streeck asks if we are witnessing a long and painful period of cumulative decay: of intensifying frictions, of fragility and uncertainty, and of a steady succession of 'normal accidents'.
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Controversial and unavoidable, it shapes our society and our lives - but what really is capitalism? Does it mean greed is good? Are inequality and poverty its inevitable consequences? Can economic growth continue forever or are constant cycles of boom and bust a foregone conclusion? Indeed is capitalism in a fatal crisis - and what, if any, are the alternatives? From capitalism's history, core theories and key institutions to its current-day political power and social impact, this book explains everything you need to understand the world's dominant economic system. Jonathan Portes demystifes the fundamental concepts of capital, creative destruction, the market and the invisible hand; dissects the rival ideologies of socialism, liberalism and Keynesianism; predicts what capitalism means for immigration, the environment and the future of work; and much more - all in 50 concise and authoritative essays. Here is the essential one-volume guide to capitalism: its strengths and weaknesses, past and future - a future that will affect us all.
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Do you recall a time when the income of a single schoolteacher or baker or salesman or mechanic was enough to buy a home, have two cars, and raise a family? Robert Reich does - in the 1950s his father sold clothes to factory workers and the family earnt enough to live comfortably. Today, this middle class is rapidly shrinking: American income inequality and wealth disparity is the greatest it's been in eighty years. As Reich, who served in three US administrations, shows, the threat to capitalism is no longer communism or fascism but a steady undermining of the trust modern societies need for growth and stability. With an exclusive chapter for Icon's edition, Saving Capitalism is passionate yet practical, sweeping yet exactingly argued, a revelatory indictment of the economic status quo and an empowering call to action.
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The financial and economic crisis that began in 2008 still has the world on tenterhooks. The gravity of the situation is matched by a general paucity of understanding about what is happening and how it started. In this book, based on his 2012 Adorno Lectures given in Frankfurt, Wolfgang Streeck places the crisis in the context of the long neoliberal transformation of postwar capitalism that began in the 1970s. He analyses the subsequent tensions and conflicts involving states, governments, voters and capitalist interests, as expressed in inflation, public debt, and rising private indebtedness. Streeck traces the transformation of the tax state into a debt state, and from there into the consolidation state of today. At the centre of the analysis is the changing relationship between capitalism and democracy, in Europe and elsewhere, and the advancing immunization of the former against the latter. In this new edition, Streeck has added a substantial postface on the reception of the book and the unfolding of the crisis in the Eurozone since 2014.
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Everything drug cartels do to survive and prosper they've learnt from big business - brand value and franchising from McDonald's, supply chain management from Walmart, diversification from Coca-Cola. Whether it's human resourcing, R&D, corporate social responsibility, off-shoring, problems with e-commerce or troublesome changes in legislation, the drug lords face the same strategic concerns companies like Ryanair or Apple. So when the drug cartels start to think like big business, the only way to understand them is using economics. In Narconomics, Tom Wainwright meets everyone from coca farmers in secret Andean locations, deluded heads of state in presidential palaces, journalists with a price on their head, gang leaders who run their empires from dangerous prisons and teenage hitmen on city streets - all in search of the economic truth.
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A more ethical economic system is now possible, one that rectifies the crisis spots of our current downturn while balancing the injustices of extreme poverty and wealth. Adam Arvidsson and Nicolai Peitersen, a scholar and an entrepreneur, outline the shape such an economy might take, identifying its origins in innovations already existent in our production, valuation, and distribution systems. Much like nineteenth-century entrepreneurs, philosophers, bankers, artisans, and social organizers who planned a course for modern capitalism that was more economically efficient and ethically desirable, we now have a chance to construct new instruments, institutions, and infrastructure to reverse the trajectory of a quickly deteriorating economic environment. Considering a multitude of emerging phenomena, Arvidsson and Peitersen show wealth creation can be the result of a new kind of social production, and the motivation of continuous capital accumulation can exist in tandem with a new desire to maximize our social impact. Arvidsson and Peitersen argue that financial markets could become a central arena in which diverse ethical concerns are integrated into tangible economic valuations. They suggest that such a common standard has already emerged and that this process is linked to the spread of social media, making it possible to capture the sentiment of value to most people. They ultimately recommend how to build upon these developments to initiate a radical democratization of economic systems and the value decisions they generate.
'There is no alternative' has been the unofficial mantra of the neoliberal order since its utterance by Margaret Thatcher in the 1980s. However, there is an alternative to our crisis-ridden, austerity-inflicted world - and not just one alternative, but many. Challenging the arguments for markets, mainstream economics and capitalism from Adam Smith onwards, Economics After Capitalism provides a step-by-step guide to various writers, movements and schools of thought, critical of neoliberal globalisation. These range from Keynesian-inspired reformists such as Geroge Soros and Joseph Stiglitz, critics of inequality like Thomas Piketty and Amaitya Sen, to more radical voices including Naomi Klein, Marxists such as David Harvey, anarchists, and autonomists including Toni Negri and Michael Hardt. By providing a clear and accessible guide to the economics of anti-capitalism, Derek Wall successfully demonstrates that an open source eco-socialist alternative to rampant climate change, elite rule and financial chaos is not just necessary, but possible.
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In this provocative study, economist Ernesto Screpanti argues that imperialism far from disappearing or mutating into a benign globalization has in fact entered a new phase, which he terms global imperialism. This is a phase defined by multinational firms cut loose from the nation-state framework and free to chase profits over the entire surface of the globe. No longer dependent on nation-states for building a political consensus that accommodates capital accumulation, these firms seek to bend governments to their will and destroy barriers to the free movement of capital. And while military force continues to play an important role in imperial strategy, it is the discipline of the global market that keeps workers in check by pitting them against each other no matter what their national origin. This is a world in which the so-called labor aristocracies of the rich nations are demolished, the power of states to enforce checks on capital is sapped, and global firms are free to pursue their monomaniacal quest for profits unfettered by national allegiance. Screpanti delves into the inner workings of global imperialism, explaining how it is different from past forms of imperialism, how the global distribution of wages is changing, and why multinational firms have strained to break free of national markets. He sees global imperialism as a developing process, one with no certain outcome. But one thing is clear: when economic crises become opportunities to discipline workers, and when economic policies are imposed through increasingly authoritarian measures, the vision of a democratic and humane world is what is ultimately at stake."
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Capitalist growth is widely heralded as the only answer to the crisis still sweeping the global economy. Yet the era of corporate globalisation has been defined by unprecedented levels of inequality and environmental degradation. A return to capitalist growth threatens to exacerbate these problems, not solve them. In The Poverty of Capitalism, John Hilary reveals the true face of transnational capital in its insatiable drive for expansion and accumulation. He exposes the myth of 'corporate social responsibility' (CSR), and highlights key areas of conflict over natural resources, labour rights and food sovereignty. Hilary also describes the growing popular resistance to corporate power, as well as the new social movements seeking to develop alternatives to capitalism itself. This book will be essential reading for all those concerned with global justice, human rights and equity in the world order.
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In A Theory of Imperialism, economists Utsa Patnaik and Prabhat Patnaik present a new theory of the origins and mechanics of capitalism that sounds an alarm about its ongoing viability. Their theory centers on trade between the core economies of the global North and the tropical and subtropical countries of the global South and considers how the Northern demand for commodities (such as agricultural products and oil) from the South has perpetuated and solidified an imperialist relationship. The Patnaiks explore the dynamics of this process and discuss innovations that could allow the economies of the South to achieve greater prosperity without damaging the economies of the North. The result is an original theory of imperialism that brings to light the crippling limitations of neoliberal capitalism. A Theory of Imperialism also includes a response by David Harvey, who interprets the agrarian system differently and sees other factors affecting trade between the North and the South. Their debate is one of the most provocative exchanges yet over the future of the global economy as resources grow thin, populations explode, and universal prosperity becomes ever more elusive.
The recent economic crisis was a dramatic reminder that capitalism can both produce and destroy. It's a system that by its very nature encourages predators and creators, locusts and bees. But, as Geoff Mulgan argues in this compelling, imaginative, and important book, the economic crisis also presents a historic opportunity to choose a radically different future for capitalism, one that maximizes its creative power and minimizes its destructive force. In an engaging and wide-ranging argument, Mulgan digs into the history of capitalism across the world to show its animating ideas, its utopias and dystopias, as well as its contradictions and possibilities. Drawing on a subtle framework for understanding systemic change, he shows how new political settlements reshaped capitalism in the past and are likely to do so in the future. By reconnecting value to real-life ideas of growth, he argues, efficiency and entrepreneurship can be harnessed to promote better lives and relationships rather than just a growth in the quantity of material consumption. Healthcare, education, and green industries are already becoming dominant sectors in the wealthier economies, and the fields of social innovation, enterprise, and investment are rapidly moving into the mainstream--all indicators of how capital could be made more of a servant and less a master. This is a book for anyone who wonders where capitalism might be heading next--and who wants to help make sure that its future avoids the mistakes of the past. This edition of The Locust and the Bee includes a new afterword in which the author lays out some of the key challenges facing capitalism in the twenty-first century.
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Mainstream, or more formally, neoclassical, economics claims to be a science. But as Michael Perelman makes clear in his latest book, nothing could be further from the truth. While a science must be rooted in material reality, mainstream economics ignores or distorts the most fundamental aspect of this reality: that the vast majority of people must, out of necessity, labor on behalf of others, transformed into nothing but a means to the end of maximum profits for their employers. The nature of the work we do and the conditions under which we do it profoundly shape our lives. And yet, both of these factors are peripheral to mainstream economics.By sweeping labor under the rug, mainstream economists hide the nature of capitalism, making it appear to be a system based upon equal exchange rather than exploitation inside every workplace. Perelman describes this illusion as the invisible handcuffs of capitalism and traces its roots back to Adam Smith and his contemporaries and their disdain for working people. He argues that far from being a basically fair system of exchanges regulated by the invisible hand of the market, capitalism handcuffs working men and women (and children too) through the very labor process itself. Neoclassical economics attempts to rationalize these handcuffs and tells workers that they are responsible for their own conditions. What we need to do instead, Perelman suggests, is eliminate the handcuffs through collective actions and build a society that we direct ourselves."
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In this short, highly readable book, Immanuel Wallerstein provides a condensation of the central ideas of The Modern World-System, his monumental study of capitalism as an integrated, historical entity. In developing an anatomy of capitalism over the past five centuries, Wallerstein provides one of the most coherent and succinct introductions tot he genesis of a global system of exploitation. Particular attention is focused on the emergence and development of a unified world market, and the concomitant international division of labor. Wallerstein argues forcefully, against the grain of much current opinion, that capitalism has brought about an actual, not merely relative, immiseration in the countries of the Third World. The economic and social problems of underdeveloped countries will remain unresolved as long as they remain located within a framework of world capitalism. Historical Capitalism is a welcome and stimulating synthesis of one of the most influential assessments of capitalism as a world-historic mode of production.
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The hedge fund industry has grown dramatically over the last two decades, with more than eight thousand funds now controlling close to two trillion dollars. Originally intended for the wealthy, these private investments have now attracted a much broader following that includes pension funds and retail investors. Because hedge funds are largely unregulated and shrouded in secrecy, they have developed a mystique and allure that can beguile even the most experienced investor. In Hedge Funds, Andrew Lo--one of the world's most respected financial economists--addresses the pressing need for a systematic framework for managing hedge fund investments. Arguing that hedge funds have very different risk and return characteristics than traditional investments, Lo constructs new tools for analyzing their dynamics, including measures of illiquidity exposure and performance smoothing, linear and nonlinear risk models that capture alternative betas, econometric models of hedge fund failure rates, and integrated investment processes for alternative investments. In a new chapter, he looks at how the strategies for and regulation of hedge funds have changed in the aftermath of the financial crisis.
While energy efficiency projects could partly meet new energy demand more cheaply than new supplies, weak economic institutions in developing and transitional economies impede developing and financing energy efficiency retrofits. This book analyzes these difficulties, suggests a 3-part model for projectizing and financing energy efficiency retrofits, and presents thirteen case studies to illustrate the issues and principles involved.
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The world has long considered China a juggernaut of economic strength, but since the global financial crisis, the country's economy has ballooned in size, complexity, and risk. Once dominated by four state-owned banks, the nation's financial system is a tangle of shadow banking entities, informal financial institutions, and complex corporate funding arrangements that threaten growth, stability, and reform efforts. The country has accumulated so much debt so quickly that economists increasingly predict a financial crisis that could make 'Brexit' or Greece's economic ruin seem minor, and could undermine China's ascent as a superpower. Earlier this year, President Xi Jinping issued an urgent call for reform that gives the country until 2020 to transform its economy - a vaguely-defined objective that most economists agree is unrealistic. Whether or not China will be responsible for the next global recession, as some experts forecast, the fate of its economy will have far-reaching consequences for the rest of the world. Yet the inner workings of China's financial system are still very much a mystery to most outsiders. Now more than ever, as the country's slowing economy is being felt around the globe, it is essential to understand how China allowed its economy to become so mired in debt. China's Great Wall of Debt is a penetrating examination of the country's opaque financial system and the complex factors - demographic shifts; urbanization; industrialization; a pervasive over-reliance on debt-fueled investments - that have brought the country to the brink of crisis. Anchored by stories of China's cities and its people; from factory workers and displaced farmers to government officials and entrepreneurs, the narrative will take readers inside the country's ghost cities, zombie companies, start-ups, and regulatory institutions as McMahon explains how things got so bad, why fixing the problems is so hard, and what the economic outlook means for China and for the rest of us.
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An acerbic graphic takedown of capitalism. In Hyper-Capitalism, cartoonist Larry Gonick and psychologist Tim Kasser offer a vivid and an accessible new way to understand how global, privatising, market-worshipping hyper-capitalism is threatening human wellbeing, social justice, and the planet. Drawing from contemporary research, they describe and illustrate concepts (such as corporate power, free trade, privatisation, and deregulation) that are critical for understanding the world we live in, and movements (such as voluntary simplicity, sharing, alternatives to GDP, and protests) that have developed in response to the system. Gonick and Kasser's pointed and profound cartoon narratives provide a deep exploration of the global economy and the movements seeking to change it, all rendered in clear, graphic - and sometimes hilarious - terms. In the process, they point the way to a healthier future for all of us.
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The 2008 global financial crisis has led to the re-emergence in public discourse of the idea that capitalism could end. For many, it was proof of the notion that capitalist civilisation has an endemic tendency towards crisis that will ultimately bring about its demise. Must we assume, however, that such an eventuality would inevitably result in the liberation of humanity, as many orthodox Marxists claim? Through a collection of specially revised essays, first published in France between 2007 and 2010, Anselm Jappe draws on the radical new perspective of "the critique of value" as a critical tool with which to understand today's world and to re-examine the question of human emancipation. The Writing on the Wall offers a powerful new analysis of the decomposition of capitalism and its critics.
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