Austerity: The Demolition of the Welfare State and the Rise of the Zombie Economy


Kerry-Anne Mendoza - 2014
    In its name, wages have been frozen, benefits have been slashed and public spending squeezed. The pain of a financial crisis caused by bankers and speculators has been borne by ordinary people all over the country – and by the poor and disabled most of all.

Full Circle: A memoir of leaning in too far and the journey back


Erin Callan Montella - 2016
    Erin recounts her path of achievement starting as a promising young student and athlete and, ultimately, how she allowed her career and its demands to become the center of her life. She sacrificed all other priorities and relationships along the way, throwing work-life balance to the wind. The story reveals the subtleties of the everyday decisions that led collectively to a work-centric existence over a twenty-year career. Set against the backdrop of the dramatic circumstances at Lehman Brothers in 2008, Erin discloses her own struggle as events spiraled out of control. Ultimately, her resignation from her executive role prior to the Lehman bankruptcy resulted in a devastating personal crisis as her career crumbled revealing no foundation beneath it. We learn of the journey back to change her life with a semblance of present day peace and happiness. Full Circle provides a unique inside and emotional perspective of the sacrifices Erin made to achieve extreme career success and the self-awareness required to return to being the fundamentally grounded person she was as a child.

Planet Ponzi


Mitch Feierstein - 2012
    Mitch Feierstein reveals the true debts of Britain, the US government and the eurozone - the full picture, not the figures the politicians would have us believe.In Planet Ponzi, Feierstein explains clearly the background to the world's worst financial crisis for seventy years, predicts the next steps in this infinitely dangerous game and offers practical advice on measures which you personally can take to protect yourself and your family.

Economics Through Everyday Life: From China and Chili Dogs to Marx and Marijuana


Anthony Clark - 2016
    If you’re curious about how the economy functions and don’t know where to start, Economics will guide you through the essentials, laying out the basic concepts and issues in the field of economics, from business cycles and free markets to social security and healthcare reform, and more. Packed with eye-opening information, key concepts, and need-to-know terms, this easy-to-read primer lets you explore economics at your own pace. Get a straightforward overview of the economy that’s stripped of overwhelming jargon, so you can gain a deeper understanding of economics as it applies to everyday life. You’ll review important background on differing economic schools of thought—from influential theories to the main thinkers driving them—so you can develop your own conclusions. Economics features: An overview of markets and how they operate A review of broad themes—like taxes, inequality, and jobs—as they apply to everyday life Explorations of business cycles covering what happens during a recession Useful timelines and real-world stories that help you travel the world of economics

Making It Happen: Fred Goodwin, RBS and the men who blew up the British economy


Iain Martin - 2013
    The economy shrank, bank lending froze, hundreds of thousands lost their jobs, living standards are still falling and Britons will be paying higher taxes for decades to pay the clean-up bill. How on earth had a small Scottish bank grown so quickly to become a global financial giant that could do such immense damage when it collapsed?At the centre of the story was Fred Goodwin, the former chief executive known as "Fred the Shred" who terrorised some of his staff and beguiled others. Not a banker by training, he nonetheless was given control of RBS and set about trying to make it one of the biggest brands in the world. It was said confidently that computerisation and new banking products had made the world safer. Only they hadn't...Based on more than 80 interviews and with access to diaries and papers kept by those at the heart of the meltdown, this is the definitive account of the RBS disaster, a disaster which still casts such a shadow over our economy. In Making It Happen, senior executives, board members, Treasury insiders and regulators reveal how the bank's mania for expansion led it to take enormous risks its leaders didn't understand.From the birth of the Royal Bank in 18th century Scotland, to the manic expansion under Fred Goodwin in the middle of a mad boom and culminating in the epoch-defining collapse, Making It Happen is the full, extraordinary story.

The Subprime Solution: How Today's Global Financial Crisis Happened, and What to Do about It


Robert J. Shiller - 2008
    economy and economies around the world. In this trenchant book, best-selling economist Robert Shiller reveals the origins of this crisis and puts forward bold measures to solve it. He calls for an aggressive response--a restructuring of the institutional foundations of the financial system that will not only allow people once again to buy and sell homes with confidence, but will create the conditions for greater prosperity in America and throughout the deeply interconnected world economy.Shiller blames the subprime crisis on the irrational exuberance that drove the economy's two most recent bubbles--in stocks in the 1990s and in housing between 2000 and 2007. He shows how these bubbles led to the dangerous overextension of credit now resulting in foreclosures, bankruptcies, and write-offs, as well as a global credit crunch. To restore confidence in the markets, Shiller argues, bailouts are needed in the short run. But he insists that these bailouts must be targeted at low-income victims of subprime deals. In the longer term, the subprime solution will require leaders to revamp the financial framework by deploying an ambitious package of initiatives to inhibit the formation of bubbles and limit risks, including better financial information; simplified legal contracts and regulations; expanded markets for managing risks; home equity insurance policies; income-linked home loans; and new measures to protect consumers against hidden inflationary effects.This powerful book is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand how we got into the subprime mess--and how we can get out.

When the Money Runs Out: The End of Western Affluence


Stephen D. King - 2013
    But such an era of continuously rising living standards is a historical anomaly, economist Stephen D. King warns, and the current stagnation of Western economies threatens to reach crisis proportions in the not-so-distant future. Praised for the “dose of realism” he provided in his book Losing Control, King follows up in this volume with a plain-spoken assessment of where the West stands today. It’s not just the end of an age of affluence, he shows. We have made promises to ourselves that are achievable only through ongoing economic expansion. The future benefits we expect—pensions, healthcare, and social security, for example—may be larger than tomorrow’s resources. And if we reach that point, which promises will be broken and who will lose out? The lessons of history offer compelling evidence that political and social upheaval are often born of economic stagnation. King addresses these lessons with a multifaceted plan that involves painful—but necessary—steps toward a stable and just economic future.

Exile on Wall Street


Mike Mayo - 2011
    capitalism, the future of banking, and the root causes of the financial meltdown.Award winning, veteran sell side Wall Street analyst Mike Mayo writes about one of the biggest financial and political issues of our time - the role of finance and banks in the US. He has worked at six Wall Street firms, analyzing banks and protesting against bad practices for two decades.In Exile on Wall Street, Mayo:Lays out practices that have diminished capitalism and the banking sector Shares his battle scars from calling truth to power at some of the largest banks in the world and how he survived challenging the status quo to be credited as one of the few who saw the crisis coming Blows the lid off the true inner workings of the big banks and shows the ways in which Wall Street is just as bad today as it was pre-crash. Analyzes the fallout stemming from the market crash, pointing out the numerous holes that still exist in the system, and offers practical solutions. While it provides an education, this is no textbook. It is also an invaluable resource for finance practitioners and citizens alike.

The Monster: How a Gang of Predatory Lenders and Wall Street Bankers Fleeced America--and Spawned a Global Crisis


Michael W. Hudson
    Anything that benefited production - that benefited me and benefited my wallet - I'd do it." The sales force at Ameriquest Mortgage took this philosophy to heart. They watched the Hollywood white-collar-crime flick "Boiler Room" as a training tape, studying how to pitch overpriced deals to unsuspecting home owners. They learned how to forge signatures on mortgage paperwork and create fake documents in "cut-and-paste" operations they dubbed "The Lab" or "The Art Department."In this stunning narrative, award-winning reporter Michael W. Hudson reveals the story of the rise and fall of the subprime mortgage business by chronicling the rise and fall of two corporate empires: Ameriquest and Lehman Brothers. As the biggest subprime lender and Wall Street's biggest patron of subprime, Ameriquest and Lehman did more than any other institutions to create the feeding frenzy that emboldened mortgage pros to flood the nation with high-risk, high-profit home loans. It's a tale populated by a remarkable cast of the characters: a shadowy billionaire who created the subprime industry out of the ashes of the 1980s S&L scandal; Wall Street executives with an insatiable desire for product; struggling home owners ensnared in the most ingenious of traps; lawyers and investigators who tried to expose the fraud; politicians and bureaucrats who turned a blind eye; and, most of all, the drug-snorting, high-living salesman who tell all about the money they made, the lies they told, the deals they closed.Provocative and gripping, The Monster is a searing exposé of the bottom-feeding fraud and top-down greed that fueled the financial collapse.

The Bankers' New Clothes: Whats Wrong with Banking and What to Do about It


Anat Admati - 2013
    Many claim, however, that a safer banking system would require sacrificing lending and economic growth. The Bankers' New Clothes examines this claim and the narratives used by bankers, politicians, and regulators to rationalize the lack of reform, exposing them as invalid.Admati and Hellwig argue we can have a safer and healthier banking system without sacrificing any of the benefits of the system, and at essentially no cost to society. They show that banks are as fragile as they are not because they must be, but because they want to be--and they get away with it. Whereas this situation benefits bankers, it distorts the economy and exposes the public to unnecessary risks. Weak regulation and ineffective enforcement allowed the buildup of risks that ushered in the financial crisis of 2007-2009. Much can be done to create a better system and prevent crises. Yet the lessons from the crisis have not been learned.Admati and Hellwig seek to engage the broader public in the debate by cutting through the jargon of banking, clearing the fog of confusion, and presenting the issues in simple and accessible terms. The Bankers' New Clothes calls for ambitious reform and outlines specific and highly beneficial steps that can be taken immediately.

The Buyout of America: How Private Equity Will Cause the Next Great Credit Crisis


Joshua Kosman - 2009
    Few people realize that the top private equity firms, such as Blackstone Group, Carlyle Group, and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, have become the nation’s largest employers through the businesses they own. Using leveraged buyouts that load their acquired companies with loans, private equity firms have generated more than $1 trillion in new debt—which will come due just when these businesses are least likely to be able to pay it off. Journalist Josh Kosman explores private equity’s explosive growth and shows how its barons wring profits at the expense of the long-term health of their companies. He argues that excessive debt and mismanagement will likely trigger another economic meltdown within the next five years, wiping out up to two million jobs. He also explores the links between the private equity elite and Washington power players, who have helped them escape government scrutiny. The result is a timely book with an important warning for us all.

The Hidden Wealth of Nations: The Scourge of Tax Havens


Gabriel Zucman - 2015
    One much-discussed solution to this imbalance is to significantly increase the rate at which we tax the wealthy. But with an enormous amount of the world’s wealth hidden in tax havens—in countries like Switzerland, Luxembourg, and the Cayman Islands—this wealth cannot be fully accounted for and taxed fairly. No one, from economists to bankers to politicians, has been able to quantify exactly how much of the world’s assets are currently hidden—until now. Gabriel Zucman is the first economist to offer reliable insight into the actual extent of the world’s money held in tax havens. And it’s staggering. In The Hidden Wealth of Nations, Zucman offers an inventive and sophisticated approach to quantifying how big the problem is, how tax havens work and are organized, and how we can begin to approach a solution. His research reveals that tax havens are a quickly growing danger to the world economy. In the past five years, the amount of wealth in tax havens has increased over 25%—there has never been as much money held offshore as there is today. This hidden wealth accounts for at least $7.6 trillion, equivalent to 8% of the global financial assets of households. Fighting the notion that any attempts to vanquish tax havens are futile, since some countries will always offer more advantageous tax rates than others, as well the counter-argument that since the financial crisis tax havens have disappeared, Zucman shows how both sides are actually very wrong. In The Hidden Wealth of Nations he offers an ambitious agenda for reform, focused on ways in which countries can change the incentives of tax havens. Only by first understanding the enormity of the secret wealth can we begin to estimate the kind of actions that would force tax havens to give up their practices. Zucman’s work has quickly become the gold standard for quantifying the amount of the world’s assets held in havens. In this concise book, he lays out in approachable language how the international banking system works and the dangerous extent to which the large-scale evasion of taxes is undermining the global market as a whole. If we are to find a way to solve the problem of increasing inequality, The Hidden Wealth of Nations is essential reading.

For Good and Evil: The Impact of Taxes on the Course of Civilization


Charles Adams - 1992
    Adams makes a convincing case for taxes being the cause of many of the landmark events in civilization's history. Starting in ancient Egypt, Adams surveys how governments established and collected their taxes, and how these procedures led to the fall of Rome, the rise of Islam and the Arabs' successful conquests, the signing of the Magna Carta, the American Revolution and Civil War, and many other momentous events. Adams also offers suggestions for governments wishing to avoid the fate of previous nations destroyed by ignorant tax policies, something every American will no doubt read with much interest.

Wall Street: How It Works and for Whom


Doug Henwood - 1997
    The Wall Street which emerges is not a pretty sight. Hidden from public view, the markets are poorly regulated, badly managed, chronically myopic and often corrupt. And though, as Henwood reveals, their activity contributes almost nothing to the real economy where goods are made and jobs created, they nevertheless wield enormous power. With over a trillion dollars a day crossing the wires between the world's banks, Wall Street and its sister financial centers don't just influence government, effectively they are the government.

Global Slump: The Economics and Politics of Crisis and Resistance


David McNally - 2010
    In developing an account of the crisis as rooted in fundamental features of capitalism, this study challenges the view that capitalism's source lies in financial deregulation, and highlights the emergence of new patterns of world inequality and new centers of accumulation, particularly in East Asia, and the profound economic instabilities these have produced. This original account of the “financialization” of the world economy during this period explores the intricate connections between international financial markets and new forms of debt and dispossession. Analyzing the massive intervention of the world’s central banks to stave off another Great Depression, this study shows that while averting a complete meltdown, this intervention also laid the basis for recurring crises for poor and working class people: job loss, increased poverty and inequality, and cuts in social programs. Taking a global view of these processes, exposing the damage inflicted on countries in the Global South, as well as the intensification of racism and attacks on migrant workers, this book also traces new patterns of social and political resistance—from housing activism and education struggles, to mass strikes and protests in Martinique, Guadeloupe, France, and Puerto Rico—as indicators of the potential for building anticapitalist opposition to the damage that neoliberal capitalism is inflicting on the lives of millions.