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About 50km outside of Cape Town lies the beautiful town of Stellenbosch, nestled against vineyards and blue mountains that stretch to the sky. Here reside some of South Africa’s wealthiest individuals: all male, all Afrikaans – and all stinking rich. Johann Rupert, Jannie Mouton, Markus Jooste and Christo Weise, to name a few.
Julius Malema refers to them scathingly as ‘The Stellenbosch Mafia’, the very worst example of white monopoly capital. But who really are these mega-wealthy individuals, and what influence do they exert not only on Stellenbosch but more broadly on South African society?
Author Pieter du Toit begins by exploring the roots of Stellenbosch, one of the wealthiest towns in South Africa and arguably the cradle of Afrikanerdom. This is the birthplace of apartheid leaders, intellectuals, newspaper empires and more. He then closely examines this ‘club’ of billionaires. Who are they and, crucially, how are they connected? What network of boardroom membership, alliances and family connections exist? Who are the ‘old guard’ and who are the ‘inkommers’, and what about the youngsters desperate to make their mark? He looks at the collapse of Steinhoff: what went wrong, and whether there are other companies at risk of a similar fate. He examines the control these men have over cultural life, including pulling the strings in South Africa rugby.
The return of the best-selling, award-winning economist extraordinaireWith the same powerful evidence, and range of reference, as his global bestseller Capital in the Twenty-First Century - and in columns of 700 words, rather than 700 pages - Chronicles sets out Thomas Piketty's analysis of the financial crisis, what has happened since and where we should go from here.Tackling a wider range of subjects than in Capital, from productivity in Britain to Barack Obama, it comprises the very best of his writing for Liberation from the past ten years. Now, translated into English for the first time, it will further cement Piketty's reputation as the world's leading thinker today.
A Banquet of Consequences is an intricately researched, decisively written and devastating analysis of today’s economy.
Satyajit Das connects disparate strands of a story, and in doing so delivers a damning critique of global economic policies of the last 50 years. He argues that governments and citizens of every political hue are now so addicted to growth and resistant to change, that a prolonged period of chronic stagnation, sustained by large infusions of monetary morphine and continuous interventions, or an unavoidable financial, political and social breakdown are the only possible outcomes.
The dominant view in economics is that money and government should play only a minor role in economic life. Money, it is claimed, is more than a medium of exchange; and economic outcomes are best left to the 'invisible hand' of the market. Tracing the establishment of this orthodoxy and the challenges posed to it since the Great Depression of 1929-32, Robert Skidelsky shows how - unlike then - the 2008 global financial has not led to any new policy paradigm. Once the crisis had been overcome - by Keynesian measures taken in desperation - the pre-crash orthodoxy was reinstated, undermined but unbowed. No new 'big idea' has emerged, and orthodoxy has maintained its sway, enacting punishing austerity agendas that leave us with a still-anaemic global economy. This book aims to familiarise the reader with essential elements of Keynes's 'big idea'. By showing that much of economic orthodoxy is far from being the hard science it claims to be, it aims to embolden the next generation of economists to break free from their conceptual prisons and afford money and government the starring roles in the economic drama that they deserve.
Winner of the 2019 Lionel Gelber Prize 'Majestic, informative and often delightful ... insights on every page' Yanis Varoufakis, Observer The definitive history of the Great Financial Crisis, from the acclaimed author of The Deluge and The Wages of Destruction. In September 2008 the Great Financial Crisis, triggered by the collapse of Lehman brothers, shook the world. A decade later its spectre still haunts us. As the appalling scope and scale of the crash was revealed, the financial institutions that had symbolised the West's triumph since the end of the Cold War, seemed - through greed, malice and incompetence - to be about to bring the entire system to its knees. Crashed is a brilliantly original and assured analysis of what happened and how we were rescued from something even worse - but at a price which continues to undermine democracy across Europe and the United States. Gnawing away at our institutions are the many billions of dollars which were conjured up to prevent complete collapse. Over and over again, the end of the crisis has been announced, but it continues to hound us - whether in Greece or Ukraine, whether through Brexit or Trump. Adam Tooze follows the trail like no previous writer and has written a book compelling as history, as economic analysis and as political horror story.
WINNER OF THE 2019 MADAME DE STAEL PRIZE AND THE 2018 LEONTIEF PRIZE FOR ADVANCING THE FRONTIERS OF ECONOMIC THOUGHT SHORTLISTED FOR THE FT & MCKINSEY BUSINESS BOOK OF THE YEAR 2018 Who really creates wealth in our world? And how do we decide the value of what they do? At the heart of today's financial and economic crisis is a problem hiding in plain sight. In modern capitalism, value-extraction is rewarded more highly than value-creation: the productive process that drives a healthy economy and society. From companies driven solely to maximize shareholder value to astronomically high prices of medicines justified through big pharma's 'value pricing', we misidentify taking with making, and have lost sight of what value really means. Once a central plank of economic thought, this concept of value - what it is, why it matters to us - is simply no longer discussed. Yet, argues Mariana Mazzucato in this penetrating and passionate new book, if we are to reform capitalism - radically to transform an increasingly sick system rather than continue feeding it - we urgently need to rethink where wealth comes from. Which activities create it, which extract it, which destroy it? Answers to these questions are key if we want to replace the current parasitic system with a type of capitalism that is more sustainable, more symbiotic - that works for us all. The Value of Everything reigniteS a long-needed debate about the kind of world we really want to live in.
"I learned much from this book I had not previously known. Its cautions for the future should be required reading for all policy makers." - Warren Buffett
2008 saw one of the worst financial crises in generations, the global implications of which are still being felt today. Ten years later Ben Bernanke, Timothy Geithner and Hank Paulson reflect on the causes of the crisis, why it was so damaging, and what it ultimately took to prevent a second Great Depression.
All three had crucial roles in the government's response- Ben S. Bernanke as chairman of the Federal Reserve; Henry M. Paulson, Jr., as secretary of the Treasury under President George W. Bush; Timothy F. Geithner as president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York during the Bush years and then Treasury secretary under President Barack Obama. A powerful, warts and all account told with unprecedented clarity; from the flawed human response to the necessity to learn from the past and help firefighters of the future protect economies from the ravages of financial crises.
Firefighting is a vital account of a defining moment in modern history and an inspiring lesson on leadership through crisis.
Why do economic variables change? So what if they do? What happens next? How do economic processes and policy institutions really work? What can policy do?
The answers are found in How To Think And Reason In Macroeconomics, a popular university text with very positive feedback from students, lecturers and practitioners. It combines well-informed intuitive understanding with solid economic theory plus a concrete understanding of South African economic processes, institutions and data. In this way it prepares you to analyse macroeconomic events and policies in a globalised and development context.
Few countries in transition have managed to get a grip on public finances as well as SA after 1994. Now the nationís credibility and democratic project lies in tatters as we teeter on the brink of a political and fiscal cliff.
Business confidence has evaporated, causing SA to be downgraded to junk status, crushing growth potential and pushing us towards a debt trap. How did we land in this mess, and can we pull back from the brink?
Award-winning journalist Claire Bisseker unpacks the crisis.
No issue is more fundamental in contemporary macroeconomics than identifying the causes of the recent Great Recession. The standard view is that the banks were to blame because they took on too much risk, `went bust' and had to be bailed out by governments. However very few banks actually had losses in excess of their capital. The counter-argument presented in this stimulating new book is that the Great Recession was in fact caused by a collapse in the rate of change of the quantity of money. This was the result of a mistimed and inappropriate tightening of banks' capital regulations, which had vicious deflationary consequences at just the wrong point in the business cycle. Central bankers and financial regulators made serious mistakes. The book's argument echoes that on the causes of the Great Depression made by Milton Friedman and Anna Schwartz in their classic book A Monetary History of the United States. Offering an alternative monetary explanation of the Great Recession, this book is essential reading for all economists working in macroeconomics and monetary economics. It will also appeal to those interested in the wider public policy debates arising from the crisis and its aftermath.
A crisis is a period of uncertainty that may or may not lead to disaster, depending in part on the capacity of actors to make sense of what is happening and respond effectively. Disasters in different spheres occur and recur at different speeds and in idiosyncratic ways, but in essence they follow the same pattern. In the wake of the Global Financial Crisis and Eurozone upheavals this timely book argues that the disaster cycle - a framework normally used in the context of natural disasters - is equally applicable to the analysis of other types of catastrophe. Employing a modified version of the disaster cycle framework to compare and analyse a range of catastrophes in different spheres, the author draws on ideas from a variety of disciplines including economics and economic history, disaster studies, management, and political science. This unique comparative approach presents case studies of several important disasters: Hurricane Katrina, the First World War, the depression of the early 1930s, Welsh coal mining accidents, the deadly effects of smoking tobacco, and the Global Financial Crisis and Eurozone catastrophe of the early twenty first century. The author argues that economists and economic policy makers routinely misuse the term crisis to describe episodes that ought to be called disasters. This accessible and fascinating exploration will appeal to students and scholars in economic history, disaster studies, management, public policy, and related disciplines. The comparison of crisis and disaster management is also essential reading for policy makers.
Representing a unique contribution to the analysis and discussion of the unfolding Eurozone crisis in terms of the relationship between central and local government, this book addresses a number of important fiscal and political economy questions. To what extent have local and regional governments contributed to the crisis? To what degree have sub-national services and investments borne the brunt of the adjustments? How have multi-level fissures affected tensions between different levels of government from the supranational to the local? This volume covers these and many other critical issues that have been largely ignored despite their relevance. The book first addresses general issues of fiscal coordination and management across levels of government in the context of incentives, which can be altered by the existence of a supranational tier. The country-specific chapters, prepared by leading experts, provide a thorough review of the key problems of multi-levels of government in the biggest economies in the Eurozone (France and Germany) and Southern Europe (Portugal, Spain, Italy and Greece). In further chapters the juxtaposition of Barcelona and Turin provides an opportunity to evaluate large investments in a multi-level context, associated, in this case, with the Olympics. Macedonia provides a discussion of the related issues in an EU accession country. As a whole, the book explores the long-term impact of the crisis on local service delivery and investment, and the consequences for sustainable growth and political cohesion. It also offers rarely found insights and suggestions to increase the stability and strength of multi-level European institutions. This is an enlightening resource for all those, from academics and graduates to policy makers and practitioners, seeking a comprehensive understanding of European fiscal, federal and financial issues.
The global financial crisis in 2008 brought central banking to the centre stage, prompting questions about the role of national central banks and - in Europe - of the multi-country European Central Bank. What can central banks do, and what are their limitations? How have they performed? Currency, Credit and Crisis seeks to provide a coherent perspective on the functions of a central bank in a small country by assessing the way in which Ireland's financial crisis from 2010 to 2013 was handled. Drawing on his experiences as Governor of the Central Bank of Ireland and in research and policy work at the World Bank, Patrick Honohan offers a detailed analytical narrative of the origins of the crisis and of policy makers' conduct during its most fraught moments.
The New York Times bestseller that reveals how investors can prepare for the next financial panic - and why it's coming sooner than you think. The global economy has made what seems like an incredible comeback after the financial crisis of 2008. Yet this comeback is artificial. Central banks have propped up markets by keeping interest rates low and the supply of money free-flowing. They won't bail us out again next time. And there will be a next time - soon. In The Road to Ruin, bestselling author James Rickards identifies how governments around the world are secretly preparing an alternative strategy for the next big crisis: a lockdown. Instead of printing money to reliquify markets and prop up assets, governments are preparing to close banks, shut down exchanges and order powerful asset managers not to sell. They're putting provisions in place that will allow them to do so legally. What's more, the global elite has already started making their own preparations, including hoarding cash and hard assets. When the next one comes, it will be the average investor who suffers most - unless he or she heeds Rickards' warning and prepares accordingly. James Rickards is the bestselling author of Currency Wars and The Death of Money. He is a portfolio manager at West Shore Group and an adviser on international economics and financial threats to the Department of Defence and the US intelligence community. He served as facilitator of the first-ever financial war games conducted by the Pentagon.
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.
If you like your smartphone or your widescreen TV, your car or your pension, then, whether you know it or not, you are a fan of Wall Street. William D. Cohan, bestselling author of House of Cards, has long been critical of the bad behaviour that plagued much of Wall Street in the years leading up to the 2008 financial crisis, and, as an ex-banker, he is an expert on its inner workings as well. But in recent years he has become alarmed by the vitriol directed at the bankers, traders and executives who keep the wheels of our economy turning. Why Wall Street Matters is a timely and trenchant reminder of the dire consequences for us all if the essential role these institutions play in making our lives better is carelessly curtailed.
In the spirit of Barbarians at the Gate and Liar's Poker comes The Sellout, the definitive book on the recent collapse of Wall Street, one of the most dramatic and anxiety-ridden era in national socioeconomic history. In this powerful business narrative, Charles Gasparino, the author of Blood on the Floor and King of the Club, captures how avarice, arrogance, and sheer stupidity eroded Wall Street's dominance, made many of our country's most fabled financial institutions vulnerable to significant new foreign control, and profoundly weakened the financial security of millions of poor and middle-class American families.
Credit, and its flip side, debt, emerges as a fundamental lens to understand the workings of both social mobility and economic disenfranchisement, precariously inter-twined in the New South Africa. James makes complex theory accessible, combining it with page turning ethnography - utterly captivating! - Dinah Rajak, Senior Lecturer in Anthropology, University of Sussex and author of In Good Company: An Anatomy of Corporate Social Responsibility South Africa's national project of financial inclusion aims to extend credit to black South Africans as a critical aspect of abolishing apartheid's legacy. Money from Nothing explores the contradictory dynamics inherent in this project, and captures the lived experience of indebtedness for many millions who attempt to improve their positions (or merely sustain existing livelihoods) in this complex economy. Deborah James shows the varied ways in which access to credit is intimately bound up with identity and status-making. The precarious nature of aspirations of upward mobility and the economic relations of debt which sustain people is revealed by the shadowy side of indebtedness and potential for new forms of oppression and exclusion which can accompany projects of upliftment. She reflects on the apparent absurdity of a situation where consumers' borrowing is, on the one hand, checked by being blacklisted with the credit bureaux, yet borrowers clamour for a `credit information amnesty' while lenders continue to lend with impunity. James concludes that the paternalism of a system in which consumers' bank accounts are under `external control' intensifies the `advantage to creditor' principle that has long underpinned South African consumer law.
An accessible, comprehensive analysis of the main principles and rules of banking regulation in the post-crisis regulatory reform era, this textbook looks at banking regulation from an inter-disciplinary perspective across law, economics, finance, management and policy studies. It provides detailed coverage of the most recent international, European and UK bank regulatory and policy developments, including Basel IV, structural regulation, bank resolution and Brexit, and considers the impact on bank governance, compliance, risk management and strategy.
* Financial Times and McKinsey Business Book of the Year * 800-CEO-READ Business Book of the Year * A New York Times Notable Book * A Washington Post Notable Book * An NPR Best Book of 2017 * A Wall Street Journal Best Book of 2017 * An Economist Best Book of 2017 * A Business Insider Best Book of 2017 * "A gripping story of psychological defeat and resilience" (Bob Woodward, The Washington Post)-an intimate account of the fallout from the closing of a General Motors assembly plant in Janesville, Wisconsin, and a larger story of the hollowing of the American middle class. This is the story of what happens to an industrial town in the American heartland when its main factory shuts down-but it's not the familiar tale. Most observers record the immediate shock of vanished jobs, but few stay around long enough to notice what happens next when a community with a can-do spirit tries to pick itself up. Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Amy Goldstein spent years immersed in Janesville, Wisconsin, where the nation's oldest operating General Motors assembly plant shut down in the midst of the Great Recession. Now, with intelligence, sympathy, and insight into what connects and divides people in an era of economic upheaval, Goldstein shows the consequences of one of America's biggest political issues. Her reporting takes the reader deep into the lives of autoworkers, educators, bankers, politicians, and job re-trainers to show why it's so hard in the twenty-first century to recreate a healthy, prosperous working class. "Moving and magnificently well-researched...Janesville joins a growing family of books about the evisceration of the working class in the United States. What sets it apart is the sophistication of its storytelling and analysis" (Jennifer Senior, The New York Times). "Anyone tempted to generalize about the American working class ought to meet the people in Janesville. The reporting behind this book is extraordinary and the story-a stark, heartbreaking reminder that political ideologies have real consequences-is told with rare sympathy and insight" (Tracy Kidder, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Soul of a New Machine).
The return of the best-selling, award-winning economist extraordinaire With the same powerful evidence, and range of reference, as his global bestseller Capital in the Twenty-First Century - and in columns of 700 words, rather than 700 pages - Chronicles sets out Thomas Piketty's analysis of the financial crisis, what has happened since and where we should go from here. Tackling a wider range of subjects than in Capital, from productivity in Britain to Barack Obama, it comprises the very best of his writing for Liberation from the past ten years. Now, translated into English for the first time, it will further cement Piketty's reputation as the world's leading thinker today.
A Great Deal of Ruin provides an accessible introduction to the enduring problem of financial crises. Illustrated with historical analysis, case studies, and clear economic concepts, this book explains in three parts what financial crises are, how they are caused and what we can learn from them. It begins with a taxonomy of crises and a list of factors that increase the risk for countries experiencing a financial crisis. It then examines five of the most important crises in modern economic history, beginning with Great Depression and ending with the Subprime Crisis in the United States and its evolution into a debt crisis in the Eurozone. The book concludes with a set of lessons that can be learnt from the crises of the past. It will appeal to university students as well as general readers who are curious to learn more about the recent Subprime Crisis and other financial crises.
Are mass violence and catastrophes the only forces that can seriously decrease economic inequality? To judge by thousands of years of history, the answer is yes. Tracing the global history of inequality from the Stone Age to today, Walter Scheidel shows that it never dies peacefully. The Great Leveler is the first book to chart the crucial role of violent shocks in reducing inequality over the full sweep of human history around the world. The "Four Horsemen" of leveling--mass-mobilization warfare, transformative revolutions, state collapse, and catastrophic plagues--have repeatedly destroyed the fortunes of the rich. Today, the violence that reduced inequality in the past seems to have diminished, and that is a good thing. But it casts serious doubt on the prospects for a more equal future. An essential contribution to the debate about inequality, The Great Leveler provides important new insights about why inequality is so persistent--and why it is unlikely to decline anytime soon.
Longlisted for the FT and McKinsey Business Book of the Year Award 2015. In September 2008, HBOS, with assets larger than Britain's GDP, was on the edge of bankruptcy. Its collapse would have created the biggest economic crisis since the 1930s and a major political disaster for the Labour government. With the help and support of Gordon Brown, HBOS was rescued by Lloyds TSB, one of the country's strongest banks, in circumstances that have since become the stuff of City legend. In the highly acclaimed Black Horse Ride, veteran financial journalist Ivan Fallon brings together the accounts of all the power players involved in this dramatic saga for the first time, including the key roles played by the Governor of the Bank of England, the Prime Minister and the Treasury. Through a compelling cast of prominent bankers, politicians and investors, Fallon reveals what really occurred in the aftermath of the crash of Lehman Brothers, perhaps the worst single day in banking history.
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