List books in category Business & Investing / Economic History

  • All the Devils Are Here: The Hidden History of the Financial Crisis

    All the Devils Are Here: The Hidden History of the Financial Crisis
    Bethany McLean

    "Hell is empty, and all the devils are here." -Shakespeare, The TempestAs soon as the financial crisis erupted, the finger-pointing began. Should the blame fall on Wall Street, Main Street, or Pennsylvania Avenue? On greedy traders, misguided regulators, sleazy subprime companies, cowardly legislators, or clueless home buyers?According to Bethany McLean and Joe Nocera, two of America's most acclaimed business journalists, the real answer is all of the above-and more. Many devils helped bring hell to the economy. And the full story, in all of its complexity and detail, is like the legend of the blind men and the elephant. Almost everyone has missed the big picture. Almost no one has put all the pieces together.All the Devils Are Here goes back several decades to weave the hidden history of the financial crisis in a way no previous book has done. It explores the motivations of everyone from famous CEOs, cabinet secretaries, and politicians to anonymous lenders, borrowers, analysts, and Wall Street traders. It delves into the powerful American mythology of homeownership. And it proves that the crisis ultimately wasn't about finance at all; it was about human nature.Among the devils you'll meet in vivid detail:• Angelo Mozilo, the CEO of Countrywide, who dreamed of spreading homeownership to the masses, only to succumb to the peer pressure-and the outsized profits-of the sleaziest subprime lending.• Roland Arnall, a respected philanthropist and diplomat, who made his fortune building Ameriquest, a subprime lending empire that relied on blatantly deceptive lending practices.• Hank Greenberg, who built AIG into a Rube Goldberg contraption with an undeserved triple-A rating, and who ran it so tightly that he was the only one who knew where all the bodies were buried.• Stan O'Neal of Merrill Lynch, aloof and suspicious, who suffered from "Goldman envy" and drove a proud old firm into the ground by promoting cronies and pushing out his smartest lieutenants.• Lloyd Blankfein, who helped turn Goldman Sachs from a culture that famously put clients first to one that made clients secondary to its own bottom line.• Franklin Raines of Fannie Mae, who (like his predecessors) bullied regulators into submission and let his firm drift away from its original, noble mission.• Brian Clarkson of Moody's, who aggressively pushed to increase his rating agency's market share and stock price, at the cost of its integrity.• Alan Greenspan, the legendary maestro of the Federal Reserve, who ignored the evidence of a growing housing bubble and turned a blind eye to the lending practices that ultimately brought down Wall Street-and inflicted enormous pain on the country.Just as McLean's The Smartest Guys in the Room was hailed as the best Enron book on a crowded shelf, so will All the Devils Are Here be remembered for finally making sense of the meltdown and its consequences.

  • The Fed and Lehman Brothers: Setting the Record Straight on a Financial Disaster

    The Fed and Lehman Brothers: Setting the Record Straight on a Financial Disaster
    Laurence M. Ball

    The bankruptcy of the investment bank Lehman Brothers was the pivotal event of the 2008 financial crisis and the Great Recession that followed. Ever since the bankruptcy, there has been heated debate about why the Federal Reserve did not rescue Lehman in the same way it rescued other financial institutions, such as Bear Stearns and AIG. The Fed's leaders from that time, especially former Chairman Ben Bernanke, have strongly asserted that they lacked the legal authority to save Lehman because it did not have adequate collateral for the loan it needed to survive. Based on a meticulous four-year study of the Lehman case, The Fed and Lehman Brothers debunks the official narrative of the crisis. It shows that in reality, the Fed could have rescued Lehman but officials chose not to because of political pressures and because they underestimated the damage that the bankruptcy would do to the economy. The compelling story of the Lehman collapse will interest anyone who cares about what caused the financial crisis, whether the leaders of the Federal Reserve have given accurate accounts of their actions, and how the Fed can prevent future financial disasters.

  • The New Urban Crisis: How Our Cities Are Increasing Inequality, Deepening Segregation, and Failing the Middle Class-and What We Can Do About It

    The New Urban Crisis: How Our Cities Are Increasing Inequality, Deepening Segregation, and Failing the Middle Class-and What We Can Do About It
    Richard Florida

    Richard Florida, one of the world's leading urbanists and author of The Rise of the Creative Class, confronts the dark side of the back-to-the-city movementIn recent years, the young, educated, and affluent have surged back into cities, reversing decades of suburban flight and urban decline. and yet all is not well. In The New Urban Crisis, Richard Florida, one of the first scholars to anticipate this back-to-the-city movement, demonstrates how the forces that drive urban growth also generate cities' vexing challenges, such as gentrification, segregation, and inequality. Meanwhile, many more cities still stagnate, and middle-class neighborhoods everywhere are disappearing. We must rebuild cities and suburbs by empowering them to address their challenges.The New Urban Crisis is a bracingly original work of research and analysis that offers a compelling diagnosis of our economic ills and a bold prescription for more inclusive cities capable of ensuring prosperity for all.

  • The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers: Economic Change and Military Conflict from 1500 to 2000

    The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers: Economic Change and Military Conflict from 1500 to 2000
    Paul Kennedy

    About national and international power in the "modern" or Post Renaissance period. Explains how the various powers have risen and fallen over the 5 centuries since the formation of the "new monarchies" in W. Europe.

  • Capital in the Twenty-First Century

    Capital in the Twenty-First Century
    Thomas Piketty

    The main driver of inequality—returns on capital that exceed the rate of economic growth—is again threatening to generate extreme discontent and undermine democratic values. Thomas Piketty’s findings in this ambitious, original, rigorous work will transform debate and set the agenda for the next generation of thought about wealth and inequality.

  • The Economic History of the Caribbean since the Napoleonic Wars

    The Economic History of the Caribbean since the Napoleonic Wars
    Victor Bulmer-Thomas

    This book examines the economic history of the Caribbean in the two hundred years since the Napoleonic Wars and is the first analysis to span the whole region. It is divided into three parts, each centered around a particular case study: the first focuses on the nineteenth century ('The Age of Free Trade'); the second considers the period up to 1960 ('The Age of Preferences'); and the final section concerns the half century from the Cuban Revolution to the present ('The Age of Globalization'). The study makes use of a specially constructed database to observe trends across the whole region and chart the progress of nearly thirty individual countries. Its findings challenge many long-standing assumptions about the region, and its in-depth case studies shed new light on the history of three countries in particular, namely Belize, Cuba and Haiti.

  • The Spider Network: How a Math Genius and a Gang of Scheming Bankers Pulled Off One of the Greatest Scams in History

    The Spider Network: How a Math Genius and a Gang of Scheming Bankers Pulled Off One of the Greatest Scams in History
    David Enrich

    SHORT-LISTED FOR THE FINANCIAL TIMES BUSINESS BOOK OF THE YEARThe Wall Street Journal's award-winning business reporter unveils the bizarre and sinister story of how a math genius named Tom Hayes, a handful of outrageous confederates, and a deeply corrupt banking system ignited one of the greatest financial scandals in history.In 2006, an oddball group of bankers, traders and brokers from some of the world’s largest financial institutions made a startling realization: Libor—the London interbank offered rate, which determines interest rates on trillions in loans worldwide—was set daily by a small group of easily manipulated functionaries. Tom Hayes, a brilliant but troubled mathematician, became the lynchpin of shadowy team that used hook and crook to take over the process and set rates that made them a fortune, no matter the cost to others. Among the motley crew was a French trader nicknamed “Gollum”; the broker “Abbo,” who liked to publicly strip naked when drinking; a Kazakh chicken farmer turned something short of financial whiz kid; an executive called “Clumpy” because of his patchwork hair loss; and a broker uncreatively nicknamed “Big Nose.” Eventually known as the “Spider Network,” Hayes’s circle generated untold riches —until it all unraveled in spectacularly vicious, backstabbing fashion.Praised as reading “like a fast-paced John le Carré thriller” (New York Times), “compelling” (Washington Post) and “jaw-dropping” (Financial Times), The Spider Network is not only a rollicking account of the scam, but a provocative examination of a financial system that was warped and shady throughout.

  • Capitalism in America: A History

    Capitalism in America: A History
    Alan Greenspan

    From the legendary former Fed Chairman and the acclaimed Economist writer and historian, the full, epic story of America's evolution from a small patchwork of threadbare colonies to the most powerful engine of wealth and innovation the world has ever seen.Shortlisted for the 2018 Financial Times and McKinsey Business Book of the Year AwardFrom even the start of his fabled career, Alan Greenspan was duly famous for his deep understanding of even the most arcane corners of the American economy, and his restless curiosity to know even more. To the extent possible, he has made a science of understanding how the US economy works almost as a living organism–how it grows and changes, surges and stalls. He has made a particular study of the question of productivity growth, at the heart of which is the riddle of innovation. Where does innovation come from, and how does it spread through a society? And why do some eras see the fruits of innovation spread more democratically, and others, including our own, see the opposite?In Capitalism in America, Greenspan distills a lifetime of grappling with these questions into a thrilling and profound master reckoning with the decisive drivers of the US economy over the course of its history. In partnership with the celebrated Economist journalist and historian Adrian Wooldridge, he unfolds a tale involving vast landscapes, titanic figures, triumphant breakthroughs, enlightenment ideals as well as terrible moral failings. Every crucial debate is here–from the role of slavery in the antebellum Southern economy to the real impact of FDR's New Deal to America's violent mood swings in its openness to global trade and its impact. But to read Capitalism in America is above all to be stirred deeply by the extraordinary productive energies unleashed by millions of ordinary Americans that have driven this country to unprecedented heights of power and prosperity. At heart, the authors argue, America's genius has been its unique tolerance for the effects of creative destruction, the ceaseless churn of the old giving way to the new, driven by new people and new ideas. Often messy and painful, creative destruction has also lifted almost all Americans to standards of living unimaginable to even the wealthiest citizens of the world a few generations past. A sense of justice and human decency demands that those who bear the brunt of the pain of change be protected, but America has always accepted more pain for more gain, and its vaunted rise cannot otherwise be understood, or its challenges faced, without recognizing this legacy. For now, in our time, productivity growth has stalled again, stirring up the populist furies. There's no better moment to apply the lessons of history to the most pressing question we face, that of whether the United States will preserve its preeminence, or see its leadership pass to other, inevitably less democratic powers.

  • Uncommon Grounds: The History of Coffee and How It Transformed Our World

    Uncommon Grounds: The History of Coffee and How It Transformed Our World
    Mark Pendergrast

    The definitive history of the world's most popular drugUncommon Grounds tells the story of coffee from its discovery on a hill in ancient Abyssinia to the advent of Starbucks. Mark Pendergrast reviews the dramatic changes in coffee culture over the past decade, from the disastrous "Coffee Crisis" that caused global prices to plummet to the rise of the Fair Trade movement and the "third-wave" of quality-obsessed coffee connoisseurs. As the scope of coffee culture continues to expand, Uncommon Grounds remains more than ever a brilliantly entertaining guide to the currents of one of the world's favorite beverages.

  • Why Not Default?: The Political Economy of Sovereign Debt

    Why Not Default?: The Political Economy of Sovereign Debt
    Jerome E. Roos

    How creditors came to wield unprecedented power over heavily indebted countries—and the dangers this poses to democracyThe European debt crisis has rekindled long-standing debates about the power of finance and the fraught relationship between capitalism and democracy in a globalized world. Why Not Default? unravels a striking puzzle at the heart of these debates—why, despite frequent crises and the immense costs of repayment, do so many heavily indebted countries continue to service their international debts?In this compelling and incisive book, Jerome Roos provides a sweeping investigation of the political economy of sovereign debt and international crisis management. He takes readers from the rise of public borrowing in the Italian city-states to the gunboat diplomacy of the imperialist era and the wave of sovereign defaults during the Great Depression. He vividly describes the debt crises of developing countries in the 1980s and 1990s and sheds new light on the recent turmoil inside the Eurozone—including the dramatic capitulation of Greece’s short-lived anti-austerity government to its European creditors in 2015.Drawing on in-depth case studies of contemporary debt crises in Mexico, Argentina, and Greece, Why Not Default? paints a disconcerting picture of the ascendancy of global finance. This important book shows how the profound transformation of the capitalist world economy over the past four decades has endowed private and official creditors with unprecedented structural power over heavily indebted borrowers, enabling them to impose painful austerity measures and enforce uninterrupted debt service during times of crisis—with devastating social consequences and far-reaching implications for democracy.

  • Progress Vs Parasites: A Brief History of the Conflict that s Shaped our World

    Progress Vs Parasites: A Brief History of the Conflict that’s Shaped our World
    Douglas Carswell

    The change in our ancestors' behaviour was barely perceptible at first. Only a few clues in the archaeological record – sea shells, ochre and stone tools exchanged over long distances – hint at what was to come. Today, a network of interdependence and trade spans the planet – lifting most of our species out of the grinding poverty of the past. But for much of history this engine of human progress stalled, with societies rigged in the interests of small parasitic elites. From the Greeks and Romans in antiquity, to China, India and Europe in the Middle Ages, the history of the world can be written as the constant struggle between the productive and the parasitic. Progress Vs Parasites charts this struggle. States rise and empires fall as the balance between the two shifts. It is the idea of freedom, Carswell argues, that ultimately allows the productive to escape the parasitic – and thus decides whether a society flourishes or flounders. A robust defence of classical liberalism, Progress Vs Parasites shows that the greatest threat to human progress today – as it has been in every age – is the idea that human affairs need to be ordered by top down design.

  • The Four: The Hidden DNA of Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google

    The Four: The Hidden DNA of Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google
    Scott Galloway

    NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER USA TODAY BESTSELLERAmazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google are the four most influential companies on the planet. Just about everyone thinks they know how they got there. Just about everyone is wrong. For all that’s been written about the Four over the last two decades, no one has captured their power and staggering success as insightfully as Scott Galloway. Instead of buying the myths these compa­nies broadcast, Galloway asks fundamental questions. How did the Four infiltrate our lives so completely that they’re almost impossible to avoid (or boycott)? Why does the stock market forgive them for sins that would destroy other firms? And as they race to become the world’s first trillion-dollar company, can anyone chal­lenge them? In the same irreverent style that has made him one of the world’s most celebrated business professors, Galloway deconstructs the strategies of the Four that lurk beneath their shiny veneers. He shows how they manipulate the fundamental emotional needs that have driven us since our ancestors lived in caves, at a speed and scope others can’t match. And he reveals how you can apply the lessons of their ascent to your own business or career. Whether you want to compete with them, do business with them, or simply live in the world they dominate, you need to understand the Four.

  • The Growth Delusion: Wealth, Poverty, and the Well-Being of Nations

    The Growth Delusion: Wealth, Poverty, and the Well-Being of Nations
    David Pilling

    A provocative critique of the pieties and fallacies of our obsession with economic growth We live in a society in which a priesthood of economists, wielding impenetrable mathematical formulas, set the framework for public debate. Ultimately, it is the perceived health of the economy which determines how much we can spend on our schools, highways, and defense; economists decide how much unemployment is acceptable and whether it is right to print money or bail out profligate banks. The backlash we are currently witnessing suggests that people are turning against the experts and their faulty understanding of our lives. Despite decades of steady economic growth, many citizens feel more pessimistic than ever, and are voting for candidates who voice undisguised contempt for the technocratic elite. For too long, economics has relied on a language which fails to resonate with people's actual experience, and we are now living with the consequences. In this powerful, incisive book, David Pilling reveals the hidden biases of economic orthodoxy and explores the alternatives to GDP, from measures of wealth, equality, and sustainability to measures of subjective wellbeing. Authoritative, provocative, and eye-opening, The Growth Delusion offers witty and unexpected insights into how our society can respond to the needs of real people instead of pursuing growth at any cost.

  • Kochland: The Secret History of Koch Industries and Corporate Power in America

    Kochland: The Secret History of Koch Industries and Corporate Power in America
    Christopher Leonard

    Just as Steve Coll told the story of globalization through ExxonMobil and Andrew Ross Sorkin told the story of Wall Street excess through Too Big to Fail, Christopher Leonard’s Kochland uses the extraordinary account of how one of the biggest private companies in the world grew to be that big to tell the story of modern corporate America.The annual revenue of Koch Industries is bigger than that of Goldman Sachs, Facebook, and U.S. Steel combined. Koch is everywhere: from the fertilizers that make our food to the chemicals that make our pipes to the synthetics that make our carpets and diapers to the Wall Street trading in all these commodities. But few people know much about Koch Industries and that’s because the billionaire Koch brothers want it that way. For five decades, CEO Charles Koch has kept Koch Industries quietly operating in deepest secrecy, with a view toward very, very long-term profits. He’s a genius businessman: patient with earnings, able to learn from his mistakes, determined that his employees develop a reverence for free-market ruthlessness, and a master disrupter. These strategies have made him and his brother David together richer than Bill Gates. But there’s another side to this story. If you want to understand how we killed the unions in this country, how we widened the income divide, stalled progress on climate change, and how our corporations bought the influence industry, all you have to do is read this book. Seven years in the making, Kochland reads like a true-life thriller, with larger-than-life characters driving the battles on every page. The book tells the ambitious tale of how one private company consolidated power over half a century—and how in doing so, it helped transform capitalism into something that feels deeply alienating to many Americans today.

  • The Everything Economics Book: From theory to practice, your complete guide to understanding economics today

    The Everything Economics Book: From theory to practice, your complete guide to understanding economics today
    David A Mayer

    The Dismal Science. The Worldly Philosophy. The Science of Scarcity. Most people think economics is one of the most challenging and complex fields of study. But with this book, it doesn't have to be! You will learn how the U.S. economy works in unbiased, easy-to-understand language. And you can learn it without the complex equations, arcane graphs, and technical jargon you'll find in most economic texts.David A. Mayer and Melanie E. Fox explain:Why and how we tradeHow the government intervenes in marketsUnemployment and inflationSupply and demandCompetitive, financial, and foreign exchange marketsHow the economy is measured You will also learn about the causes and fallout of the recent recession and how global climate change may transform the way our economy operates. Most important, with this introduction, you'll learn how our complex and dynamic economy affects the way we actually live our lives.

  • A Brief History of Doom: Two Hundred Years of Financial Crises

    A Brief History of Doom: Two Hundred Years of Financial Crises
    Richard Vague

    Financial crises happen time and again in post-industrial economies—and they are extraordinarily damaging. Building on insights gleaned from many years of work in the banking industry and drawing on a vast trove of data, Richard Vague argues that such crises follow a pattern that makes them both predictable and avoidable.A Brief History of Doom examines a series of major crises over the past 200 years in the United States, Great Britain, Germany, France, Japan, and China—including the Great Depression and the economic meltdown of 2008. Vague demonstrates that the over-accumulation of private debt does a better job than any other variable of explaining and predicting financial crises. In a series of clear and gripping chapters, he shows that in each case the rapid growth of loans produced widespread overcapacity, which then led to the spread of bad loans and bank failures. This cycle, according to Vague, is the essence of financial crises and the script they invariably follow.The story of financial crisis is fundamentally the story of private debt and runaway lending. Convinced that we have it within our power to break the cycle, Vague provides the tools to enable politicians, bankers, and private citizens to recognize and respond to the danger signs before it begins again.

  • Crashed: How a Decade of Financial Crises Changed the World

    Crashed: How a Decade of Financial Crises Changed the World
    Adam Tooze

    WINNER OF THE LIONEL GELBER PRIZEA NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK OF 2018ONE OF THE ECONOMIST'S BOOKS OF THE YEARA NEW YORK TIMES CRITICS' TOP BOOK"An intelligent explanation of the mechanisms that produced the crisis and the response to it…One of the great strengths of Tooze's book is to demonstrate the deeply intertwined nature of the European and American financial systems."–The New York Times Book ReviewFrom a prizewinning economic historian, an eye-opening reinterpretation of the 2008 economic crisis (and its ten-year aftermath) as a global event that directly led to the shockwaves being felt around the world today.In September 2008 President George Bush could still describe the financial crisis as an incident local to Wall Street. In fact it was a dramatic caesura of global significance that spiraled around the world, from the financial markets of the UK and Europe to the factories and dockyards of Asia, the Middle East, and Latin America, forcing a rearrangement of global governance. In the United States and Europe, it caused a fundamental reconsideration of capitalist democracy, eventually leading to the war in the Ukraine, the chaos of Greece, Brexit, and Trump. It was the greatest crisis to have struck Western societies since the end of the Cold War, but was it inevitable? And is it over? Crashed is a dramatic new narrative resting on original themes: the haphazard nature of economic development and the erratic path of debt around the world; the unseen way individual countries and regions are linked together in deeply unequal relationships through financial interdependence, investment, politics, and force; the ways the financial crisis interacted with the spectacular rise of social media, the crisis of middle-class America, the rise of China, and global struggles over fossil fuels. Finally, Tooze asks, given this history, what now are the prospects for a liberal, stable, and coherent world order?

  • The Invisible Hook: The Hidden Economics of Pirates

    The Invisible Hook: The Hidden Economics of Pirates
    Peter T. Leeson

    Pack your cutlass and blunderbuss–it's time to go a-pirating! The Invisible Hook takes readers inside the wily world of late seventeenth- and early eighteenth-century pirates. With swashbuckling irreverence and devilish wit, Peter Leeson uncovers the hidden economics behind pirates' notorious, entertaining, and sometimes downright shocking behavior. Why did pirates fly flags of Skull & Bones? Why did they create a "pirate code"? Were pirates really ferocious madmen? And what made them so successful? The Invisible Hook uses economics to examine these and other infamous aspects of piracy. Leeson argues that the pirate customs we know and love resulted from pirates responding rationally to prevailing economic conditions in the pursuit of profits. The Invisible Hook looks at legendary pirate captains like Blackbeard, Black Bart Roberts, and Calico Jack Rackam, and shows how pirates' search for plunder led them to pioneer remarkable and forward-thinking practices. Pirates understood the advantages of constitutional democracy–a model they adopted more than fifty years before the United States did so. Pirates also initiated an early system of workers' compensation, regulated drinking and smoking, and in some cases practiced racial tolerance and equality. Leeson contends that pirates exemplified the virtues of vice–their self-seeking interests generated socially desirable effects and their greedy criminality secured social order. Pirates proved that anarchy could be organized. Revealing the democratic and economic forces propelling history's most colorful criminals, The Invisible Hook establishes pirates' trailblazing relevance to the contemporary world.

  • China s Economy: What Everyone Needs to Know®

    China’s Economy: What Everyone Needs to Know®
    Arthur R. Kroeber

    China's Economy: What Everyone Needs to Know® is a concise introduction to the most astonishing economic growth story of the last three decades. In the 1980s China was an impoverished backwater, struggling to escape the political turmoil and economic mismanagement of the Mao era. Today it is the world's second biggest economy, the largest manufacturing and trading nation, the consumer of half the world's steel and coal, the biggest source of international tourists, and one of the most influential investors in developing countries from southeast Asia to Africa to Latin America. China's growth has lifted 700 million people out of poverty. It has also created a monumental environmental mess, with smog-blanketed cities and carbon emissions that are a leading cause of climate change. Multinational companies make billions of dollars in profits in China each year, but traders around the world shudder at every gyration of the country's unruly stock markets. Most surprising of all, its capitalist economy is governed by an authoritarian Communist Party that shows no sign of loosening its grip. How did China grow so fast for so long? Can it keep growing and still solve its problems of environmental damage, fast-rising debt and rampant corruption? How long can its vibrant economy co-exist with the repressive one-party state? What do China's changes mean for the rest of the world? China's Economy: What Everyone Needs to Know® answers these questions in straightforward language that you don't need to be an economist to understand, but with a wealth of detail drawn from academic research, interviews with dozens of company executives and policy makers, and a quarter-century of personal experience. Whether you're doing business in China, negotiating with its government officials, or a student trying to navigate the complexities of this fascinating and diverse country, this is the one book that will tell you everything you need to know about how China works, where it came from and where it's going.

  • Too Big to Fail: The Inside Story of How Wall Street and Washington Fought to Save the Financial System--and Themselves

    Too Big to Fail: The Inside Story of How Wall Street and Washington Fought to Save the Financial System–and Themselves
    Andrew Ross Sorkin

    Brand New for 2018: an updated edition featuring a new afterword to mark the 10th anniversary of the financial crisis The brilliantly reported New York Times bestseller that goes behind the scenes of the financial crisis on Wall Street and in Washington to give the definitive account of the crisis, the basis for the HBO film “Too Big To Fail is too good to put down. . . . It is the story of the actors in the most extraordinary financial spectacle in 80 years, and it is told brilliantly.” —The Economist In one of the most gripping financial narratives in decades, Andrew Ross Sorkin—a New York Times columnist and one of the country's most respected financial reporters—delivers the first definitive blow-by-blow account of the epochal economic crisis that brought the world to the brink. Through unprecedented access to the players involved, he re-creates all the drama and turmoil of these turbulent days, revealing never-before-disclosed details and recounting how, motivated as often by ego and greed as by fear and self-preservation, the most powerful men and women in finance and politics decided the fate of the world's economy.

  • Titan: The Life of John D. Rockefeller, Sr.

    Titan: The Life of John D. Rockefeller, Sr.
    Ron Chernow

    National Book Critics Circle Award Finalist From the acclaimed, award-winning author of Alexander Hamilton: here is the essential, endlessly engrossing biography of John D. Rockefeller, Sr.—the Jekyll-and-Hyde of American capitalism. In the course of his nearly 98 years, Rockefeller was known as both a rapacious robber baron, whose Standard Oil Company rode roughshod over an industry, and a philanthropist who donated money lavishly to universities and medical centers. He was the terror of his competitors, the bogeyman of reformers, the delight of caricaturists—and an utter enigma. Drawing on unprecedented access to Rockefeller’s private papers, Chernow reconstructs his subjects’ troubled origins (his father was a swindler and a bigamist) and his single-minded pursuit of wealth. But he also uncovers the profound religiosity that drove him “to give all I could”; his devotion to his father; and the wry sense of humor that made him the country’s most colorful codger. Titan is a magnificent biography—balanced, revelatory, elegantly written.

  • Finance and the Good Society

    Finance and the Good Society
    Robert J. Shiller

    The reputation of the financial industry could hardly be worse than it is today in the painful aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis. New York Times best-selling economist Robert Shiller is no apologist for the sins of finance–he is probably the only person to have predicted both the stock market bubble of 2000 and the real estate bubble that led up to the subprime mortgage meltdown. But in this important and timely book, Shiller argues that, rather than condemning finance, we need to reclaim it for the common good. He makes a powerful case for recognizing that finance, far from being a parasite on society, is one of the most powerful tools we have for solving our common problems and increasing the general well-being. We need more financial innovation–not less–and finance should play a larger role in helping society achieve its goals. Challenging the public and its leaders to rethink finance and its role in society, Shiller argues that finance should be defined not merely as the manipulation of money or the management of risk but as the stewardship of society's assets. He explains how people in financial careers–from CEO, investment manager, and banker to insurer, lawyer, and regulator–can and do manage, protect, and increase these assets. He describes how finance has historically contributed to the good of society through inventions such as insurance, mortgages, savings accounts, and pensions, and argues that we need to envision new ways to rechannel financial creativity to benefit society as a whole. Ultimately, Shiller shows how society can once again harness the power of finance for the greater good.

  • Hemp: American History Revisited: The Plant with a Divided History

    Hemp: American History Revisited: The Plant with a Divided History
    Robert Deitch

    Who put the Hemp in Hempstead? Before the cotton gin, hemp was an essential raw material valued for its fiber and oil, as a fuel and a medicine. This colorful socio-economic history clears the smoke obscuring hemp's role in battles between Britain and the colonies, the North and South, the haves and have-nots, and the marijuana lobby and their foes. Deitch offers a look at major events in US and world history as they influenced, and as they may have been influenced by, the cultivation and use of hemp.

  • The Rational Optimist: How Prosperity Evolves

    The Rational Optimist: How Prosperity Evolves
    Matt Ridley

    Life is getting better—and at an accelerating rate. Food availability, income, and life span are up; disease, child mortality, and violence are down — all across the globe. Though the world is far from perfect, necessities and luxuries alike are getting cheaper; population growth is slowing; Africa is following Asia out of poverty; the Internet, the mobile phone, and container shipping are enriching people’s lives as never before. The pessimists who dominate public discourse insist that we will soon reach a turning point and things will start to get worse. But they have been saying this for two hundred years.Yet Matt Ridley does more than describe how things are getting better. He explains why. Prosperity comes from everybody working for everybody else. The habit of exchange and specialization—which started more than 100,000 years ago—has created a collective brain that sets human living standards on a rising trend. The mutual dependence, trust, and sharing that result are causes for hope, not despair.This bold book covers the entire sweep of human history, from the Stone Age to the Internet, from the stagnation of the Ming empire to the invention of the steam engine, from the population explosion to the likely consequences of climate change. It ends with a confident assertion that thanks to the ceaseless capacity of the human race for innovative change, and despite inevitable disasters along the way, the twenty-first century will see both human prosperity and natural biodiversity enhanced. Acute, refreshing, and revelatory, The Rational Optimist will change your way of thinking about the world for the better.

  • A History of Macroeconomics from Keynes to Lucas and Beyond

    A History of Macroeconomics from Keynes to Lucas and Beyond
    Michel De Vroey

    This book retraces the history of macroeconomics from Keynes's General Theory to the present. Central to it is the contrast between a Keynesian era and a Lucasian – or dynamic stochastic general equilibrium (DSGE) – era, each ruled by distinct methodological standards. In the Keynesian era, the book studies the following theories: Keynesian macroeconomics, monetarism, disequilibrium macroeconomics (Patinkin, Leijongufvud and Clower), non-Walrasian equilibrium models, and first-generation new Keynesian models. Three stages are identified in the DSGE era: new classical macroeconomics (Lucas), RBC modelling, and second-generation new Keynesian modeling. The book also examines a few selected works aimed at presenting alternatives to Lucasian macroeconomics. While not eschewing analytical content, Michel De Vroey focuses on substantive assessments, and the models studied are presented in a pedagogical and vivid yet critical way.

  • Misbehaving: The Making of Behavioral Economics

    Misbehaving: The Making of Behavioral Economics
    Richard H. Thaler

    Winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics Get ready to change the way you think about economics. Nobel laureate Richard H. Thaler has spent his career studying the radical notion that the central agents in the economy are humans—predictable, error-prone individuals. Misbehaving is his arresting, frequently hilarious account of the struggle to bring an academic discipline back down to earth—and change the way we think about economics, ourselves, and our world. Traditional economics assumes rational actors. Early in his research, Thaler realized these Spock-like automatons were nothing like real people. Whether buying a clock radio, selling basketball 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. More importantly, our misbehavior has serious consequences. 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 behavior, Thaler enlightens readers about how to make smarter decisions in an increasingly mystifying world. He reveals how behavioral economic analysis opens up new ways to look at everything from household finance to assigning faculty offices in a new building, to TV game shows, the NFL draft, and businesses like Uber. Laced with antic stories of Thaler’s spirited battles with the bastions of traditional economic thinking, Misbehaving is a singular look into profound human foibles. When economics meets psychology, the implications for individuals, managers, and policy makers are both profound and entertaining. Shortlisted for the Financial Times & McKinsey Business Book of the Year Award

  • Globalizing Capital: A History of the International Monetary System - Third Edition

    Globalizing Capital: A History of the International Monetary System – Third Edition
    Barry Eichengreen

    Essential reading for understanding the international economy—now thoroughly updatedLucid, accessible, and provocative, and now thoroughly updated to cover recent events that have shaken the global economy, Globalizing Capital is an indispensable account of the past 150 years of international monetary and financial history—from the classical gold standard to today's post–Bretton Woods "nonsystem." Bringing the story up to the present, this third edition covers the global financial crisis, the Greek bailout, the Euro crisis, the rise of China as a global monetary power, the renewed controversy over the international role of the U.S. dollar, and the currency war. Concise and nontechnical, and with a proven appeal to general readers, students, and specialists alike, Globalizing Capital is a must-read for anyone who wants to understand where the international economy has been—and where it may be going.

  • Economics in One Lesson: The Shortest and Surest Way to Understand Basic Economics

    Economics in One Lesson: The Shortest and Surest Way to Understand Basic Economics
    Henry Hazlitt

    With over a million copies sold, Economics in One Lesson is an essential guide to the basics of economic theory. A fundamental influence on modern libertarianism, Hazlitt defends capitalism and the free market from economic myths that persist to this day. Considered among the leading economic thinkers of the “Austrian School,” which includes Carl Menger, Ludwig von Mises, Friedrich (F.A.) Hayek, and others, Henry Hazlitt (1894-1993), was a libertarian philosopher, an economist, and a journalist. He was the founding vice-president of the Foundation for Economic Education and an early editor of The Freeman magazine, an influential libertarian publication. Hazlitt wrote Economics in One Lesson, his seminal work, in 1946. Concise and instructive, it is also deceptively prescient and far-reaching in its efforts to dissemble economic fallacies that are so prevalent they have almost become a new orthodoxy. Economic commentators across the political spectrum have credited Hazlitt with foreseeing the collapse of the global economy which occurred more than 50 years after the initial publication of Economics in One Lesson. Hazlitt’s focus on non-governmental solutions, strong — and strongly reasoned — anti-deficit position, and general emphasis on free markets, economic liberty of individuals, and the dangers of government intervention make Economics in One Lesson every bit as relevant and valuable today as it has been since publication.

  • Life and Work in Medieval Europe

    Life and Work in Medieval Europe
    P. Boissonade

    Erudite yet readable work traces the economic evolution of Europe from 5th to 15th century. Focusing on working people, it covers breakup of feudal estates, development of small craft industries and large capitalist enterprises, rise of wage laborers, development of technical advances in industry and agriculture, rise of international commerce and finance.

  • The Color of Money: Black Banks and the Racial Wealth Gap

    The Color of Money: Black Banks and the Racial Wealth Gap
    Mehrsa Baradaran

    In 1863 black communities owned less than 1 percent of total U.S. wealth. Today that number has barely budged. Mehrsa Baradaran pursues this wealth gap by focusing on black banks. She challenges the myth that black banking is the solution to the racial wealth gap and argues that black communities can never accumulate wealth in a segregated economy.

  • Life on the Mississippi

    Life on the Mississippi
    Ralph K. Andrist

    To most people, thanks to Mark Twain, "Mississippi" suggests riverboat. Here, from award-winning historian Ralph K. Andrist, is the dramatic story of the great, Mississippi steam paddle-wheelers and the world through which they moved – a world these revolutionary ships and their captains, crews, and creators were largely responsible for bringing into being.

  • The History of Development: From Western Origins to Global Faith, Edition 4

    The History of Development: From Western Origins to Global Faith, Edition 4
    Gilbert Rist

    In this classic text, now in its fourth edition, Gilbert Rist provides a complete and powerful overview of what the idea of development has meant throughout history. He traces it from its origins in the Western view of history, through the early stages of the world system, the rise of US hegemony, and the supposed triumph of third-worldism, through to new concerns about the environment and globalization. In a new chapter on post-development models and ecological dimensions, written against a background of world crisis and ideological disarray, Rist considers possible ways forward and brings the book completely up to date. Throughout, he argues persuasively that development has been no more than a collective delusion, which in reality has resulted only in widening market relations, whatever the intentions of its advocates.

  • The Undercover Economist, Revised and Updated Edition: Exposing Why the Rich Are Rich, the Poor Are Poor - and Why You Can Never Buy a Decent Used Car!

    The Undercover Economist, Revised and Updated Edition: Exposing Why the Rich Are Rich, the Poor Are Poor – and Why You Can Never Buy a Decent Used Car!
    Tim Harford

    With over one million copies sold, The Undercover Economist has been hailed worldwide as a fantastic guide to the fundamental principles of economics. An economist's version of The Way Things Work, this engaging volume is part Economics 101 and part exposé of the economic principles lurking behind daily events, explaining everything from traffic jams to high coffee prices. New to this edition: This revised edition, newly updated to consider the banking crisis and economic turbulence of the last four years, is essential for anyone who has wondered why the gap between rich and poor nations is so great, or why they can't seem to find a decent second-hand car, or how to outwit Starbucks. Senior columnist for the Financial Times Tim Harford brings his experience and insight as he ranges from Africa, Asia, Europe, and the United States to reveal how supermarkets, airlines, and coffee chains–to name just a few–are vacuuming money from our wallets. Harford punctures the myths surrounding some of today's biggest controversies, including the high cost of health-care; he reveals why certain environmental laws can put a smile on a landlord's face; and he explains why some industries can have high profits for innocent reasons, while in other industries something sinister is going on. Covering an array of economic concepts including scarce resources, market power, efficiency, price gouging, market failure, inside information, and game theory, Harford sheds light on how these forces shape our day-to-day lives, often without our knowing it. Showing us the world through the eyes of an economist, Tim Harford reveals that everyday events are intricate games of negotiations, contests of strength, and battles of wits. Written with a light touch and sly wit, The Undercover Economist turns "the dismal science" into a true delight.

  • Learning from Shenzhen: China’s Post-Mao Experiment from Special Zone to Model City

    Learning from Shenzhen: China’s Post-Mao Experiment from Special Zone to Model City
    Mary Ann O’Donnell

    This multidisciplinary volume, the first of its kind, presents an account of China’s contemporary transformation via one of its most important yet overlooked cities: Shenzhen, located just north of Hong Kong. In recent decades, Shenzhen has transformed from an experimental site for economic reform into a dominant city at the crossroads of the global economy. The first of China’s special economic zones, Shenzhen is today a UNESCO City of Design and the hub of China’s emerging technology industries. Bringing China studies into dialogue with urban studies, the contributors explore how the post-Mao Chinese appropriation of capitalist logic led to a dramatic remodeling of the Chinese city and collective life in China today. These essays show how urban villages and informal institutions enabled social transformation through cases of public health, labor, architecture, gender, politics, education, and more. Offering scholars and general readers alike an unprecedented look at one of the world’s most dynamic metropolises, this collective history uses the urban case study to explore critical problems and possibilities relevant for modern-day China and beyond.

  • Jump-Starting America: How Breakthrough Science Can Revive Economic Growth and the American Dream

    Jump-Starting America: How Breakthrough Science Can Revive Economic Growth and the American Dream
    Jonathan Gruber

    The untold story of how America once created the most successful economy the world has ever seen and how we can do it again.The American economy glitters on the outside, but the reality is quite different. Job opportunities and economic growth are increasingly concentrated in a few crowded coastal enclaves. Corporations and investors are disproportionately developing technologies that benefit the wealthiest Americans in the most prosperous areas–and destroying middle class jobs elsewhere. To turn this tide, we must look to a brilliant and all-but-forgotten American success story and embark on a plan that will create the industries of the future–and the jobs that go with them.Beginning in 1940, massive public investment generated breakthroughs in science and technology that first helped win WWII and then created the most successful economy the world has ever seen. Private enterprise then built on these breakthroughs to create new industries–such as radar, jet engines, digital computers, mobile telecommunications, life-saving medicines, and the internet– that became the catalyst for broader economic growth that generated millions of good jobs. We lifted almost all boats, not just the yachts.Jonathan Gruber and Simon Johnson tell the story of this first American growth engine and provide the blueprint for a second. It's a visionary, pragmatic, sure-to-be controversial plan that will lead to job growth and a new American economy in places now left behind.

  • The Economics Book

    The Economics Book
    DK

    The Economics Book clearly and simply explains more than one hundred groundbreaking ideas in economics, from the earliest experiences of trade to global economic crises.Using easy-to-follow graphics and artworks, succinct quotations, and thoroughly accessible text, The Economics Book makes abstract concepts of money and trade concrete. The Economics Book includes innovative ideas from the history of economics, from Thomas Aquinas' rules of markets and morality to Jeffrey Sachs' theories on international debt relief. Learn about the earliest ideas in economics, such as property rights and the function of money, and progress to present-day economic thought, from explanations on economic bubbles to the relationship between economics and the environment.The Economics Book includes:- More than 100 key ideas and principles in economic thought, from antiquity to present day- Brief biographies and context boxes to give the full historical context of each idea- A reference section with a glossary of economic terms and a directory of economic thinkersThe clear and concise summaries, graphics, and quotations in The Economics Book will help even the complete novice understand the fascinating world of economic thought.

  • Irrational Exuberance: Revised and Expanded Third Edition, Edition 3

    Irrational Exuberance: Revised and Expanded Third Edition, Edition 3
    Robert J. Shiller

    In this revised, updated, and expanded edition of his New York Times bestseller, Nobel Prize–winning economist Robert Shiller, who warned of both the tech and housing bubbles, cautions that signs of irrational exuberance among investors have only increased since the 2008–9 financial crisis. With high stock and bond prices and the rising cost of housing, the post-subprime boom may well turn out to be another illustration of Shiller's influential argument that psychologically driven volatility is an inherent characteristic of all asset markets. In other words, Irrational Exuberance is as relevant as ever. Previous editions covered the stock and housing markets—and famously predicted their crashes. This edition expands its coverage to include the bond market, so that the book now addresses all of the major investment markets. It also includes updated data throughout, as well as Shiller's 2013 Nobel Prize lecture, which places the book in broader context. In addition to diagnosing the causes of asset bubbles, Irrational Exuberance recommends urgent policy changes to lessen their likelihood and severity—and suggests ways that individuals can decrease their risk before the next bubble bursts. No one whose future depends on a retirement account, a house, or other investments can afford not to read this book.

  • Kids These Days: Human Capital and the Making of Millennials

    Kids These Days: Human Capital and the Making of Millennials
    Malcolm Harris

    "The first major accounting of the millennial generation written by someone who belongs to it." — Jia Tolentino, The New Yorker"The best, most comprehensive work of social and economic analysis about our benighted generation." –Tony Tulathimutte, author of Private Citizens"The kind of brilliantly simple idea that instantly clarifies an entire area of culture."–William Deresiewicz, author of Excellent Sheep Millennials have been stereotyped as lazy, entitled, narcissistic, and immature. We've gotten so used to sloppy generational analysis filled with dumb clichés about young people that we've lost sight of what really unites Millennials. Namely: !–[if !supportLists]— We are the most educated and hard-working generation in American history. !–[if !supportLists]— We poured historic and insane amounts of time and money into preparing ourselves for the 21st century labor market.- We have been taught to consider working for free (homework, internships) a privilege for our own benefit.- We are poorer, more medicated, and more precariously employed than our parents, grandparents, even our great grandparents, with less of a social safety net to boot. Kids These Days, is about why. In brilliant, crackling prose, early Wall Street occupier Malcolm Harris gets mercilessly real about our maligned birth cohort. Examining trends like runaway student debt, the rise of the intern, mass incarceration, social media, and more, Harris gives us a portrait of what it means to be young in America today that will wake you up and piss you off. Millennials were the first generation raised explicitly as investments, Harris argues, and in Kids These Days he dares us to confront and take charge of the consequences now that we are grown up.

  • Indian Currency and Finance

    Indian Currency and Finance
    John Maynard Keynes

    Published in 1913, this is the first book from the renowned economist, and demonstrates the beginnings of the philosophies of macroeconomics and government intervention into economic matters that would characterize his later work. Here, Keynes discusses… . how changing from a silver to a gold standard impacted the Indian economy . a brief history of the gold standard . some surprising differences between coins and paper currency . governmental policies regarding reserves and cash balances . the strengths and weaknesses of the Indian banking system . and more. British economist JOHN MAYNARD KEYNES (1883-1946) also wrote The Economic Consequences of the Peace (1919), The End of Laissez-Faire (1926), The Means to Prosperity (1933), and General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money (1936). ALSO FROM COSIMO: Keynes's A Treatise on Probability and The Economic Consequences of Peace

  • Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty

    Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty
    Daron Acemoglu

    Brilliant and engagingly written, Why Nations Fail answers the question that has stumped the experts for centuries: Why are some nations rich and others poor, divided by wealth and poverty, health and sickness, food and famine? Is it culture, the weather, geography? Perhaps ignorance of what the right policies are? Simply, no. None of these factors is either definitive or destiny. Otherwise, how to explain why Botswana has become one of the fastest growing countries in the world, while other African nations, such as Zimbabwe, the Congo, and Sierra Leone, are mired in poverty and violence? Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson conclusively show that it is man-made political and economic institutions that underlie economic success (or lack of it). Korea, to take just one of their fascinating examples, is a remarkably homogeneous nation, yet the people of North Korea are among the poorest on earth while their brothers and sisters in South Korea are among the richest. The south forged a society that created incentives, rewarded innovation, and allowed everyone to participate in economic opportunities. The economic success thus spurred was sustained because the government became accountable and responsive to citizens and the great mass of people. Sadly, the people of the north have endured decades of famine, political repression, and very different economic institutions—with no end in sight. The differences between the Koreas is due to the politics that created these completely different institutional trajectories. Based on fifteen years of original research Acemoglu and Robinson marshall extraordinary historical evidence from the Roman Empire, the Mayan city-states, medieval Venice, the Soviet Union, Latin America, England, Europe, the United States, and Africa to build a new theory of political economy with great relevance for the big questions of today, including: – China has built an authoritarian growth machine. Will it continue to grow at such high speed and overwhelm the West? – Are America’s best days behind it? Are we moving from a virtuous circle in which efforts by elites to aggrandize power are resisted to a vicious one that enriches and empowers a small minority? – What is the most effective way to help move billions of people from the rut of poverty to prosperity? More philanthropy from the wealthy nations of the West? Or learning the hard-won lessons of Acemoglu and Robinson’s breakthrough ideas on the interplay between inclusive political and economic institutions? Why Nations Fail will change the way you look at—and understand—the world.

  • The Economics Book

    The Economics Book
    DK

    The Economics Book clearly and simply explains more than one hundred groundbreaking ideas in economics, from the earliest experiences of trade to global economic crises.Using easy-to-follow graphics and artworks, succinct quotations, and thoroughly accessible text, The Economics Book makes abstract concepts of money and trade concrete. The Economics Book includes innovative ideas from the history of economics, from Thomas Aquinas' rules of markets and morality to Jeffrey Sachs' theories on international debt relief. Learn about the earliest ideas in economics, such as property rights and the function of money, and progress to present-day economic thought, from explanations on economic bubbles to the relationship between economics and the environment.The Economics Book includes:- More than 100 key ideas and principles in economic thought, from antiquity to present day- Brief biographies and context boxes to give the full historical context of each idea- A reference section with a glossary of economic terms and a directory of economic thinkersThe clear and concise summaries, graphics, and quotations in The Economics Book will help even the complete novice understand the fascinating world of economic thought.

  • The Smartest Guys in the Room: The Amazing Rise and Scandalous Fall of Enron

    The Smartest Guys in the Room: The Amazing Rise and Scandalous Fall of Enron
    Bethany McLean

    There were dozens of books about Watergate, but only All the President's Men gave readers the full story, with all the drama and nuance and exclusive reporting. And thirty years later, if you're going to read only one book on Watergate, that's still the one. Today, Enron is the biggest business story of our time, and Fortune senior writers Bethany McLean and Peter Elkind are the new Woodward and Bernstein.Remarkably, it was just two years ago that Enron was thought to epitomize a great New Economy company, with its skyrocketing profits and share price. But that was before Fortune published an article by McLean that asked a seemingly innocent question: How exactly does Enron make money? From that point on, Enron's house of cards began to crumble. Now, McLean and Elkind have investigated much deeper, to offer the definitive book about the Enron scandal and the fascinating people behind it.Meticulously researched and character driven, Smartest Guys in the Room takes the reader deep into Enron's past—and behind the closed doors of private meetings. Drawing on a wide range of unique sources, the book follows Enron's rise from obscurity to the top of the business world to its disastrous demise. It reveals as never before major characters such as Ken Lay, Jeff Skilling, and Andy Fastow, as well as lesser known players like Cliff Baxter and Rebecca Mark. Smartest Guys in the Room is a story of greed, arrogance, and deceit—a microcosm of all that is wrong with American business today. Above all, it's a fascinating human drama that will prove to be the authoritative account of the Enron scandal.

  • The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of the World: 10th Anniversary Edition

    The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of the World: 10th Anniversary Edition
    Niall Ferguson

    The 10th anniversary edition, with new chapters on the crash, Chimerica, and cryptocurrencyIn this updated edition, Niall Ferguson brings his classic financial history of the world up to the present day, tackling the populist backlash that followed the 2008 crisis, the descent of "Chimerica" into a trade war, and the advent of cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin, with his signature clarity and expert lens. The Ascent of Money reveals finance as the backbone of history, casting a new light on familiar events: the Renaissance enabled by Italian foreign exchange dealers, the French Revolution traced back to a stock market bubble, the 2008 crisis traced from America's bankruptcy capital, Memphis, to China's boomtown, Chongqing. We may resent the plutocrats of Wall Street but, as Ferguson argues, the evolution of finance has rivaled the importance of any technological innovation in the rise of civilization. Indeed, to study the ascent and descent of money is to study the rise and fall of Western power itself.

  • The Code: Silicon Valley and the Remaking of America

    The Code: Silicon Valley and the Remaking of America
    Margaret O’Mara

    The true, behind-the-scenes history of the people who built Silicon Valley and shaped Big Tech in America Long before Margaret O'Mara became one of our most consequential historians of the American-led digital revolution, she worked in the White House of Bill Clinton and Al Gore in the earliest days of the commercial Internet. There she saw firsthand how deeply intertwined Silicon Valley was with the federal government–and always had been–and how shallow the common understanding of the secrets of the Valley's success actually was. Now, after almost five years of pioneering research, O'Mara has produced the definitive history of Silicon Valley for our time, the story of mavericks and visionaries, but also of powerful institutions creating the framework for innovation, from the Pentagon to Stanford University. It is also a story of a community that started off remarkably homogeneous and tight-knit and stayed that way, and whose belief in its own mythology has deepened into a collective hubris that has led to astonishing triumphs as well as devastating second-order effects.Deploying a wonderfully rich and diverse cast of protagonists, from the justly famous to the unjustly obscure, across four generations of explosive growth in the Valley, from the forties to the present, O'Mara has wrestled one of the most fateful developments in modern American history into magnificent narrative form. She is on the ground with all of the key tech companies, chronicling the evolution in their offerings through each successive era, and she has a profound fingertip feel for the politics of the sector and its relation to the larger cultural narrative about tech as it has evolved over the years. Perhaps most impressive, O'Mara has penetrated the inner kingdom of tech venture capital firms, the insular and still remarkably old-boy world that became the cockpit of American capitalism and the crucible for bringing technological innovation to market, or not. The transformation of big tech into the engine room of the American economy and the nexus of so many of our hopes and dreams–and, increasingly, our nightmares–can be understood, in Margaret O'Mara's masterful hands, as the story of one California valley. As her majestic history makes clear, its fate is the fate of us all.

  • Rainbow s End: The Crash of 1929

    Rainbow’s End: The Crash of 1929
    Maury Klein

    Rainbow's End tells the story of the stock market collapse in a colorful, swift-moving narrative that blends a vivid portrait of the 1920s with an intensely gripping account of Wall Street's greatest catastrophe. The book offers a vibrant picture of a world full of plungers, powerful bankers, corporate titans, millionaire brokers, and buoyantly optimistic stock market bulls. We meet Sunshine Charley Mitchell, head of the National City Bank, powerful financiers Jack Morgan and Jacob Schiff, Wall Street manipulators such as the legendary Jesse Livermore, and the lavish-living Billy Durant, founder of General Motors. As Klein follows the careers of these men, he shows us how the financial house of cards gradually grew taller, as the irrational exuberance of an earlier age gripped America and convinced us that the market would continue to rise forever. Then, in October 1929, came a "perfect storm"-like convergence of factors that shook Wall Street to its foundations. We relive Black Thursday, when police lined Wall Street, brokers grew hysterical, customers "bellowed like lunatics," and the ticker tape fell hours behind. This compelling history of the Crash–the first to follow the market closely for the two years leading up to the disaster–illuminates a major turning point in our history.

  • Learning and Expectations in Macroeconomics

    Learning and Expectations in Macroeconomics
    George W. Evans

    A crucial challenge for economists is figuring out how people interpret the world and form expectations that will likely influence their economic activity. Inflation, asset prices, exchange rates, investment, and consumption are just some of the economic variables that are largely explained by expectations. Here George Evans and Seppo Honkapohja bring new explanatory power to a variety of expectation formation models by focusing on the learning factor. Whereas the rational expectations paradigm offers the prevailing method to determining expectations, it assumes very theoretical knowledge on the part of economic actors. Evans and Honkapohja contribute to a growing body of research positing that households and firms learn by making forecasts using observed data, updating their forecast rules over time in response to errors. This book is the first systematic development of the new statistical learning approach. Depending on the particular economic structure, the economy may converge to a standard rational-expectations or a "rational bubble" solution, or exhibit persistent learning dynamics. The learning approach also provides tools to assess the importance of new models with expectational indeterminacy, in which expectations are an independent cause of macroeconomic fluctuations. Moreover, learning dynamics provide a theory for the evolution of expectations and selection between alternative equilibria, with implications for business cycles, asset price volatility, and policy. This book provides an authoritative treatment of this emerging field, developing the analytical techniques in detail and using them to synthesize and extend existing research.

  • Conflict and Commerce in Maritime East Asia: The Zheng Family and the Shaping of the Modern World, c.1620–1720

    Conflict and Commerce in Maritime East Asia: The Zheng Family and the Shaping of the Modern World, c.1620–1720
    Xing Hang

    The Zheng family of merchants and militarists emerged from the tumultuous seventeenth century amid a severe economic depression, a harrowing dynastic transition from the ethnic Chinese Ming to the Manchu Qing, and the first wave of European expansion into East Asia. Under four generations of leaders over six decades, the Zheng had come to dominate trade across the China Seas. Their average annual earnings matched, and at times exceeded, those of their fiercest rivals: the Dutch East India Company. Although nominally loyal to the Ming in its doomed struggle against the Manchus, the Zheng eventually forged an autonomous territorial state based on Taiwan with the potential to encompass the family's entire economic sphere of influence. Through the story of the Zheng, Xing Hang provides a fresh perspective on the economic divergence of early modern China from western Europe, its twenty-first-century resurgence, and the meaning of a Chinese identity outside China.

  • Wages and Labor Markets in the United States, 1820-1860

    Wages and Labor Markets in the United States, 1820-1860
    Robert A. Margo

    Research by economists and economic historians has greatly expanded our knowledge of labor markets and real wages in the United States since the Civil War, but the period from 1820 to 1860 has been far less studied. Robert Margo fills this gap by collecting and analyzing the payroll records of civilians hired by the United States Army and the 1850 and 1860 manuscript federal Censuses of Social Statistics. New wage series are constructed for three occupational groups—common laborers, artisans, and white-collar workers—in each of the four major census regions—Northeast, Midwest, South Atlantic, and South Central—over the period 1820 to 1860, and also for California between 1847 and 1860. Margo uses these data, along with previously collected evidence on prices, to explore a variety of issues central to antebellum economic development. This volume makes a significant contribution to economic history by presenting a vast amount of previously unexamined data to advance the understanding of the history of wages and labor markets in the antebellum economy.

  • Upside Down: A Primer for the Looking-Glass World

    Upside Down: A Primer for the Looking-Glass World
    Eduardo Galeano

    From the winner of the first Lannan Prize for Cultural Freedom, a bitingly funny, kaleidoscopic vision of the first world through the eyes of the thirdEduardo Galeano, author of the incomparable Memory of Fire Trilogy, combines a novelist's intensity, a poet's lyricism, a journalist's fearlessness, and the strong judgments of an engaged historian. Now his talents are richly displayed in Upside Down, an eloquent, passionate, sometimes hilarious exposé of our first-world privileges and assumptions. In a series of lesson plans and a "program of study" about our beleaguered planet, Galeano takes the reader on a wild trip through the global looking glass. From a master class in "The Impunity of Power" to a seminar on "The Sacred Car"–with tips along the way on "How to Resist Useless Vices" and a declaration of "The Right to Rave"–he surveys a world unevenly divided between abundance and deprivation, carnival and torture, power and helplessness. We have accepted a reality we should reject, Galeano teaches us, one where machines are more precious than humans, people are hungry, poverty kills, and children toil from dark to dark.A work of fire and charm, Upside Down makes us see the world anew and even glimpse how it might be set right."Galeano's outrage is tempered by intelligence, an ineradicable sense of humor, and hope." -Los Angeles Times, front page

  • VC: An American History

    VC: An American History
    Tom Nicholas

    From nineteenth-century whaling to a multitude of firms pursuing entrepreneurial finance today, venture finance reflects a deep-seated tradition in the deployment of risk capital in the United States. Tom Nicholas’s history of the venture capital industry offers a roller coaster ride through America’s ongoing pursuit of financial gain.

  • The Wealth of Humans: Work, Power, and Status in the Twenty-first Century

    The Wealth of Humans: Work, Power, and Status in the Twenty-first Century
    Ryan Avent

    None of us has ever lived through a genuine industrial revolution. Until now. Digital technology is transforming every corner of the economy, fundamentally altering the way things are done, who does them, and what they earn for their efforts. In The Wealth of Humans, Economist editor Ryan Avent brings up-to-the-minute research and reporting to bear on the major economic question of our time: can the modern world manage technological changes every bit as disruptive as those that shook the socioeconomic landscape of the 19th century?Traveling from Shenzhen, to Gothenburg, to Mumbai, to Silicon Valley, Avent investigates the meaning of work in the twenty-first century: how technology is upending time-tested business models and thrusting workers of all kinds into a world wholly unlike that of a generation ago. It's a world in which the relationships between capital and labor and between rich and poor have been overturned.Past revolutions required rewriting the social contract: this one is unlikely to demand anything less. Avent looks to the history of the Industrial Revolution and the work of numerous experts for lessons in reordering society. The future needn't be bleak, but as The Wealth of Humans explains, we can't expect to restructure the world without a wrenching rethinking of what an economy should be.

  • The Economics of Chocolate

    The Economics of Chocolate
    Mara P. Squicciarini

    This book, written by global experts, provides a comprehensive and topical analysis on the economics of chocolate. While the main approach is economic analysis, there are important contributions from other disciplines, including psychology, history, government, nutrition, and geography. The chapters are organized around several themes, including the history of cocoa and chocolate — from cocoa drinks in the Maya empire to the growing sales of Belgian chocolates in China; how governments have used cocoa and chocolate as a source of tax revenue and have regulated chocolate (and defined it by law) to protect consumers' health from fraud and industries from competition; how the poor cocoa producers in developing countries are linked through trade and multinational companies with rich consumers in industrialized countries; and how the rise of consumption in emerging markets (China, India, and Africa) is causing a major boom in global demand and prices, and a potential shortage of the world's chocolate.

  • Technological Transitions and System Innovations: A Co-evolutionary and Socio-technical Analysis

    Technological Transitions and System Innovations: A Co-evolutionary and Socio-technical Analysis
    Frank W. Geels

    This important book addresses how long term and large scale shifts from one socio-technical system to another come about, using insights from evolutionary economics, sociology of technology and innovation studies. These major changes involve not just tech

  • Free Lunch: How the Wealthiest Americans Enrich Themselves at Government Expense (and Stick You with the Bill)

    Free Lunch: How the Wealthiest Americans Enrich Themselves at Government Expense (and Stick You with the Bill)
    David Cay Johnston

    The bestselling author of Perfectly Legal returns with a powerful new exposé How does a strong and growing economy lend itself to job uncertainty, debt, bankruptcy, and economic fear for a vast number of Americans? Free Lunch provides answers to this great economic mystery of our time, revealing how today's government policies and spending reach deep into the wallets of the many for the benefit of the wealthy few. Johnston cuts through the official version of events and shows how, under the guise of deregulation, a whole new set of regulations quietly went into effect– regulations that thwart competition, depress wages, and reward misconduct. From how George W. Bush got rich off a tax increase to a $100 million taxpayer gift to Warren Buffett, Johnston puts a face on all of the dirty little tricks that business and government pull. A lot of people appear to be getting free lunches, but of course there's no such thing as a free lunch, and someone (you, the taxpayer) is picking up the bill. Johnston's many revelations include: How we ended up with the most expensive yet inefficient health-care system in the world How homeowners title insurance became a costly, deceitful, yet almost invisible oligopoly How our government gives hidden subsidies for posh golf courses How Paris Hilton's grandfather schemed to retake the family fortune from a charity for poor children How the Yankees and Mets owners will collect more than $1.3 billion in public funds In these instances and many more, Free Lunch shows how the lobbyists and lawyers representing the most powerful 0.1 percent of Americans manipulated our government at the expense of the other 99.9 percent. With his extraordinary reporting, vivid stories, and sharp analysis, Johnston reveals the forces that shape our everyday economic lives and shows us how we can finally make things better.

  • Talking to My Daughter About the Economy: or, How Capitalism Works--and How It Fails

    Talking to My Daughter About the Economy: or, How Capitalism Works–and How It Fails
    Yanis Varoufakis

    In Talking to My Daughter About the Economy, activist Yanis Varoufakis, Greece’s former finance minister and the author of the international bestseller Adults in the Room, pens a series of letters to his young daughter, educating her about the business, politics, and corruption of world economics. Yanis Varoufakis has appeared before heads of nations, assemblies of experts, and countless students around the world. Now, he faces his most important—and difficult—audience yet. Using clear language and vivid examples, Varoufakis offers a series of letters to his young daughter about the economy: how it operates, where it came from, how it benefits some while impoverishing others. Taking bankers and politicians to task, he explains the historical origins of inequality among and within nations, questions the pervasive notion that everything has its price, and shows why economic instability is a chronic risk. Finally, he discusses the inability of market-driven policies to address the rapidly declining health of the planet his daughter’s generation stands to inherit. Throughout, Varoufakis wears his expertise lightly. He writes as a parent whose aim is to instruct his daughter on the fundamental questions of our age—and through that knowledge, to equip her against the failures and obfuscations of our current system and point the way toward a more democratic alternative.

  • Utopia for Realists: How We Can Build the Ideal World

    Utopia for Realists: How We Can Build the Ideal World
    Rutger Bregman

    Universal basic income. A 15-hour workweek. Open borders. Does it sound too good to be true? One of Europe's leading young thinkers shows how we can build an ideal world today."A more politically radical Malcolm Gladwell." –New York TimesAfter working all day at jobs we often dislike, we buy things we don't need. Rutger Bregman, a Dutch historian, reminds us it needn't be this way-and in some places it isn't.Rutger Bregman's TED Talk about universal basic income seemed impossibly radical when he delivered it in 2014. A quarter of a million views later, the subject of that video is being seriously considered by leading economists and government leaders the world over. It's just one of the many utopian ideas that Bregman proves is possible today.Utopia for Realists is one of those rare books that takes you by surprise and challenges what you think can happen. From a Canadian city that once completely eradicated poverty, to Richard Nixon's near implementation of a basic income for millions of Americans, Bregman takes us on a journey through history, and beyond the traditional left-right divides, as he champions ideas whose time have come. Every progressive milestone of civilization-from the end of slavery to the beginning of democracy-was once considered a utopian fantasy. Bregman's book, both challenging and bracing, demonstrates that new utopian ideas, like the elimination of poverty and the creation of the fifteen-hour workweek, can become a reality in our lifetime. Being unrealistic and unreasonable can in fact make the impossible inevitable, and it is the only way to build the ideal world.

  • Global Electrification: Multinational Enterprise and International Finance in the History of Light and Power, 1878–2007

    Global Electrification: Multinational Enterprise and International Finance in the History of Light and Power, 1878–2007
    William J. Hausman

    This book examines how multinational enterprises and international finance influenced the course of electrification around the world. Multinational enterprises played a crucial role in the spread of electric light and power from the 1870s through the first three decades of the twentieth century. However, their role did not persist, and by 1978 multinational enterprises in this sector had all but disappeared, replaced by electrical utility providers with national business structures. Yet, in recent years, there has been a vigorous revival. This book, a co-operative effort by the three authors and a group of experts from many countries, offers an analysis of the history of multinational enterprise. The authors take an integrated approach, not simply comparing national electrification experiences, but supplying a truly global account.