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End This Depression Now! Hardcover – 11 May 2012


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company (11 May 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393088774
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393088779
  • Product Dimensions: 1.7 x 0.3 x 2.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (69 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 58,332 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Paul Krugman writes a twice-weekly column for the op-ed page of the New York Times. A winner of the John Bates Clark Medal who was also named Columnist of the Year by Editor and Publisher magazine, he teaches economics at Princeton University.

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Review

"Starred review. Krugman (Fuzzy Math), winner of the 2008 Nobel Prize in Economics, takes an edifying and often humorous journalistic approach to the current economic crisis in this accessible and timely study. Rather than provide a mere postmortem on the 2008 collapse (though relevant history lessons are provided), Krugman aims to plot a path out of this depression. Krugman has consistently called for more liberal economic policies, but his wit and bipartisanship ensure that this book will appeal to a broad swath of readers from the Left to the Right, from the 99% to the 1%." --Publishers Weekly

"Krugman has picked a good time to unleash a thoroughly persuasive polemic against premature fiscal austerity in the wake of a deep recession. He does so in a remarkably easy style [...] it's lively and readable." --Financial Times

"Krugman...most hated and most admired columnist in the US..." --Martin Wolf, Financial Times

"...Krugman divides opinion like no other. To his followers, he's a saint; to his detractors, he's a false prophet with satanic intent." --Jeremy Warner, Daily Telegraph

"[...]since reading Paul Krugman's new book, I fear I'm in danger instead of becoming a bore. It's the sort of book you wish were compulsory reading, and want to quote to anyone who'll listen, because End This Depression Now! provides a comprehensive narrative of how we have ended up doing the opposite of what logic and history tell us we must do to get out of this crisis." --Decca Aitkenhead, Guardian G2

"Although it is not without flaws, I hope without much confidence that the book s wide readership includes the UK prime minister and chancellor." --Samuel Brittan, Financial Times

"Loathe him or love him and Krugman's take-no-prisoners writing style has as many enemies as admirers it is impossible to ignore him." --Ben Chu, The Independent

"Furious but funny, Krugman's seductive style renders recondite theory readable for even the most economically illiterate." --Word

"Krugman is "feisty" and "sharp-elbowed": you might disagree with his thesis, but you'll keep on reading." ----The Week

"In this lively polemic, he [Krugman] makes a powerful case against austerity." --<The Evening Standard

Krugman is "feisty" and "sharp-elbowed": you might disagree with his thesis, but you'll keep on reading. --The Week

About the Author

Paul Krugman is the recipient of the 2008 Nobel Prize in Economics. He is a best-selling author, columnist, and blogger for the New York Times, and is a professor of economics and international affairs at Princeton University.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Dr. R. G. Bullock on 24 April 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Paul Krugman is Professor of Economics and International Affairs at Princeton University and a columnist at The New York Times. He won the Nobel prize for economics in 2008. His book, `End this Depression Now!', argues that the present economic depression, dating from 2008, is not essentially different from other depressions, notably the Great Depression following the Wall Street crash of 1929. He argues that the experiences, actions and research of the 1930s and 1940s, augmented by recent research, has given us the tools to bring the economic situation under control. They are simply being ignored by governments in the USA, the UK and Euroland, or governments haven't the courage to do it.

He begins by outlining the tremendous costs of a prolonged depression, especially in human terms. His humanity comes through strongly, not something one normally associates with economists. For example, he notes research which shows that a graduate qualifying during a downturn has his or her whole career affected adversely, not just for the duration of the recession. Long recessions cause permanent, irretrievable losses that leave nations with weak industries and poor skill bases, unable to take full advantage of any recovery. They can lead to political extremism - look at Hungary and Greece today.

The lessons of the Great Depression are outlined. Krugman sees himself as a "sorta-kinda New Keynesian" and argues that depressions are essentially due to lack of demand. This can be counteracted effectively by government spending of particular types - infrastructure spending, mortgage debt relief, temporary higher target rates for inflation, and effective devaluation of the currency and "printing of money".
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A. D. Thibeault on 25 Jun. 2012
Format: Hardcover
*A full executive-style summary of this book is now available at newbooksinbrief dot wordpress dot com

Since the housing and financial crash of 2008, America's economy has been stuck deep in the doldrums. Indeed, GDP has remained well beneath pre-2008 levels, and employment levels have failed to recover. In an effort to resuscitate the economy, the American government tried first to jump-start it through stimulus spending, and has now replaced this approach with greater austerity. Nothing seems to be working. For Nobel Prize winning economist Paul Krugman, though, the answer is clear: the problem is that the original stimulus effort was too small, and, since that time, the government is moving squarely in the wrong direction. Indeed, Krugman argues that America's current situation bares a striking resemblance to the stagnation of the Great Depression, and that history has taught us what to do in such situations: the government must take an aggressive approach to stimulate the economy into recovery. This is the argument that Krugman makes in his new book `End This Depression Now!'.

Now, Krugman is not a proponent of big government spending under normal conditions. Indeed, even in a recession, Krugman's preferred approach is to drop interest rates in order to spur consumer spending. The problem now is that interest rates are already at zero, and this has not been enough to get consumer spending off the ground, thus leaving the economy in what is called a `liquidity trap'. For Krugman, the liquidity trap is actually quite common in economic downturns that follow financial crashes (as is the case with the current one, and as was the case with the Great Depression), and is why such slumps tend to be deep and prolonged.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Athan on 17 Oct. 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is an economics book, not a polemic, and that I love. Krugman presents the case for more government spending in a short, intuitive and thorough manner.

Krugman is an American author, first and foremost, and a "can do attitude" is probably to be expected; yet for a book with such a punchy title, the proposed solution is actually the least convincing part. Krugman fails to tackle why there's value in digging up holes and filling them up again. An analysis that skirts this issue is incomplete, because the amount we'd need to spend if we follow his recommendation vastly exceeds what we can spend on sensible projects.

By means of example, I live in the UK, where the progress of the NHS under heavy Labour Party government "investment" started out in a promising way, but has ended up in what even the most fervent supporter must agree is a ton of waste that could well end up undermining the NHS itself and society overall in the medium term.

With that caveat, this book is such a good lesson in Economics that you have to own it. I had to constantly remind myself that "at some point you will have to figure out where you disagree." Krugman's deceit (and genius, let's face it) is that I had to finish the book, digest it and figure that out for myself afterwards.

Finally, if you ever thought austerity is the answer, you cannot finish this book and reasonably still hold that view. For that alone, it's a triumph.
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59 of 68 people found the following review helpful By Diziet on 20 May 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Paul Krugman's purpose in writing this book is to:

'...go over the heads of the Serious People who have, for whatever reason, taken all of us down the wrong path, at immense cost to our economies and our societies, and to appeal to informed public opinion in an effort to get us doing the right thing instead.' (Intro, Pxii).

He starts out by analysing just what has gone wrong. Many, many writers have already done this, of course - David Harvey, Nouriel Roubini, Massimo Amato to name but a few - but Krugman's analysis is still really useful. He draws exact parallels between the Great Depression and the current so-called 'Great Recession', not only in terms of cause and effect but also in the variety of responses. His central thesis, however, is that:

'...this doesn't have to be happening [italics in original]...the problem isn't with the economic engine, which is as powerful as ever. Instead, we're talking about what is basically a technical problem, a problem of organization and co-ordination.' (P22)

We have reached a 'Minsky Moment' - as an economy expands, debtors and creditors are happy to borrow and lend until, suddenly, something pops.
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