Presently, with the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition in power in the UK, it seems that the roots of the current economic woes in The Credit Crunch have been consigned to some dark recess, while "our" government gears itself up to apply what is perhaps best described as a Structural Adjustment Program (SAP) to the United Kingdom, one that will make the IMF's intervention in the Labour Government (1976) seem like a picnic. Graham Turner, with over twenty years experience of working in the financial sector, is well qualified to bring the reader back to the reality of the problems roots, and how they continue to effect the global economy, with particular emphasis on the situation in the United States and the United Kingdom.
While the current focus is on government debt Turner reminds us that the problems relating to mortgages, consumer debt, interest and the availability of credit are far from happily resolved. His many graphs indicate a number of continuing problems, such as the fact that financial sectors writing down of problem mortgage and consumer debt has diverged from the growing levels of debt delinquency in order for banks to declare increases in profitability.
With regard to the longer term issues that have been at the root of the credit crunch Turner identifies a number of issues such as globalisations negative effect on wages as a share of GDP, the impetus this shortfall has provided for the increasing levels of consumer debt, and the lack of controls with regard to the financial sector. He also reflects on the Marxist and Keynesian analysis of the credit crunch.
As for solutions, Turner thinks that a substantial increase in quantitive easing is the least worst way of ensuring that the economies of the US and UK dont enter into a deflationary spiral reminiscent of Japan in the 1990's and beyond. He is also in favour of reforming the current shareholder model of corporate capitalism in favour of one that democratically reflects the interests of workers and the wider community, the meaningful nationalisation of banks, and modifications to the global economic structures to provide space for the meaningful participation of employees in the economic sphere.
"No Way To Run The Economy" is a fascinating read. The statistically minded will be in seventh heaven with Turners 70+ graphs that concisely illustrate much of what is discussed in the text. The shortcomings of this book are that it is too short for the breadth of the subject, and it also (presumably to be optimally relevant upon publication) appears to have been written in a bit of a hurry. Some complicated matters are well explained, others left this reader scratching his head, and while the glossary is welcome it is far from exhaustive. Despite these flaws, Turner has written a valuable and informative book that is a good bit more relevant to the economic problems we face than any amount of George Osbornes or Vince Cables babblings ever will be.