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The Return of Depression Economics Paperback – 4 Dec 2008


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Product details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Allen Lane (4 Dec. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1846142393
  • ISBN-13: 978-1846142390
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1.2 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 33,068 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

Krugman s facility with both arcane details and vast unified explanations boils down complexity so much that the reader often wonders: Why didn t I see it that way myself? --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Economics student on 9 May 2009
Format: Paperback
For anyone wishing to read one single book about macroeconomics, this is the one. Apart from providing fundamental insights into the current crisis, the book explains the dynamics of macroeconomics in the most enlightening and entertaining way I have seen so far. As a doctorate student of economics, I would recommend this book both to other economists, for the intuition it offers, and to non-economists, as a great and very topical introduction to the field of macroeconomics.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By x iLeon on 11 May 2009
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Krugman doesn't just make economics accessible to the layman but also provides his own unique insights, in this case to the global economic crisis we're currently in. He also has his own, idiosynchratically exciting way of explaining concepts. You will find differences with other accounts, such as Stiglitz's (whom I greatly admire and am more keen to agree with), which is good, because it provides more food for thought and challenge to the orthodoxy. If you are interested in the global economic state of affairs, you will greatly appreciate this work.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By tallmanbaby TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 22 Mar. 2009
Format: Paperback
It used to be that banks just did not fail. Well we all knew that some had failed in 1929, but banks did not fail in modern times in modern countries. This is a smart book, lightly updated to reflect recent events.

How much you get out of the book will depend on your aptitude for macroeconomics, I know a bit and feel that I got most of it, but certainly not all. However it was consistently enjoyable and readable. I never felt that I was being talked down to. I might re-read just to get my head round some more of it.

If you are looking for a book that will tell you what shares to invest in, or how to make money investing in the next few years, then this is not much help. After reading it you might even want to start stockpiling bottled water. But if you want to start getting your head round what is happening, then this could well be the best book to read.

At the end of the day, we just don't know what will happen, this book won't tell you, but getting some perspective cannot do any harm.

Random Quote - "A note about intellectual style: one temptation that often afflicts writers on economics, especially when the subject is grave, is the tendency to become excessively dignified. Not that the events we are concerned with aren't important, in some cases matters of life and death. Too often, though, pundits imagine that because the subject is serious, it must be approached solemnly: that because these are big issues, they must be addressed with big words; no informality or levity allowed. As it turns out, however, to make sense of a strange phenomena, one must be prepared to play with ideas." p7
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By The Outsider on 31 Aug. 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Dr. Paul Krugman writes a regular column for the New York Times, so those familiar with his column will find this book familiar - and his analysis and solutions easy to understand and brilliant.

Essentially, Krugman proves - through countless examples - how the demand side (government intervention) has rescued the supply side (banking and industry) over the last century. Yet the uniformed or idiotic right wing (can you separate them?) either deny the facts, don't know them or are 'ideologically' opposed to them. This book originally focused on the Latin American and Asian banking crises but has been expanded to deal with the onset of the great 2007-8 disaster we are still living with.

Krugman has consistently advocated massive public capital infusion (about 4% of GDP in the US) to lift the economy (the US actually put in less than half, a figure Krugman long predicted would be insufficient) and a new regulatory set up for the Non-bank banking sector (hedge funds, etc.) which never happened.

The Obama administration was too timid to enact a real Keynesian push (opposed by the right wing Republicans and scared Democrats) and the current Tory lead government is producing precisely the wrong program (refuted countless times in this slim volume) for recovery.

It was Gordon Brown, Alistair Darling and Ed Balls who were on the right path, but did not explain to the 'great British public' why the UK deficit had to balloon in the short term to stave off depression. Of course, the public punished Brown for saving the British economy, and swallowed whole the Conservative's version of events, believing that we should punish ordinary citizens for the excesses of the few (who are, of course, all richer as a result of the crisis).
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By S on 16 Aug. 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've been casually reading around economics for the last couple of weeks, in the hopes of trying to understand the economic crisis of 2008. So I bought this book thinking it would explain, in layman's terms, what had happened. I wasn't entirely sure what to expect from the book but I have to say I was disappointed.

The section devoted to the economic crisis of 2008 is disappointingly small, only a couple of chapters. The rest of the book being devoted to previous recessions and depressions worldwide, such as the Asian crises of the 1990s and the Latin American crises. The explanations seemed to be good enough, but there was a lot more econo-babble than I would have hoped for, and though the author tries to put complicated economical concepts into tangible, real-world examples, even then it's still pretty complicated.

To cut a long story short, the main argument that I can glean from this book is that "speculation" (whatever that may be; irritatingly, it's never made entirely clear in the book) is a bad thing, and causes recessions. So I think the book's section dealing with the 2008 crisis is far too short, there's too much economics jargon and the real-world examples, though admirable, don't quite get it. I think, however, my lack of economics knowledge didn't help matters but I do not feel this should be an issue with a text that seems to promise to make things easy for the non-specialist.
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