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The Mess We're In: Why Politicians Can't Fix Financial Crises [Kindle Edition]

Guy Fraser-Sampson
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)

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Product Description


'A brilliant account of the shambles our politicians have led us into ... Gloomy, depressing and dead accurate' - Jon Moulton, Chairman, Better Capital

'An incisive explanation of the challenges facing the British economy. I recommend it to anyone who wants a better understanding of where we might find solutions' - Luke Johnson, Chairman, Risk Capital Partners

'Controversial and challenging' --Tim Congdon, CEO, International Monetary Research

'An entertaining prescription for Britain's ills.' --The Irish Times

'Controversial and challenging' --Tim Congdon, CEO, International Monetary Research

Product Description

Various politicians present themselves as having the answers to our financial woes yet, as bestselling author Guy Fraser-Sampson shows, they are not part of the solution. They are the problem. His trenchant views have been heard frequently on radio and television programmes discussing the current situation. Here he sets out the facts supporting his belief that at every opportunity politicians choose the course of action which pursues their own short-term political ends, rather than doing what is right for the national long-term interest. In an entertaining mix of historical narrative and conceptual analysis, he argues that the present crisis has in fact been several decades in the making, and is the inevitable outcome of years of neglect and betrayal by those we have trusted to serve and govern us. As national debt reaches record levels around the world, and politicians continue to pile up fresh borrowings year after year, many are starting to ask just what, if anything, can be done to rescue us from the stark consequences of government folly. 'The Mess We're In' will open your eyes to the true causes of the crisis, and suggest some radical common-sense measures to drag the world back from the edge of the abyss.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 547 KB
  • Print Length: 289 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1908739061
  • Publisher: Elliott & Thompson (26 July 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B008OIV8EM
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #178,305 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

I am currently Chief Investment Officer with a family office in Mayfair and have previously held various senior level investment positions, including a spell as Investment Controller with the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority and running for several years the international operations of a leading US fund manager. For the past several years I have been designing and teaching a number of post-graduate modules at Cass Business School in the City of London.

I appear regularly on radio and television in the UK and am also in demand as a keynote and after dinner speaker.

In writing finance and investment books I seek both to entertain and inform. I do not write a book unless I have something genuinely new to say and each of my mainstream investment books is on a subject in respect of which I am acknowledged as one of the leading experts in the world.

"No Fear Finance" is different. I have long been convinced that there is a valid "alternative" way of teaching finance to people with no quantitative background, a way which is so far as possible conceptual rather than mathematical. Not understanding finance is no longer an option in today's world and this is the only book which shows the ordinary reader how to understand everything they need to know.

"Cricket at the Crossroads" marries cricket with social history. Social change in terms of things like class and race serve as a backdrop to telling the story of English Test cricket between 1967 and 1977. Based partly on interviews with former players and partly on research in the archives at Lord's, the book is endorsed by Tony Greig. Three major controversies are analysed and explored: the Close Affair, the D'Oliveira Affair and World Series Cricket.

"The Mess We're In: why politicians can't solve financial crises" seeks to explain how and when our present financial problems arose. The answers may surprise you, as may some of the suggested solutions.

I also write fiction. My three "Mapp and Lucia" books have been optioned by BBC television, and I am currently writing a detective series under a pseudonym.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, but one sided 26 Jan. 2013
By Martin
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I'm an old unreconstructed leftie so please take all my comments with that in mind.

I bought this because I was interested in another perspective on the financial melt down & Mr Fraser-Sampson explains the crash from an avowedly right wing point of view. I don't agree with his analysis but it is well argued with a reasonably in-depth overview of the conservative/ 'orange book liberal' economic view.

Strangely his recipe for future success seems to look with considerable envy to the Chinese 'top down' model & his analysis of the banks fails to explain why reduced legal oversight would make them more rather than less risk averse.

Therefore I would recommend this book, but suggest that a wider range of opinion be read (for example; for bank risk taking- 'Whoops' by John Lanchester) before coming to any well reasoned conclusion.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars scary analysis, very good read 22 Jan. 2013
By Abbie H
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book reminded me of why I enjoyed economics at college. Good historical background put the whole mess in context. A good read for anyone interested in the subject, controversial in parts but ultimately a hard truth.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars High Infidelity 28 May 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Despite the awful cover (like a bad Andy Warhol painting) and the even worse title, this a is not a bad book.

It covers much of the post-war economic landscape in the UK and the USA and takes a look at the economic policies of both countries, especially the UK. Having said that, much of the information could have been condensed. Anyone who has studied economics (or similar subjects) should know much of the stuff off by heart.

The book would make an excellent introduction for anyone studying economics at just before university level (secondary and sixth form) and even at undergraduate level. Unfortunately, given the slight right-wing bias, some parents may not want their children being taught such things. Look at the reaction the death of Margaret Thatcher caused. The author of the book has some admiration for the now deceased grocer's daughter from Grantham.

Further, I suspect a book that teaches that most politicians cannot be trusted is not likely to go down well with any minister for education (especially the current one, Michael Gove).

Can you imagine the average sixteen-year-old suddenly putting his (or her)hand up in the air and and asking, "Why can't our pensions be linked in the same way as those of the politicians and those that work in the Bank of England?"

The truth? "Because they think you're NOTHING compared to them. Even the Queen thinks you're nothing."

The main problem is that the last chapter "Getting Ourselves Out of This Mess" doesn't really address the issues. Real freedom (as proposed by the economist the author most admires in the book,Hayek) involves real responsibilities and if people started to take real responsibility for their lives they wouldn't bother voting for politicians; there would be no point.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition
This explains the mess that politicians have created over the decades. Some solutions are offered but ultimately as the author suggests there is no way most of these solutions will be accepted by politicians or the public who will be affected. I get the impression that Guy like many Thatcherites who are from privileged backgrounds can offer solutions without suffering the detrimental effects that these would have. on the majority of the plebs
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating if a Little Frightening 27 Nov. 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
To anyone interested in how we have got into the current economic crisis, and who isn't; and wants an understanding of how we are, if possible, going to get out of it, then this brilliantly written book is a must. I am no economist, but, take a keen interest in politics and current affairs. Economics is the bedrock on which a nation or society is founded. It encompasses every aspect of our lives. Yet we, as a people, have allowed the politicians and central bankers to march us inexorably into a crisis that is quite frankly of their making.

The author takes us through an analysis of economic history of the 20th century and brings us up to date with a clear description of the causes of the current economic disaster. He concludes with a clear, precise and radical five point plan that could save our economy from the otherwise inevitable total collapse of the near future. Sadly, as the author admits, one that is unlikely to be achieved due to the need to change and indeed chain our politicians.

The subject matter of this book has the potential to make for a very stuffy and hard read. However, Mr Fraser-Sampson's style of writing is interesting, informative and very easy going on those of us not blessed with academic minds and ultra high IQ's. A fascinating study and a must for anyone remotely interested in the economics and politics of everyday survival.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A disturbing read 20 Aug. 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
There are a good many books dealing with the present economic crisis facing the UK and Europe but I have not read anything that places the mess in the context of post war history, economics, philosophy and, perhaps most importantly, politics. In essence, the political system is the root cause, not of the economic cycle, but the total mismanagement of its effects. The cardinal rule is that short term good = long term bad and visa-versa. It seems that since 1918 politicians have never missed the chance to take the easy short-term option with predictable results.

The description of the current mess is brilliant and an easy (if disturbing) read. The end of the book is a recipe for recovery but even the author realizes that none of his recommendations are likely to be taken up. The inevitable end of the mess will be horrible but the book does not discuss how this will unfold.

In short, this is a good shocking book but it could have been a tiny bit better.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars A bit dyspeptic and repetitive as a view of politics ...
A bit dyspeptic and repetitive as a view of politics and ecnomics. I was hoping for less of a grumpy rant from the club bar and more of an economic analysis.
Published 3 months ago by LolaDSmith
5.0 out of 5 stars Informative, educational, and accessible
Yes this is a right-wing argument. But then isn't it difficult to try to make any kind of argument about the financial crisis, and how to solve it, without having a strong... Read more
Published 20 months ago by Muzicnfilm4eva
4.0 out of 5 stars Thought provoking
I liked this book. It had a good mix of economics, politics, history and idealism which keeps you interested in a very detailed subject. Read more
Published 22 months ago by Auroraborealis
2.0 out of 5 stars Not quite as expected
Perhaps naively I was looking for some serious balanced analysis and, given the interconnectedness of finance, global analysis. Read more
Published 23 months ago by Telemeter
1.0 out of 5 stars A mess of a book
Read this as a libertarian right-wing rant, with a few interesting ideas thrown in. it is interesting that the only positive reviews come from people in the finance industry,... Read more
Published on 28 Jan. 2013 by M. Paine
4.0 out of 5 stars Tory takes reality check
I thoroughly recommend this book. Sampson clearly describes how politicians, of all stripes, have contributed to our economic woes. Read more
Published on 23 Jan. 2013 by impostor
5.0 out of 5 stars a must read.
This was well written and i found most of the information and opinions expressed to be of interest.

Needs a reality check with his views on defence, but generally a good... Read more
Published on 20 Dec. 2012 by Geoffrey Greaves
4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating, if Depressing Reading
This book explains how politicians follow only short term goals, the main one being to get re-elected. Read more
Published on 4 Nov. 2012 by Retiredtenor
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