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4.4 out of 5 stars77
4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 11 September 2012
This is a great book especially for us that don't have a background in economics. It explains the real causes of the current crisis and what steps we need to take to put an end to this crisis. It's a pity some of the Finance Ministers around Europe don't read this and apply the simple economics to end this crisis now. I would say the book is also an excellent counter argument against right wing economics.
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on 27 December 2012
This book is unfortunately very relevant! It explains very clearly in non-technical terms the financial mayhem USA and Europe are in, the basic reasons for this tragic situation, and the dire consequences for the countries most affected of it. It's not to be avoided that some of his reasoning is a direct criticism of the liberal politics implemented by Republican Presidents from Reagan and onwards, even if also the Democratic Presidents get their fair share of the blame. The very promising title of the book, is a receipt that will meet a lot of resistance from affluent people all over the world, and of course from most Republicans and Conservatives. But on the other hand, the alternative, let the market sort out the situation without interference, is for most people too costly. If you wonder why the world isin the worst depession sinc the thirties and possible ways to get bck to normality, this is a book to read.
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on 21 February 2013
This is one more great work by Paul Krugman, where the author is urging policy makers and the people to do the right thing and end the current depression. Unfortunately the priorities of republicans in the US and the conservatives in Europe is austerity at any cost. At least, when things get really awry, no body would be able to claim that there was no early warning.
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on 4 October 2012
Plenty of others have gone over the details of Krugman's arguments. But it's not a long book, and it's an easy enough read if you have any interest in economics and politics. The arguments are mostly in human behavioural terms, explaining how you and I have reacted to the crisis, and how we would react to a properly managed intervention.

His core plea that the governments do something, rather than wait for the markets (who seem to be still making money without a recovery), has some considerable resonance for those of us suffering with depressed businesses. We have been waiting four years for the recovery, and it seems years away. The optimistic tone that something could be done is somehow more reassuring than the pervasive baleful negativity of the austerity demanded by Serious People. For that alone, it is worth reading.
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on 30 September 2012
On the day and age of populism and easy answers, "morality economics" takes foothold everywhere...

With so many lies used to justify "hidden agendas" for a "strongest society", Krugman rebates these somewhat established fantasies one by one without going into much unnecessary technical detail (there is room for that in the technical/academic publications).

As a footnote; some "center obsessed" European press is presenting this book as "American" perspective... don't fully go with this. Not only it is a global economy (with different multiplicative factors and consumer cultures), but also the author (when necessary), points the "small" (but important) differences between USA and EU (there is also a full final chapter specifically about EU in the book).
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on 13 July 2012
This is a well written and easy to understand even for anyone without a basic understanding of economics. It goes a long way to explain why the world is facing a financial crisis and offers a convincing argument that the US and European governments need to change tack if we are to tackle this.
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on 16 February 2013
Esta crisis mundial ha sido abordada desde la simplista y desinformadora perspectiva de los medios y los políticos.
Muy interesante conocer la opinión de un ilustrado economista y descubrir que la solución no va por donde los banqueros y sus aliados políticos nos quieren hacer creer.
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on 25 May 2012
Probably, the only book you should ever need to understand the economic crisis at its current stage. Many excellent books have been written on the economic crisis - my favorite are "how the market fail" by John Cassidy and "fault line" by Raghuram Rajan - but krugman's brings something else : a full set of analysis to reframe the "austery VS Growth" debate (By the way, at this point of time, it really is VS and not both together as the idealistic rhetoric we sometime hear !)

I tend to believe that Krugman has already being instrumental in influencing the terms of this debate in the US, Chapter 10 on Europe provides a brillant - and much awaited - analysis of the situation we're in and a "save the euro" realistic view, something in short supply by the present times ...

The book is not perfect : krugman readers will return - once again - at the washington coop for kids, demand management being the key topic, one might suspect that krugman has no clue of what supply management and long term growth is (other writings by Krugman would correct that feeling). The but for the key message it brings which in a nutshell is "forget austerity, it is self defeating, have a look at Keynes, that might be helpful", Krugman is definitely the most efficient ...

Interested readers willing to go beyond Krugman - but in the same direction - should get "the holy grail of macroeconomics" by richard Koo, same line, more detailled analysis with focus on japan lost decade (the 90's)... by the way what is the industrial country with the best performance since the year 2012 began ... Japan, the 180% debt/GDP country ...

Angela, François, read Krugman before the next "we saved Europe but nobody has noticed it" european summit
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 6 June 2012
Paul Krugman, a Nobel laureate in economics and authority on John Maynard Keynes has written a brilliant book explaining why the current austerity policies of most western leaders are unnecessary and counterproductive.
Krugman puts forward convincing arguments for ending the recession by kickstarting the economy with ambitious government spending projects and reducing the deficit when the economy revives.
this updated edition(2013) of 'End This Depression Now!' is an important book and should be compulsory reading for the politicians and bankers who helped create the present financial crisis.
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Paul Krugman has won a Nobel Prize in economics. Reading this book, which is a plea for governments to pour money into their economies to generate spending, I became convinced that this man may be an expert at accounting and high finance but knows little about world geopolitics. I'm no economist; I'm a small business owner in Ireland. A canary in a coal mine in a marginal economy. So I apologise for sounding in any way disrespectful.

Krugman states that he started to see problems developing in the American economy in 2003. I noticed that September twelfth 2001 was considered by some major American firms to be a good day to bury bad news. Even more of them buried their bad news on September thirteenth 2001. At that point I knew the American economy was sliding to a crash, which had nothing to do with the events of September eleventh. Since major companies in Ireland, from Waterford Glass to Philips, were already sending manufacturing to Eastern Europe or China and computer work to India, where labour, rent and electricity were cheaper, I knew the boom was essentially over. I made arrangements to repay part of my mortgage early, clear credit cards and take on no debts. From then on, I was telling pollsters that the economy had already crashed, but was being held up by house prices. This meant that householders were no better off, because what they gained in higher wages they spent on higher mortgages. The Irish government was raking in money from every house built. Polls continued to radiate confidence. Then the banks crashed.

Krugman makes many visits to the 1930s and sees how the Depression was lifted by war spending. He wants the American government to do this again, saying that it has increased spending on social supports, food and medical aid for out of work people, but not on schemes that will give them jobs or improve transport. He wants a return to a profitable spending consumer driven economy, saying that when people have money they borrow and spend. Without money they practise thrift.

The economist doesn't seem to understand that manufacturing has shifted to Asia, mainly China, where clothes are put on hangers before shipping to America because this means Wal-Mart doesn't have to pay Americans to do it. In China, coal mines and power plants are next door to manufacturing and nobody in charge cares about workers' lungs or polluted rivers. In China, health and safety standards as we know them do not exist or are ignored. This is why Rare Earth Elements which make the components of smartphones, jet engines and any other appliance that has been getting lighter and smarter, are almost all mined and refined - filthily - in China.

Consumption has screeched to a halt. Most consumers now understand the disastrous consequences of industrial and domestic pollution and waste. Even those who don't want to know about the already-present climate change can see contaminated water tables, mountains of tide-borne garbage and plumes of escaping methane. And if your house is in danger of foreclosure, haven't you learnt a lesson about how many handbags you need?

Krugman barely glances at small businesses, except to say that they should take out loans to boost the economy. Small businesses are the first to suffer from a crash and the first to boost the economy out of it. A staff member at a local newspaper told me shortly after the crash that he could no longer sell advertising. This staff person had already taken three pay cuts, each of ten percent. I said, people have no jobs. They are now time rich and cash poor. They can walk their own dogs, tend their own garden, iron their own clothes, mind their own children. They can't eat out.

Krugman admits that rich people are becoming richer while the middle class are shrinking down to the poorer end of the scale. Yet he likes rich people because they spend. Actually, they don't. The newly rich hedge fund managers he mentions, buying mansions to tear them down and build bigger mansions, may be so insecure as to splurge. But the really rich do not have money by spending it. They buy property and resources. Property to rent and to push up the cost of property for home and business owners. Resources which they corner, like land, mines, water, forests, industries so that poorer people are pushed off and cannot make a living. In 2016 more than 50% of the world's wealth is held by one percent of the world's people. Rich people cling to money which they will never need, buying four homes around the world so as to avoid being domiciled anywhere long enough to pay tax, leaving entire mansions and apartment blocks empty as a hedge against the end of oil. Rich people spend on luxury goods which gives money back to other rich people who get the goods made by immigrant factory workers. They employ people as cheaply as possible, because they need a distance to reassure themselves that they are rich and stop others getting to be rich.

Krugman bemoans that in America printing money is done by the state purchasing bank bonds to give banks cash, but then banks still do not lend as interest rates are low. In Britain, their quantitative easing which he doesn't mention, is done by paying civil servants with imaginary money, topping up their bank accounts with wages that have no gold behind them. Getting it to people who will spend in other words. A lot of this goes straight to banks of course in mortgages, credit card payments, school fees when many schools and colleges have taken out major loans for renovations so are essentially owned by banks. But it's an alternative that Krugman doesn't consider.

Krugman doesn't say what infrastructure he would recommend - in a world of rising seas, governments are having to consider sea barriers and shore evacuations. Why renovate a city you may have to abandon? Krugman also doesn't realise that everyone now hates the banks, so they are not taking out loans. As I write the European Central Bank has reduced its base interest rate to zero.

I recommend these books to anyone interested in the new reality of the world's economy. Most of them are written by journalists.

The Price Of Thirst
The People's Republic of Chemicals
Meltdown In Tibet
Money Logging
Disaster Capitalism
The Disaster Profiteers
Why It's Kicking Off Everywhere
This Changes Everything
No Logo
The Elements Of Power
Retreat From A Rising Sea
Green Capital
What Has Nature Ever Done For Us?
Nickel And Dimed
Glaciers: The Politics of Ice
Future Arctic
The Bankers
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