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36 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thieves, Their Abetters, and Possible Solutions, 5 Sep 2011
This review is from: Freefall: Free Markets and the Sinking of the Global Economy (Paperback)
I am a chemist, not an economist, and being interested in understanding what went wrong with the world economy in the past few years, began reading some books on the subject. Having read some neoclassical (Chicago School) opinions (Raghuram G. Rajan's (with Luigi Zingales) "Saving Capitalism from the Capitalists" and "Faultlines"), I was left with the unsatisfying sensation that something was missing in their arguments. So, I turned to an opposing school of economic thought (the Neo-Keynesian School) and decided to read Joseph E. Stiglitz's "Freefall - Free Markets and the Sinking of the Global Economy". I have just finished reading it. What a lucid and clear-minded exposure of what led up to the problems that culminated in the 2008 financial debacles that have shocked the world! Stiglitz points out rather clearly (for someone who does not think in terms of political economy daily) how damaging the Reagan-Thatcher legacy and the subsequent hands-off, no-regulations policies of U.S. and U.K. (and many other) governments concerning financial markets have been to the world economy. (No wonder Margaret Thatcher gave up studying Chemistry - she couldn't possibly have made a good Chemist!). "Freefall" also discusses what was done by the Bush and Obama administrations to "solve" the misery created by the thieves who called (and most of whom continue to call) themselves "bankers". It took Obama off the mental pedestal I had put him on! Stiglitz suggests solutions to the problems which, not being an economist, I hesitate to judge. They seem rational and, more importantly, address the human misery that financial and political "leaders" (the thieves and their abetters) have created for us. Makes one wonder whether we should not find some other way to finance electoral campaigns in our so-called "democracies". This book should be made compulsory reading for all high school and undergraduate students and I highly recommend it to any literate person who likes to understand the world around him(her)self.
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