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Capitalism 4.0: The Birth of a New Economy Paperback – 20 Jun 2011

4.1 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Paperbacks (20 Jun. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1408809737
  • ISBN-13: 978-1408809730
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.5 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 384,732 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

'Anatole Kaletsky is a brilliant economist and a gifted writer, a combination as valuable as it is unusual. Capitalism 4.0 will add greatly to our understanding of the future of global finance' (George Soros)

'Anatole Kaletsky is one of the handful of heavyweight UK commentators who set the tone of public discourse on economic policy. His book goes well beyond typical comment to give an insightful analysis of the recent financial crash in a broad historical context' (Vince Cable)

'Idiosyncratic, entertaining and contrarian' (Sunday Times)

'A hugely ambitious and controversial account of the credit crunch which brilliantly traces the hotchpotch of economic theories that underpins it, and convincingly explains how it came to go so catastrophically wrong ... Kalestsky offers a genuinely new take on the credit crunch' (Literary Review)

Book Description

The definitive book about the state of Capitalism; now and in the future, that debunks myths and presents groundbreaking new theories

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Athan TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 4 Jan. 2011
Format: Hardcover
Books about the latest crisis are predominantly from the angle that "we're all doomed."

Kaletsky, whom I have admired and read a lot over the past 20-odd years, resolutely does not think we are. His main thesis is that capitalism has suffered setbacks before and each time (namely after the Great Depression and after the stagflationary seventies) it has reinvented itself and thrived. He identifies four "megatrends" (three really: globalisation, the great moderation and the democratization of debt) that remain in place and will keep the world economy going in the medium term.

The book is full of deep and rather iconoclastic analysis, as well as packed with facts that are not widely publicised. Trouble is, I've just finished it and I remain unconvinced.

How come? First of all, Kaletsky provides the best analysis, bar none, of how we got into this mess. Global imbalances, animal spirits, the "Minsky moment," "reflexivity," income inequality, it's all there. Somehow, though, Kaletsky thinks all of the above added up to less than eveybody thinks and a single man, the doctrinaire Hank Paulson, managed to bring down a world that was already on the mend. He devotes 28 whole pages to his bete noire!

Funnily enough, the book then goes on to explain how we should deal with all these problems, even though they did not really cause the recession. Kinda weird.

Regardless, the book is well worth a read, because it is comfortably the most coherent "What me worry" account of the world economy to emerge so far. With no sense of irony, the author actually lists many of the risks the economy is facing in a chapter of precisely that name!
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Format: Hardcover
Capitalism is dead; long live capitalism. That's the central tenet of veteran business journalist Anatole Kaletsky's instructive, perceptive tome. Global capitalism has served humanity pretty well over the centuries, and it has survived by changing with the times. The aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis and the near collapse of the world's financial system demand a major revamp of free market thinking. The new version, which Kaletsky posits as the fourth in capitalism's history, will take its lessons from the past and adapt them to harness market forces in the 21st century. getAbstract recommends his thorough recap of what's happened and his vision of what probably will happen - including economic recovery - to all those looking for a cogent handle on the economic future.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought this book to get a better handle on what is going on with our economy and was not disappointed. The book is understandable by a non-specialist, cuts through all the conflicting points of view and provides a long view.

Overall I would heartily recommend this book trying to make sense of the current financial mess. It is amazing how differently you see things that other people write about the economic crisis once you have read this book. There are so many conflicting opinions it can drive you crazy!
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Format: Hardcover
Events have humbled Anatole Kaletsky's Capitalism 4.0, turning it from a fascinating but erratic book into a bit of a mess of failed prediction. Kaletsky's central contention, that post 2007-2008 crisis, Capitalism will evolve into a more successful version he repeatedly and annoyingly calls Capitalism 4.0 - is being shot to pieces by the so-called sovereign debt crisis, the shredding of the Eurozone, the replacement of democratically elected governments by bond market dictated martinets who will impose austerity (Greece and Italy so far) and soon to be revealed horrors. Defenders of Kaletsky will argue that he makes disclaimers about these possibilities and that what will emerge may prove him right in the medium to long term. But many of his optimistic predictions look wrong to me, in the light of events.

On the positive side, I particularly liked some of the chapters on the crisis - his devastating critique of Henry Paulson is the best so far, and also the one about the myths about the debt is very good indeed. These show the cool analytical skill Kaletsky ably demonstrated in the Times. But his criticisms (not backed up at all) of Paul Krugman - who eats his lunch in the NY Times - and Ed Balls for their so-called left wing approach and calls for more Capitalism 2.0 (post Roosevelt controls that seemed to work pretty well) don't bear scrutiny. He seems to be ambivalent about the smoke and mirrors of Reagan/ Thatcher - his 3.0 version. I am afraid the facts show that this era- which came crashing down in 2008 - resulted in the rich getting richer and the poor, poorer and much lower rates of real growth than in the era of 2.0

So the fudge of his 4.0 - taking the best of 3.0 (the freedom bit) with the best of 2.0 (sensible regulation) is going to be the new Capitalism - is more than pre-mature. It may be total nonsense.

This book is well worth reading, despite being thrown off the rails.
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Format: Hardcover
I know of Kaletsky as a young adult looking at the moody'ish photos of him that must have been in the Times reading the articles and being impressed as someone who knows so much more than little old me. As a "serious" journalist you are culturally trained as it were to admire such figures. Now, as an older person and somewhat more experienced and a little better educated it's upon reading books such as this that one can truly see how many supposed "serious" journalists can sadly have a strangely limited field of understanding of their "field" and how we take on board their supposed great knowledge so unquestioningly. This is understandable, we are culturally fine tuned by the media and they themselves tend not to read theory, become detached from most types of work due to the nature of theirs, and their knowledge base becomes "in-house"; by that I mean knowledge limited and linked with the people/companies/corporations etc that they base their writing on. This can become a serious problem, and nee, an accusation when reading about notions of economics, obviously in this case capitalism and it's effect on humanity. Therefore with Kaletsky's book I found myself disappointed to read a basic, rather broad and in truth rather banal account of the modern state of capitalism which for many, will perhaps lack that key something that gives it that human dimension.

While I don't like to label any writer with a political stance, it does seem that Kaletsky as a "liberal" writer has perhaps (actually I doubt in fairness he does) a naive notion of what capitalism actually is and the nature of power in human relationships. I think if I read anything more about "greed" and "ambition" as the true roots of capitalism I'm going to scream.
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