Capitalism 4.0: The Birth of a New Economy Paperback – 20 Jun 2011
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'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)
The definitive book about the state of Capitalism; now and in the future, that debunks myths and presents groundbreaking new theoriesSee all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
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!
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!
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.
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Excellent book. We have lived through a financial crisis of unprecedented proportions. This is the most comprehensive explanation of the events and the causes. Read morePublished 22 months ago by mr david j edwards
I loved this book. Showed real depth as well as breadth and made much more sense to me than some of the other explanations I have read. Read morePublished on 22 Jan. 2014 by David
The current economic crisis has led to confusion as to 'what next'. As a piece of grafitti in Athens said' Marx is dead, God is dead... and I don't feel very well lately'. Read morePublished on 22 Jun. 2013 by christodoulos kyradjis
I love it!
I also like author's optimism
Nice overview of the recent economic history, current situation and future perspective
If you want an accessible, broad view of recent global economic history and the prospects for the next few decades, this is possibly the best book on offer. Read morePublished on 13 April 2012 by Feyd
This book has been one of the most enlightening reads I have encountered. So many of the questions I have had and perceptions I felt during the recent past, about our world have... Read morePublished on 7 Jan. 2011 by H. A. Adams
This is a great book. It presents the recent events in the world economy from a much longer perspective. Read morePublished on 29 Oct. 2010 by S. Aguilar-Millan