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IOU: The Debt Threat and Why We Must Defuse It Hardcover – 6 Sep 2004

4.4 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Fourth Estate; First Edition edition (6 Sept. 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007178980
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007178988
  • Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 16.2 x 3.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,557,727 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

‘A searing critique…Noreena Hertz is angry – and wants you to get angry too.’ Observer

‘Cuts through the jargon and acronyms to show that the debt crisis is not just about money but about people, and its solutions are not about charity, but justice.’ Bono

'In this brave and provocative book Noreena Hertz weaves together a compelling argument against an unjust international order with a groundbreaking and empowering agenda for change. Something can be done to create a better and safer world for all of us. Everyone should read this book.'
Bob Geldof

Praise for ‘The Silent Takeover’:

‘Noreena Hertz’s The Silent Takeover is the most compelling description yet of the new world and what it means, and a call to arms to every citizen to reassert an idea of the public realm.’ Will Hutton

‘Noreena Hertz is one of the world’s leading young thinkers.’ Observer

About the Author

In 2001 Noreena Hertz was voted one of the 'Best Young British' in the New Statesman. She is currently Associate Director at the Centre for International Business and Management at Cambridge University. With the critically acclaimed publication of ‘The Silent Takeover’ and ‘IOU’ she has become recognised as a leading expert on economic globalization. Her op ed pieces have appeared in the Observer, the Guardian and the Financial Times. Her television and radio appearances include Question Time, Newsnight, Start the Week and The World at One, amongst others, and she has been profiled in numerous publications. Noreena also regularly takes part in debates and panels with leading public figures.


Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This is certainly no Moore-esque rant about the dark side of capitalism. Hertz exposes then ruthlessly demolishes the almost criminal system which has allowed so much debt to be accumulated. Her meticulous research and accessible prose make this an informative and understandable book on what is a complex economic subject. In her conclusion she goes the extra mile and, unlike many other commentators, comes off the fence to suggest radical solutions. Buy this book .Read this book. Then make sure everyone you know does likewise.
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Format: Hardcover
This is an incredible book: candid, readable, true.
Noreena Hertz manages to convey the complex subject of Third World Debt with such effortless elegance that one is left wondering why the world's richest counties cannot see the wood for the trees.
Perhaps the real question though is why debt ever fell out of public consciousness. The book questions this along with the complex politics lurking behind the debt issue. And it makes the issue very, very current.
Whether your politics swing to the right or the left, I highly recommend this work. It is an accessible and compelling read - a mystery story based on fact, with a solution as brilliant as it is simple.
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Format: Paperback
Developing world debt was high on the international agenda around the millenium, with the Jubilee Campaign enjoying some remarkable success. Much was promised. Several years later, Noreena Hertz explains, very little has happened, and the issue has slipped out of the public eye.

IOU is a useful overview of debt, of where it came from and how it came to be - lending the absolute maximum to the developing world has been a very profitable strategy. The crippling debt may look like a terrible mistake now, but it was and remains entirely deliberate, with richer countries and banks aggressively touting loans, and reaping the rewards.

Hertz' account of the various chapters of lending, first governments, then banks flush with dollars from the 1970s oil crisis, and then the IMF, captures all the complexity of the issue without making it overly dense. She also unpacks the potential consequences of the debt problem, both for the developing world as it struggles to keep up payments, but also what happens in the developed world when a country defaults. Suffice to say that with commodity prices rising and debt becoming increasingly painful, the problem is getting worse, not better.

Fortunately, the last chapters deal with solutions, and there are some. The scale of international cooperation is daunting, but there are precedents and possibilities. All that's missing, like so many of these things, is the will to act.
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Format: Paperback
...well it's actually not THAT bad but someone had to balance the other eulogising comments from the hip young globalization-bashers (just like our Noreeena). This is not a well written book and there is not much new in it. It idolises Bono etc. in such a way as to make your eyes water and you feel a little bit of sick in your throat. Or maybe that's my indigestion again. Gahh, the paper is bad too and the paragraphs go on and on with no end...

Anyway, this is a rather right on, trendy and 'hip' take on a serious topic that nevertheless does indeed deserve attention.
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