Who Runs Britian?....and Who's To Blame for The Economic Mess We're In Paperback – 30 Oct 2008
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A compelling portrait of early 21st century casino capitalism ... essential reading. (Howard Davies, The Times)
Fluent, incredibly up to the minute look at Britain ... Peston, in relaxed, conversational style is a great travelling companion along the highways of finance. (Observer)
This lucid and timely guide to the world of turbo-capitalism ... absorbing book, essential reading for anyone who wants to know how the British economy now operates. (Peter Wilby, Guardian)
starkly lucid (Polly Toynbee, Guardian)
Peston catches the zeitgeist of Britain and the paradox that is Gordon Brown. (Financial Times)
engaging (Harry Mount, Telegraph)
Peston is our rock... The triumph of Robert Peston makes me proud of my old paper, the BBC and of journalism in general. (Sarah Sands in Independent on Sunday )
This remains the most riveting book on finance you may ever bother to read. (Evening Standard)
I recommend this book (Nicholas Lezard in The Guardian)
wonderful clarity (Sunday Telegraph )
this remains the most riveting book on finance you may ever bother to read (Scotsman)
Book of the year (Financial Times)
BBC Business Editor Robert Peston lifts the lid on credit crunch Britain and the rise of the super-rich.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Peston identifies inefficiencies within the decision making system of which pensions is a good example. In 1997 Gordon Brown raided the pension funds of final salary schemes, removing tax credit on dividends. the reason behind Brown's policy was clear. He wanted to raise revenue to reduce the structural deficit in the public finances. Treasury officials expressed concern but Brown went ahead. The result was a decline in income to pensions funds over a five year period from £7.1 bn to £3.3.bn. Final salary schemes collapsed. Yet Brown's policy was the logical extension of Nigel Lawton's 1988 decision to limit the amount of surplus schemes could retain and of Norman Lamont's reduction in tax credits to pension schemes in 1993. Both were designed to raise revenue.
The political myopia demonstrated by politicians then became a farce with the introduction of stakeholder pensions. Theoretically designed to prevent alleged mis-selling and provide for the less wealthy, the stakeholder became a tax-free vehicle for the rich. Pensions minister, Ian McCartney, ignored unwelcome research statistics because they came from a Conservative David Willetts.Read more ›
What is also good is that he evidently has talked to the people involved and so it includes a huge amount of personal views from some of the main protagonists. His explanation of the greed of the finacial wizards, the wrong headed approach of the government and the effects on you and I is very clear - the only problem after reading this is that the depths of the problems in the financial sector look a lot worse and its clear that we as individuals will pay for this collective failure.
I did not give it five stars because of a style issue is that certain things were repeated a number of times so that it read a bit like a collection of essays but overall if you want to understand why we have the problems in the financial sector and now the real world economy then I can recommend this. Think of the plus when someone asks you what a Structured Investment Vehicle (SIV) is - and thanks to this you will know. You'll be bemused was to why it was ever thought a good idea, but you will know what it was and why valuing them became such a problem.
And finally it comprehensively shows the failings of the Prime Minister when he was chancellor - he may not have caused all the problems but the policies he pursued have made the problem worse for us all - and our grandchildren as well. Read this and I suspect that you will not see him as 'Super Gordon' after this.
Damm good read - making financial economics interesting !
It gives colourful insight into the big personalities ( Philip Green, Stuart Rose, Allan Leighton ) the big financial organizations ( hedge funds private equity firms, and globalised investment banks) and the big politics which provide the backdrop to the dance of excess and greed that led us into the current melt down.
Much of the material is not new but it is very well told. It's a journalist's book rather than that of an historian. In truth it is really a number of different short books pulled together between one set of covers. It is a series of stand alone stories: Arcadia Group, Marks & Spencer's, Royal Mail, a who's who of hedge funds and private equity and the background to the sale of honours.
Peston has had a ringside seat for the past few years and this book allows us to share his privileged access. Most of the individual stories are fascinating, well written and related by a deeply well connected and knowledge insider. Although, to be honest, the chapter on pensions is rather hard going and only for real enthusiasts like Lord Turner who gets numerous mentions.
The title is a little misleading and echo perhaps of the seminal "Anatomy of Britain". by Anthony Sampson. "Credit Crunch: The Suspects" might have been a better alternative.
And finally in one sense the book is a mystery story. Does Peston like Gordon Brown and the Labour party or not? He seems unsure himself but at least it keeps the reader guessing.
All in all an adornment to any book shelf.
Not as good as his scoops!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book was as expected, a present for my husband which I am sure he will be pleased to have.Published 7 months ago by Frances Russell
A well written book giving an insight into those who ostensibly run Britain. The author gives a genuine expert economic understanding of what I suspect a lot of people already... Read morePublished 20 months ago by Mr. L. Barrett
I enjoyed this book, very well written with good detail, the research is excellent and it certainly opens ones eyes and gives greater insightPublished 21 months ago by ProfPenguin
Interesting read, gives you an insight into the politics of this country - very good.Published on 11 July 2014 by D.Enamu
Well written and easy to follow. Basically Bobby P is telling us that the super-rich run the world, and that this is getting more so, not less. Read morePublished on 27 May 2014 by Mike Duncombe
Excellently researched, good and balanced account of the UK retail, political and financial institutions and there pracrices . Read morePublished on 15 May 2014 by ruth harrison
This is not an easy read but well worth the effort. It sheds light on a lot of things and is very thought provokingPublished on 13 Feb. 2014 by I. Asquith