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Supercrash : How to Hijack the Global Economy Paperback – 28 Oct 2014
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'One former self-publishing stalwart who has found his métier in pointed, pithy documentary cartooning is Darryl Cunningham. His latest, Supercrash, skilfully synthesises in three parts the causes and costs of the 2008 financial crisis... Cunningham's crisp, clever graphics, symbols and examples demystify the complexities of credit default swaps, hedge funds and other devices behind the crash. He... challenges the way we think and resist change, even when the alternative is disaster... Supercrash is a hugely readable, revelatory condemnation and call to arms.' - The Independent
'A remarkable read, visually clever and inventive... an eminently readable work on an important subject.' - --Forbidden Planet International
An interview with Darryl appeared on Broken Frontier
'Cunningham works with visual metaphors and symbolism... the result is... a provocative, thoughtful, visual essay that tackles the language of ideas... Supercrash will leave you better informed and, more than that, it will leave you angry. Angry that we live in a culture that has effectively handed control to the financial classes who have divorced themselves emotionally and politically from the rest of us. We are paying for their errors and their greed. It's proving a high price.' - --Herald Scotland
About the Author
DARRYL CUNNINGHAM is the author of the highly-acclaimed Psychiatric Tales and Science Tales, shortlisted for Best Book British Comic Awards 2012. He lives in Keighley, Yorkshire.
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It's in three parts. One on Rand's life, the second on the 2008- financial crash, and the third on what Cunningham sees as the selfishness that's overtaken Western economies since. Cunningham's theme is that all today's ills started with those who applied Rand's philosopy, Objectivism, to the economy - and his conclusion, "It's time we rejected this selfish philosophy".
He's entitled to his opinion, as am I. (I'm a practicing Objectivist, i.e. I agree with Rand, so I believe the opposite.) Yet I still enjoyed the book. It gives a simple walkthrough of how what became known as "neoliberalism" spread across Western governments, caused many ills and shifts in inequality. I feel it gives government far too easy a ride. For example, how much of the banking industry's easy profits have come from the implicit understanding that their private profits can be made at public risk, ie. the bankers know they'll get a bailout? The promise of that bailout is a government problem; without it, the out-of-control risks being taken across the banking world would carry proportionate consequences for the bankers. But I would think that, of course.
In the spirit of constructive criticism, he makes several unforced errors. First (p.47) he quotes two early reviewers of Rand's "Atlas Shrugged". (Chambers; 'To a gas chamber - go!" and Kirsch's "arguing for a dictatorship" - both of which are precisely the opposite of Objectivism's celebration of life and the individual; neither reviewer had read the book. Second, the author's view that "an Objectivist was expected to judge and be judged by others" may have been true of Rand's young acolytes, but isn't part of the broader philosophy. And third, the author conflates Rand's Objectivism with neo-liberal conservatism - which it isn't. Both liberal and conservative governments today are Big-Government authoritarians; neither of these approaches are Objectivist.
But whether you're on the left or right politically, you'll agree with large parts of it, although perhaps for different reasons. It's an entertaining read and a worthwhile purchase. Go and buy it now on Kindle; you can read it in your lunchhour and it's sure to teach you something.
Cunningham's ability to take dense topics (medicine, science, technology, economics, philosophy) and distill them down to a few simple sentences - married with his entertaining imageery is, in my view, un-matched in modern graphic novels.
What's more, Supercrash is not a slim edition - it's a weighty tome worth savouring over several sittings and after much contemplation, lives up to repeat reads.
I can't wait for whatever he tackles next.
I am struck by the effectiveness of Cunningham's use of the cartoon strip/graphic novel as a medium for conveying complex ideas and with this book he must be put in the same class as Larry Gonick and Art Spiegelman, I found his explanation of Derivatives and their use and abuse by the banking industry, masterful.
This book points up a lot of the hypocrisy in the attitudes of both politicians and financiers both pre and post crash and is worth reading, You may not agree with all that Cunningham says but he is provocative and makes points worthy of serious consideration, especially within the context of an upcoming UK election. I did not feel that I had wasted my time or money.
I bought this in the Kindle edition and in this case found, for once, that the graphic medium did not lose significantly in being read on the Kindle. The bold graphics and texts may be in shades of grey, but they are completely readable on a Paperwhite and the page presentation was not disrupted in any way.
The final third of the book makes a number of political points, such as the supposed attempts by the UK government to dismantle the welfare state, ignoring the fact that UK government debt as a proportion of national income has continued to rise to unprecedented levels this decade, and is now around double the percentage earlier regarded as acceptable to financial commentators.
Any parallels between Ukip in the UK and Tea-party groups in the US, now appears rather far-fetched, though the comments on US right-wing politics is helpful in providing some background to the extraordinary rise in popularity of Trump, and his efforts to highjack the US Republican party.
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Essentially the book is about Rand, the crash and
I had never heard of Rand before.Read more