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The Truth About Markets: Their Genius, Their Limits, Their Follies
The Truth About Markets: Their Genius, Their Limits, Their Follies
by John Kay
Edition: Hardcover

35 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent book, 18 Jun. 2003
Professor Kay is one of the leading economists in the UK and writer of one of the best books on corporate strategy (“Foundations of Corporate Success”). In his latest book he aims to explain, describe and justify the requisite framework within which the market economy prospers.
Kay argues, that contrary to common belief, what we refer to as the American Business Model, characterized by unrestrained individualism and minimal government intervention, is not the characteristic framework of successful economies. Indeed the “genius of the market economies to achieve co-ordination without a co-coordinator” works effectively only by being “embedded” in a social, political and cultural context. It is the quality these latter factors which differentiates between poor and rich states. It follows that the principal role of the state should be to allow these conditions to prosper.
Apart from being an authoritative book making a convincing argument this is also an exceptionally well-written and entertaining book, which will appeal to wide range readers. Through a series of “little stories”, he accompanies the reader from the failures of the UK electricity industry to the flower market of San Remo, in order to make each point. This approach brings to life his arguments making it interesting and accessible, even to readers who might lack a background in economics.
Overall, I think this is a very informative and highly rewarding book and would definitely recommend it to people interested in gaining a deeper understanding into the way the markets operate.


The Truth About Markets: Their Genius, Their Limits, Their Follies
The Truth About Markets: Their Genius, Their Limits, Their Follies
by John Kay
Edition: Hardcover

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended., 3 May 2003
I thoroughly enjoyed John Kay’s new book, “The Truth about Markets”. After reading the comments by Joseph Stiglitz and Mervyn King I could not wait to begin the book.
I was not disappointed; this was a carefully researched and highly informative book with a very ambitious goal; to provide readers with an insight into how markets operate in an effective manner. This is accomplished to a great degree and I genuinely felt that I had a better understanding of a wealth of general economic issues.
What is perhaps more surprising is the fact that it is done in a way that makes the book very accessible (by using a wide range of different examples). You can expect this to be as witty and interesting as Kay’s Financial Times column. Fun and easy to read I would definitely recommend this book to people like me, who even though they don’t have a background in economics, share a keen interest in understanding issues such as the collapse of the stock market and the difference in wealth across the world.


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