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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 27 October 2006
For J. Stiglitz, it is a compelling moral case to make globalization work, especially for the poor and the developing countries.

The actual rules of the globalization game have been set by the developed countries in order to protect special individual, corporate and financial interests.

The author sees 6 areas where dramatic changes (with a huge potential of dramatic results) are necessary for the global well-being of our planet.

Poverty relief: it is a shame that billions of human beings are still living in abject conditions. Speaking of intellectual property rights in their face is a deadly joke.

Debt relief and legal help: diminish or eliminate the debt burden of the poorest countries and help the developing countries in creating environmental, judicial, anti-bribery and anti- bank secrecy laws in order to fight corruption.

Fair trade: a fair trade regime is one without subsidies and trade restrictions.

Limitation of liberalization: Markets are not perfect. Therefore, governments must have an active economic role (infrastructure, education, a sound financial and judicial system, a social safety net).

Environmental protection: measures to stop and reduce global warming

A global governance system: a new global social contract, an International Trade Tribunal, an International Bankruptcy Court, a new Global Monetary Reserve System.

The democratic deficit should be compensated by giving the developing countries more voice in the running of the IMF, the World Bank and the WTO. The draconic anti-Keynesian policies of the IMF should be stopped.

Overall, more transparency, less arms sales and certification of origin are needed.

All those measures should hugely benefit the developing AND the developed countries, although special interests would be hit. Hereafter, a few examples.

Elimination of agricultural subsidies would greatly benefit producers in developing countries and consumers in developed countries. Immigration would dramatically slow. There would be more legal than real fighting. And, last but not least, our planet could be saved.

J. Stiglitz stresses rightly that economic globalization outpaces the political one.

He is especially hard for his home country, `the deficit of last resort'.

This book, written by a superb free mind, should have a long lasting effect on world matters.

It is a must read for all those interested in the future of our planet.
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on 21 June 2007
After three decades of market fundamentalism, during which the rich have grown richer and the poor have in many countries grown poorer, Professor Stiglitz suggests practical ways of undoing the damage and creating a just and stable world economy. With chapters on fair trade, intellectual property, natural resources, climate change, multinational corporations, indebtedness, the world monetary system and democratization, this is a comprehensive prescription for reform. It is presented with a wealth of examples and backed by 46 pages of detailed notes and references. My only quibble is that the author does not face the question of how much more the world economy can grow without becoming unsustainable, but perhaps that can only be addressed once the present gross inequalities have been dealt with.
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on 12 February 2010
In his latest book "Making Globalization Work", Joseph Stiglitz, chief economist at the World Bank until January 2000, has come up with a series of suggestions for reforming the global economy in the interests of everyone.

Stiglitz's book consists of an introductory chapter ("Another World is Possible") plus 9 other chapters, each dealing with a particular facet of the global economy: Development, Fair Trade, Patents, Primary Resources, the Environment, Multinationals, Debt and Democracy. The strength of the book is that prior to offering policy suggestions in each of those areas, Stiglitz describes the problem in a straightforward and readable manner. So not only is the reader presented with possible solutions (and Stiglitz is rarely proscriptive and offers multiple ideas for solutions laying out the pro's and con's of each), they are getting an education in how the global economy currently functions. The theoretical issues are outlined clearly with ample real world examples to illustrate points.

It would be easy, as some do, to dismiss Stiglitz as an insider turned reformist - a dispenser of sticking plasters - albeit large ones - for a system that has performed in an inherently unfair way over decades, and with particularly miserable results in the last few years. I personally think that there is quite a bit more to him than that. He takes the world as it is, and has looked to radically reform it in a way that would clearly improve the lot of a good deal of those who have been marginalized, particularly in the neo-liberal era of the past four decades. Though I'd personally go further, it is a measure of his radicalism that upon contemplating issues such as the environment, and the problems with regard to getting global agreement, Stiglitz bites the bullet to suggest that what is needed to deal with an intransigent U.S. is sanctions. One can't imagine Gordon Brown, Bono or Geldof, even at their most rhetorical and crowd-pleasing, identifying the problem and the solution in such a blunt manner.

If you have a propensity to pigeon-hole writers the most appropriate nesting place for Stiglitz would be likely be that of Radical Social Democrat along with writers such as Keynes and Galbraith. His book is well worth reading if you have an interest in learning about how the Global Economy actually functions, and if your interested in radical reforms that would help it to function in the interests of the majority of the worlds population. That would certainly be a novelty.
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on 5 May 2009
In this book, Stiglitz examines the failures of globalisation and of free trade, the intellectual property rights regime that puts profit before people, the pillage of resources, climate change, the multinational corporations' impact, the debt burden, the reserve system, and the attacks on democracy and sovereignty. He claims the problem is not globalisation but the way it has been managed.

He notes of globalisation post-1990, "unchecked by competition to `win the hearts and minds' of those in the Third World, the advanced industrial countries actually created a global trade regime that helped their special corporate and financial interests, and hurt the poorest countries of the world."

He points out, "the pursuit of self-interest by CEOs, accountants, and investment banks did not lead to economic efficiency, but rather to a bubble accompanied by massive misallocation of resources. And the bubble, when it burst, led, as they almost always do, to recession." This contradicts his later, curiously formal, argument, for capitalism: "Markets are essential; markets help allocate resources, ensuring that they are well deployed." No, profitably, not well.

Third World countries have got deeper into debt. Apart from China, poverty in the developing world has increased since 1980: 40% of the world, 2.6 billion people, are poor. The number of Africans in extreme poverty has doubled. In 2001 the USA and the EU agreed to focus on developing countries' needs. But, as Stiglitz points out, they reneged. He needs to ask, why don't proposed reforms ever work?

He observes, "the European Central Bank pursues a monetary policy that, while it may do wonders for bond markets by keeping inflation low and bond prices high, has left Europe's growth and employment in shambles."

He points out that current economic policy serves the interests of the ruling class. "Wealth generates power, the power that enables the ruling class to maintain that wealth."

He exposes the class conflict at the centre of economic life. He asks, "Where will the people of the developed countries and their governments stand? In support of the few in those countries who own and run the rich corporations, or in support of the billions in the developing countries whose well-being, in some cases, whose very survival, is at stake?"

His analysis is brilliant, but his proposals amount to calling on the ruling classes of the world to act against their own interests: he is proposing reforms he knows won't be accepted.
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on 14 November 2012
Stiglitz is an economist that cares about the human consequences of the policies that he recommends. He suggests solutions to the problems caused by globalisation (identified in his previous book). If you are an economics student it will take your understanding of globalisation and world trade beyond the traditional textbook argument (principle of comparative advantage) that argues world trade is a good thing that should always be supported. Strong 'A' level students and degree level students will benefit from reading this book.
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on 14 February 2011
This book is not a light read, nor is it based around the detailing and repetition of a single theme. As soon as I finished reading this book, I went back to the start and read it again, because it covers a lot of ground and I correctly felt that I had not fully absorbed all the disparate themes and proposals he puts forward.

To me this book addresses accurately most off the important issues regarding globalisation and international trade. The comprehensive critique of the free market ideology and the international organisations which transmit and enforces this ideology is potent and benefits from his previous insider experience. He highlights especially well the way that special corporate interests prevail within the "democratic deficit" of these powerful institutions. He is also strong on analysing the many financial crisis (the previous ones) and currency issues faced by developing countries, and taught me a bit about how these countries get a raw deal out of the whole reserve currency and international finance area. I already thought many of the IMF's policies to treat financial problems had been negative, but in this book it is spelt out comprehensively. There is a good part about Argentina resisting IMF strong arm tactics and then starting to prosper before it had received IMF "assistance". Shows the IMF to be a device of better service to bailing out the jumpy herd of foreign investors, than helping developing countries in their time of need. He explains how many developing countries are forced by fear to carry expensive large reserves, pay off unsustainable old debts and practise austere economic policies in order to appear to be good candidates for foreign investment, while the reality is that investment looks forward and is attracted by a prosperous economy, not one in which debt repayment and austerity policies are sucking it dry.

His proposals are of the nuts and bolts kind, most of which seemed very plausible and desirable. However writing this a few years later after an economic down turn (which was partly caused by personal debt issues in the US which he correctly flags up before it was general knowledge), one can imagine that the jobless recovery of the US and perhaps also Europe is putting even more pressure on these countries to look out for their selfish home interests in trade negotiation matters, and I would fear that some of Stiglitz's proposals have become both more urgent and more hard to attain at the same time. Until unemployment is tackled in powerful countries, their attention will be less than it ought to be regarding some of these issues.
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on 4 November 2009
An easy read and good travel companion, Stiglitz's book is a passionate look at development issues in the developing world, and how in his opinion these countries have suffered because of advise given by the World Bank and IMF. Stiglitz's view is definitely against quick market liberation policies for all. It's a great overview of the development subject by an economist who know what he's talking about. A book I'd definitely recommend.
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on 12 February 2015
Very informative.
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on 11 September 2013
Not my type of book but my Grandson requested it for sixth form lessons and finds it interesting to read
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on 14 December 2014
Book is very informative and useful.
Price .......OK
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