Archive for the ‘Financial Crisis’ Category

RSA Animate have created a brilliant animated version of David Harvey‘s recent talk at the RSA on the crises of capitalism:

David Harvey teaches at the Graduate Centre of the City University of New York, and is the author of Companion to Marx’s Capital, The Limits to Capital, and Spaces of Global Capitalism, all from Verso.

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Paul Mason, economics editor of BBC2’s “Newsnight” and author of Meltdown: the End of the Age of Greed, reviews Andrew Ross Sorkin’s account of the economic crisis from Wall Street’s perspective Too Big to Fail: Inside the Battle to Save Wall Street:

“In a world based on friendship and networks of personal obligation, the real shock came when the backslapping turned to backstabbing. Sorkin’s book is superb in the way it presents the critical moments of a modern financial crisis as points at which networks of influence fell apart. As real-world economic forces intrude into Fuld’s personal universe, you can feel the confusion spread across the network, to politicians, regulators and stock-picking TV journalists… In the end, everybody grin-fucked everybody else, and the state had to bail out free-market finance. Sorkin describes how there had been a contingency plan to do exactly this, commissioned by Paulson as early as April 2008. The final part of the book tells the story of how that plan was thrown out by Congress, unleashing the systemic global banking crisis of early October 2008.”

Read the full review here.

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Paul Mason has been talking about his book Meltdown: The End of the Age of Greed on BBC Parliament Book Talk, along with Vince Cable and Gillian Tett.Verso 9781844673964 Meltdown small

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Paul Mason, author of Meltdown: The End of the Age of Greed, picked his eight favourite books for Red Pepper last September.Verso 9781844673964 Meltdown small

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Verso 9781844673964 MeltdownEvery week the Independent asks their favourite independent book retailers to recommend 10 books. On Sunday 2 August the Newham Bookshop, London, E13 put Paul Mason’s ‘Meltdown: The End of the Age of Greed’ at the top of their list, saying:

“Newsnight’s economics editor explains the financial crisis that brought the global economy to its knees. He records every twist of the drama in this very readable account that, ironically, keeps the tills ringing.”

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Paul Mason’s Meltdown: The End of the Age of Greed has been reviewed in the Financial Times:Verso 9781844673964 Meltdown small

For real insight into the political dimension, however, you should turn to Augar, the former investment banker, and to BBC reporter Paul Mason’s Meltdown. Both writers devote chapters to the key influence in the anthropology, economics and politics of the last two decades of financial markets: the rise of the investment bank.

To read the complete review.

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Further to the news from the Times Higher that ‘Ayn Rand revival gathers pace in US universities’,  see Paul Mason’s Meltdown: The End of the Age of Greed:

Greenspan, September 2008: ‘I made a mistake in presuming that the self-interest of banks and others was such that they were best capable of protecting their own shareholders.’Verso 9781844673964 Meltdown small

Greenspan met Rand in 1952, and was one of a small circle allowed to hear her read from the draft of Atlas Shrugged at Saturday night seances. Outraged by the New York Times book review, which had accused the novel of being ‘written out of hate’, Greenspan bristled: ‘Justice is unrelenting. Creative individuals and undeviating purpose and rationality achieve joy and fulfilment. Parasites who persistently avoid either purpose or reason perish as they should.’

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One of the most prescient texts on the financial crisis was by Bob Brenner, who wrote The Economics of Global Turbulence originally for New Left Review in 1998.  A new edition was published by Verso in 2006.Verso 1859847307 Economics of Global Turbulence

“A brilliant economic overview of the world’s current economic state.” — The Nation

“Here, at last—something good out of the left.” — Wall Street Journal

For years, the discipline of economics has been moving steadily away from the real world towards formalized axioms and mathematical models with only a precarious bearing on actuality. Commentators seek to fill the gap as best they can, but in the absence of real background scholarship, journalism is vulnerable to the myopias of fashion and immediacy. The deeper enigmas of post-war development remain in either case largely untouched.

Bringing together the strengths of both the economist and the historian, Robert Brenner rises to this challenge. In this work, a revised and newly introduced edition of his acclaimed New Left Review special report, he charts the turbulent post-war history of the global system and unearths the mechanisms of over-production and over-competition which lie behind its long-term crisis since the early 1970s, thereby demonstrating the thoroughly systematic factors behind wage repression, high unemployment and unequal development, and raising disturbing and far-reaching questions about its future trajectory.


The first 3 people to answer the following question will win a copy of the book:

Which issue of New Left Review did the Economics of Global Turbulence first appear in?

Send your answer to enquiries AT verso.co.uk

Offer only open to those outside of North America.

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mason-paul-author-picPaul Mason, BBC Newsnight editor and author of the critically acclaimed Meltdown: The End of Greed will be speaking at Millers Academy about the financial crisis.

“A page turning account… Mason is refreshingly clear-eyed – and angry.” Will Hutton, Guardian

“What people need is a reliable guide to the financial crisis … Meltdown is the book they are looking for.” John Gray, New Statesman

“A lucid and sharply polemical account of the crisis.” Oliver Kamm, The Times

Paul has covered globalization and social justice stories from locations across the world, including Latin America, Africa and China. His previous book, Live Working, Die Fighting, was longlisted for the Guardian First Book Award. His highly popular blog, Idle Scrawl, chronicles the unfolding financial crisis.

To book tickets visit the Millers Academy website

Click here for more information about the book

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Paul Mason’s Meltdown: The End of the Age of Greed has been reviewed in the London Evening Standard by Simon English (see towards the bottom of the page for the full piece).

“He is particularly good on the confused minds of many in the City who invested so much emotional energy into what they still call the free-market that they are now bleating about government interference while working for firms that would have collapsed if not for taxpayers’ money. Numbers – those trillions and billions – are put into context and he has a good eye for a simile: for speculators, the arrival of the credit derivatives market so soon after the dot-com crash, “was like a guy turning up at a rave with a bag of Ecstasy pills right after the drug squad has just left”. In the end, Mason is quite sure where the blame lies for our malaise: Wall Street and the politicians in its pay. He is optimistic that the high priests of finance won’t have the same level of power again. Unless American politics is funded differently, I fear that they always will. Either way, this is a good read.”

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