by John Cassidy
published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux
© 2009 by John Cassidy
Click on image to purchase.
Market disasters -- and the cycle of delusions responsible -- receive
lively, engaging analysis by Cassidy (Dot.con), a journalist at the
New Yorker. The author focuses primarily on the rise and fall of free
market ideology and the mostly unrealistic ideal of a self-correcting
marketplace. An excellent comprehensive history of the economic thought
that led to this kind of utopian economics provides a refresher course
in Adam Smith, Friedrich August von Hayek, Kenneth Arrow and Hyman Minsky.
Both a narrative and a call to arms, the book provides an intellectual
and historical context for the string of denial and bad decisions that
led to the disastrous illusion of harmony, the lure of real estate and
the Great Crunch of 2008. Using psychology and behavioral economics,
Cassidy presents an excellent argument that the market is not in fact
self-correcting, and that only a return to reality-based economics --
and a reform-minded move to shove Wall Street in that direction -- can
pull us out of the mess in which we've found ourselves.
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