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A Beginner's Guide to the World Economy Paperback – May 1, 2001


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A Beginner's Guide to the World Economy + The Penguin Dictionary of Economics: Eighth Edition + International Political Economy: Perspectives on Global Power and Wealth (Fifth Edition)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; 3 Sub edition (May 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375725792
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375725791
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 5.2 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #489,872 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

In the past decade of rapid change in the world economy, Randy Charles Epping's Beginner?s Guide to the World Economy has been the most reliable tool for keeping track of what's happening. The third edition updates the information in previous editions and explains many new concepts.

What is the new economy? What is globalization? Is the euro the final seal on European Union? How is e-commerce transforming our world beyond economics? What is virtual money, and does it have real value? How do social concerns and societal ills (drugs, poverty, AIDS, endangered natural resources) play a part in the rapidly changing world economy. What are multinationals, and do they signal the end of nationalism? These and many other pertinent issues are concisely addressed in the most accessible primer for those who want to be economically literate (and who doesn't?).

More About the Author

Charles Epping, an American citizen based in Zurich, Switzerland, is the author of A Beginner's Guide to the World Economy, published by Vintage Books, and is currently the managing director of a Swiss-based international consulting company. He is also the president of the Central Europe Foundation--which provides scholarships to students from Central and Eastern Europe. He has written several articles for Newsweek, and has been featured as a financial expert on CNN Television, CNN Espanol, and FOX 5 Good Day New York.

His most recent book, Trust, published by Greenleaf Book Group Press explores the use of a Swiss trustee account by the Hezbollah to move illegal money through the international financial system and into the hands of terrorists in the Middle East.

Customer Reviews

Mr. Epping, My name is James Gruman.
jamie gruman
I believe their phrase is definitely hyperbole because I didn't find any "earth shattering" commentary.
Dan E. Ross
He explains economic concepts in an interesting, easy to understand way that makes for good reading.
"kylelund27"

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By C. B Collins Jr. on April 27, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a nice little book to read in segments. The book is divided into 81 essays, each about 3 pages long, and each answering a question about the global economy. You can read 3 short pages and then set the book down.

The book is fairly comprehensive in approach, discussing a broad range of topics including international black markets.

Epping ascribes to Milton Friedman's monetary policy approach to controling inflation and economic growth through control of the money supply, interest rates, and the retention rates of lending institutions which controls the "multiplier effect" of money. This economic theory is reflected in his essays.

Epping also ascribes to David Ricardo's economic theory of comparative advantage which is the basis of NAFTA and free trade policy.

I found some of his best essays were related to economic development of the developing countries and how economic growth is tied into democratic processes.

This is not a heavy economics book. It is fun reading.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Manny Hernandez HALL OF FAME on January 2, 2003
Format: Paperback
As I am taking my first class ever on Economics, which is focused on Microeconomics, this book comes in handy as a reference book where I can find a down-to-earth discussion of basic concepts that relate to Macroeconomics. It pretty much did for me in Economics what "The Wall Street Journal Guide to Understanding Money & Investing" did for investing. It is broken down in a chapter-like fashion, much in the style of the dummies guides and written in layman's tems by Mr. Epping, an American who holds a degree in International Finance from Yale, who has held management positions all over Europe and who is fluent in six languages.
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27 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Dan E. Ross on January 22, 2002
Format: Paperback
A Beginners's Guide to the World Economy is a good introduction into financial and economic terms. The book is segmented into 81 basic economic concepts, which the authors state, "will change the way you see the world." I believe their phrase is definitely hyperbole because I didn't find any "earth shattering" commentary.
The book is a compilation of information/tidbits you would learn in economics, finance and international finance/business classes. The concepts, in many cases, are common sense and the average person, who has no formal education in the subject, probably would know 10-15 of them minimum.
If you don't know anything about finance or economics it might be worth a good read over 7-8 nights, covering 10-15 subjects a night. The book is easy reading but I wouldn't recommend it to anyone with a business or finance degree wanting to see if this is a "refresher" book because it is very light but a great introduction to economics/finance for those with liberal arts backgrounds. If any liberal arts folks seek a bible of finance it is called "Valuation" and is a mckinsey book. It is used in just about every top MBA program. Tough stuff but if you want to learn about financial analysis and crunching #'s that is the book to get.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Quentin J. Lewis on November 20, 2006
Format: Paperback
It seemed like a very good book when I first skimmed it, but when I started to read it I found that it has some very basic info that I just wanted to skip over.

I guess in all fairness, the table of contents is written in a very detailed manner and the book is broken down into something like 81 basic questions. (and the table of contents points to each of them, even when some are only contained on a single page)

The book was amazingly pro-globalization, and I found very little in the way of warnings about it. That's fine, I know there are people who feel globalization is the end-all....but the discussion of Web Based internet companies seemed a bit dated....I guess the book was last edited on 2001....so the crash was probably not happening or so fresh that they were not able to understand it yet.

The discussion of New Economy companies starts out sort of funny to me....trying to somehow describe why "these are different"....but ultimately ends by saying that some say they are no different.....which is more true than not.

I did learn quite a bit from some of the questions and answers....so the book was good...but only if I used it as a reference book of sorts and "skipped the stuff I knew".
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Claire Mbeki on February 1, 2007
Format: Paperback
Beginners's Guide to the World Economy is a good basic introduction to economic issues. The book is very easy to read and it is divided into 81 economic questions. I would say that approximately one third are devoted to economics, another third to financial terms and the final one to globalization (this was my favourite, as the author discusses real-life world economic problems). However, I found that the book tries to be too comprehensive and the depth for each issue is really scarce... but I guess that it is a great substitute for an economics dictionary.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Debby Parker on October 24, 2002
Format: Paperback
I used this book with my children preparing for a debate on foreign trade. Easy to understand. Broken down nicely to find just the information you are looking for. Highly recommended!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Nicholas Sterling VINE VOICE on November 15, 2009
Format: Paperback
This book does a decent job of briefly explaining a number of concepts relating to the world economy. The author clearly believes in capitalism and free trade (as I do, when it is done correctly), but doesn't cheerlead it the way that "A World of Wealth" does. Still, there is little trace of an important caveat with regard to capitalism, that the free market is an ideal concept that works only to the extent that certain conditions hold. Those conditions seldom if ever hold absolutely, and to the extent that they do not, capitalism can fail, sometimes miserably. Government can make adjustments here, e.g. by taxing carbon to make the price of fuel consumption include the cost to the environment. You don't really get this from the book; capitalism is presented as being more foolproof than it actually is.

The book is organized into two sections:
- 71 questions and their answers
- a glossary

Reading the first part of this book is like reading a FAQ. A good FAQ can be a wonderful thing, but it's generally an adjunct to other documentation, a place to get quick answers to questions once you understand the main concepts. With this book, one moment you're reading the answer to the question "Why are companies referred to as Ltd., Inc., GMBH, or S.A.?" and the next you are reading the answer to the question "What is Equity?" It feels random, disjointed.

As for the main concepts, well, some basics about money, trade, trade surpluses, quotas, tariffs, equity, stock index, and gnp are covered. But I guess he's just assuming that you understand such basic economic concepts as supply and demand and how they relate to price.
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