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The Force of Finance: Triumph of the Capital Markets Hardcover – April 15, 2002

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Editorial Reviews


A fascinating, insightful book ... exceedingly well written. Brenner very effectively demolishes many myths. -- Chetan J. Parikh, Capital Ideas, July 2002

Brenner writes with passion and precision... superbly argued, strategically disrespectful, and with just enough sentiment to pass as inspiring. -- Michael Schrage, MIT, Across the Board, Book Review May/June 2002

It's one of those books that come once ... in a generation, redefine ... the rules of the game of ... economic growth. -- Don Luskin, Smart Money, April 2002

Nobody could accuse Brenner of sitting on fences. By the end ... household names would like to bury him under them. -- Frank Fitzgibbon, Sunday London Times, Book of the Week, May 2002

About the Author

Brenner holds the Repap Chair of Business at McGill's Faculty of Management, is associated with Duxx, Monterrey, Mexico, and has served as consultant for and as a board member of companies in Canada, the U.S., and Mexico. He has given speeches around the world and has written on financial and economic issues for Forbes, Forbes Global, the Wall Street Journal, and the National Post.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 220 pages
  • Publisher: Texere; 1 edition (April 15, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1587991306
  • ISBN-13: 978-1587991301
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.3 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,052,014 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 6, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Reuven Brenner, an intense, dynamic, and iconoclast economist, has entered a very weighty two cents into the current thought on the world economy with this new book.
With multiple clear examples of politics and history, he shows the difference between America's open capital markets and most of the world's nations closed capital markets, and why America has been at the forefront of econonomic and capitalist development for more than 50 years.
His main argument: Citizens of any nation should have access to capital in order to embark on ventures that will produce profit. The most valuable resource any nation has are its talented citizens, by denying them access to the ability to be entrepreneurs, the nation is hurting itself and its growth. The answer: Let them access the resources they need, but hold both sides accountable. It won't keep an Enron from happening, but it will keep it from happening again, as is obvious with new accounting reforms.
Using examples from pre/post Communist Russia, Latin America, Islamic Fundamentalist states, and budding open capital markets, Brenner proves that any system that restricts access to capital is doomed to fail. Sure to open your mind and expose you to the true story of the global economy, The Force Of Finance is the penultimate book on how to turn a third world nation into a modern state that is living up to its potential.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Dennis Polhill on November 29, 2006
Format: Hardcover
"The Force of Finance: Triumph of the Capital Markets" by Reuven Brenner, Stoddart Publishing Co. Limited, Toronto, 2002 and Texere Publishing London & New York, challenges unsupported conventional thinking in many areas including economics, finance, capital markets, prosperity, freedom and democracy.

"Prosperity is the consequence of one thing and one only: matching talent with capital, and holding both sides accountable," as illustrated by the economic successes of 17th century Netherlands and the modern Asian Tigers. Brenner warns of the injury caused by public policies of confiscation and unproductive regulations, but reports, "for the moment, the U.S. alone has the fundamentals right."

Chapter 2 considers the relationship between capital markets and democracy and elaborates extensively about the 1997 observations of Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., "democracy requires capitalism, but capitalism does not require democracy." More simply stated capitalism thrives where democracy cannot. The legal recognition of private property, open capital markets and dispersion of political power augment both democracy and capitalism. More than any other single factor, "low taxes" bring "economic miracles."

Brenner calls macroeconomics the "twentieth-century pseudo-science" because it is built on the false Keynsian view that governments can or should manipulate economic outcomes.

In Chapter 4 Brenner points out that "voting rights were not much of an obstacle to governments intent on doing harm." Thus, Brenner reasons that democracy and capitalism are safer when politicians possess less, rather than more, power: "referenda significantly diminish the power of politicians and bureaucrats.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Aaron C. Brown TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 27, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Money, capital markets, brain drains, direct democracy, corruption, crime and gold are woven together with skill to produce a stunningly original picture of the world. The argument that society is shaped by the imperative of access to capital, and that when one channel is blocked another opens, is used to explain a wide variety of historical and current events. You can dam the force of finance to change the direction of the river, but sooner or later, one way or another, the water will get to the sea.
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By A2 on September 24, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Brenner goes beyond "textbook economics" to explain how economies evolve. Free from unrealistic models and econometric "conclusions", his analysis is factual and based on demographics, the flow and availability of capital, and accountability between stakeholders. The originality of his view is, alone, worth the experience of reading this wonderful book. Only if all economists had such an unbiased, original take on how markets and humans really work.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
An eye opening clear easy to read book. Non political but offers major lessons about governance supported by an amazing quantity of historical examples.
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