Top critical review
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Decent description, little analysis, even less understanding of finance and monetary theory
on June 11, 2012
This book provides a decent description of what occurred in the wake of the 2008 financial panic, and includes statistics showing that the rich have gotten richer in the years since the bailouts occurred. The author seems not to understand how it was that a bubble in housing prices and derivative paper came into being, however, with no mention of the role played by central banks and artificially low interest rates. Not mentioning the Federal Reserve in an analysis of the world debt crisis, is like teaching sex education without any mention of reproductive organs.
Since Collins mistakes economic symptoms for economic causes, he plays right into the false beliefs held by most "occupiers" - for example, that an undefined concept like "greed" was at the root of the crisis. Of course, humans have always been greedy and always will. The important question is WHY were so many people greedy in the SAME way at the SAME time? And of course, the answer is that they were reacting to conditions created by the Federal Reserve System and the U.S. government. Collins cannot see this, though - to do so would force him to admit that more government (i.e. higher taxes) isn't going to solve the problem.
When the left realizes that central banking is not capitalism, and is by far the single biggest engine of wealth redistribution - from the poor and middle class to the rich - then they might actually have a shot of making progress in reforming the current corporatist economic system. If they continue to see the current gross mal-distributions of wealth as the results of markets - and not of government central planning, taxation, and money printing, they will continue to advocate more of the same, and fail to make any significant headway.