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The Coming First World Debt Crisis Paperback – November 28, 2006

3.8 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

'This insightful book examines how the current international trade in goods and finance that is making the rich richer and the poor poorer and threatens ecosystem and societal collapse is no accident.' - Jonathan Essex, Green World

About the Author

David Tennant Damien King Michelle Robinson Biman Prasad Kaymara Barrett Altricia Dawson Sidonia Mackenzie Kario-Paul Brown Colin Bullock Christine Clarke Abdullahi Abdulkadri
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 190 pages
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan; 2006 edition (November 28, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0230007848
  • ISBN-13: 978-0230007840
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.4 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,356,019 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Chiu-ying Wong on July 28, 2009
Format: Paperback
I read the book before I read the reviews here. After I read the book, I thought to myself that the author had some interesting ideas. Not many people before 2007 thought so negatively about bankers : before the crisis, bankers were well-respected people who were regarded as upright, intelligent and deservedly rich. Young graduates rushed to join banks not only for the money but the prestige. Now we know how wrong we all were. The banks abused the privilege (of being able to create money from thin air) given to them, chased short-term profits that resulted in the collapse of the system, dragging down innocent people with them. If anything, the book should have served as a warning to policy makers before 2007 that bankers should be reined in. I disagree with the other reader who called the author Marxist and other names. The facts support her views. Banks serve an important function in a capitalist society, but they have to be kept under a leash, otherwise they will do damage to the society. Credit creation is a two-way sword, we need it for economic growth, but if it is given too loosely, it will destroy the system. This is not Marxist speak, this is pragmatism.
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Format: Paperback
In this book published in 2006 Ann Pettifor put forward a detailed scenario in which excessive debt in the developed world caused a serious economic crisis. The 2008 financial crisis proceeded exactly as she suggested it would. Pettifor does an excellent job of explaining how the basic financial structure of our society was undermined in the lead up to our most recent crisis. I have read fairly extensively on economics, and this book contains by far the best explanation of what money is and how it works that I have encountered. Pettifor makes a case for her own solutions to the problems leading up to the crisis, which are mostly radically outside of the mainstream options being considered. Of course the idea of a first world financial collapse was outside of the mainstream when the book was published.

Ultimately the presentation of the flaws in our system that led to the crisis is easily separated from the critique/solutions that Pettifor presents. Pettifor's ideological bent isn't as cut and dry as other reviewers have suggested, people ranging from marxists to libertarians will find suggestions they agree with and others they don't. Even if you aren't amenable to any of the solutions proposed in the book it does such a phenomenal job of outlining the problem that, regardless of your ideological bent, it is well worth your time. If you are looking for an incisive analysis of the underlying flaws that have lately plagued our economy this is the book for you.
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I bought this book several years ago and now I can't find it. Sure enough, Amazon has it. I had to get it out of England back them. I'll replace it when it becomes available for Kindle.
I heard Pettifor interviewed on PBS not long after her book was published and immediately bought it. This book and a few others prepared me for the crash of '08. They have also prepared me psychologically for a worst possible case scenario. Should that come about, blaming any one or more persons or institutions will be a waste of mental and emotional energy.
Another great book is James Rickard's Currency Wars: The Making of the Next Global Crisis. Currency wars and debt, both sovereign and private, are inextricably intertwined; they are spinning-up with the specter of producing the perfect global financial storm. Both books should be required reading for high school seniors and college freshman. While both might be classed as products of academia, Rickards has had his feet on the ground for decades. I can't remember Pettifor's background.
A reading of these two books along with two or three that Andrew Bacevich has authored (e.g. The Limits of Power: The End of American Exceptionalism) imbues the reader with pertinent knowledge that 99.999 percent of bankers and politicians don't have but need. Reading and passing a legitimate quiz on the subject matter should be required as a condition to hold office and be banker, financial advisor, accountant or lawyer and probably some other professions.
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