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Fixing Global Finance (Forum on Constructive Capitalism) Hardcover – September 23, 2008
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From Publishers Weekly
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Heavy but rewarding, Wolf's analysis fills in a lot of blanks for those seeking to understand the new U.S. recession in a global context.(Publishers Weekly)
This is an ambitious book by one of the most respected financial journalists of our time... He does a terrific job, taking us through the plethora of theories that were put out to explain the imbalances, debunking the more popular but flaky ones with gusto.(Financial Times)
Wolf is adamant: global trade and global finance ride in harness, and global finance requires controls ―controls that cover all nations. Agree or not, get the book and expand your understanding of precisely what has brought the United States to its current flirtation with disaster.(Arthur Jones The Desk)
In the diligent Fixing Global Finance, the Financial Times editor and columnist takes on the imbalances that have made the world economy lopsided.(Andrew Bast Newsweek)
An extremely helpful guide to the origins of today's problems and to possible solutions... Written before the crisis, it is unhindered by minutiae about the crescendo of ad hoc measures that several governments took throughout the fall.(Harold James Foreign Affairs)
If Mr. Wolf were to rewrite his book... he would no doubt shift his emphasis. But his first run at the subject... holds up remarkably well despite all that has happened.(Economist)
The only inkling of hope is that policy makers everywhere have been so shaken by events that they will heed what Wolf advises. This book is a great and important contribution to everyone's welfare on the globe. It can be paid no higher accolade.(Will Hutton Guardian)
The coverage of history alone is worth the price of the book... also a worthwhile read because of the story Wolf weaves to explain the development of the imbalances in world markets that resulted in the current financial and economic crisis.(John M. Mason Seeking Alpha)
Give the world's current economic crisis, Wolf's book is timely.(Choice)
Fixing Global Finance marks a turning point in his worldview... offers important pointers to the way ahead.(Robert Skidelsky New York Review of Books)
College-level libraries strong in global business need this [book].(Midwest Book Review)
[Martin Wolf] the must-read Financial Times columnist.(Wayne E. Yang Asian Review of Books)
Martin Wolf’s book Fixing Global Finance provides an excellent description of international financial relations in the recent period... an excellent read(Kirsten Wandschneider H-Net Reviews)
Martin Wolf is the world's preeminent financial journalist. This book should be read by anyone who cares about the future of the international system, which, given recent events, is anyone who cares about the global economy or their economic future.(Lawrence H. Summers, former U.S. Secretary of the Treasury)
An extraordinarily cogent and thoughtful look at the contemporary United States borrowing binge, which stands as the leading macroeconomic and financial puzzle of our time. Wolf rigorously critiques the cutting-edge academic debate with depth, thoroughness, and readability that one will not find anywhere else.(Kenneth Rogoff, Harvard University)
The global financial imbalances of the twenty-first century will have a profound impact on international politics and American foreign policy. In this brilliant, compelling and readable book, Martin Wolf explains what has happened to the global financial order and what can be done to avoid the shocks of international finance.(Michael Mandelbaum, author of Democracy's Good Name: The Rise and Risks of the World's Most Popular Form of Government)
No one understands and explains international economics and exchange rates better than Martin Wolf. This short book comes at a time when everyone can benefit from a deeper understanding of these issues.(Martin Feldstein, Harvard University)
Top Customer Reviews
But the book opened my eyes to larger forces at work in global finance. Sort of like, if i before saw the crisis as an inept swimmer drowning, now I see the swimmer as more of a victim caught up inexorably in a powerful undertow beyond his control. To see it his way, there was a degree of inevitability due to unsustainable imbalances. Mr. Wolf is absolutely expert on the dynamics of international capital flows. A good portion of the book makes vivid something he covers in his columns: the U.S. has been the world's "spender and borrower of last resort;" okay, you knew that, but the breakdown between government, companies and households is where it gets scary. While the US government used deficits to spur demand (and absorb other countries, like China's, excess savings), US households went into an unprecedented deficit. Our problem is that our current account deficit is met with excess spending rather than investment. Mr. Wolf has great charts in the book to illustrate this perfectly; a few of his simple line charts elicited a visceral reaction for me (fear, specifically).
Also, for those who haven't read Mr. Wolf before, he is the consumate professional giving counter-arguments their just due. You learn just as much while he's weighing the idea he doesn't agree with.Read more ›
Martin Wolf excellent analysis focuses on capital flows. He observes that the global savings glut generated by huge Current Account Surplus (CAS) from Asian exporting countries is matched by the US Current Account Deficit (CAD). He advances that if not for the US ability to absorb excess savings, the World economy would be in a recession. That's why he calls the US the borrower and spender of last resort. Wolf supports this savings glut theory by stating that:
1) Asian countries pegging their currency level is an explicit policy choice to boost exports;
2) US money supply growth has been reasonable; and
3) US Inflation and inflation expectation are low.
Martin Wolf explains how Asian countries came about to generate such huge CAS.Read more ›
Well, golly (long golly ala Gomer Pile) you just done fixed global finance, Sarge!
Thank you, but I think we already know what economic Nirvana looks like and hoped for something other than nostrums as fixes, something like concrete suggestions, say.
Alas, I know, the task is too big for a single man and as such perhaps you may be allowed to take a pass on even attempting to tackle the problem right here and now, Mr. Wolf....but then there is the little issue of the title of the book. H'mmm.
No, this book is more interesting for its extended discussion of the various schools of thought surrounding the phenomenon of the US Current Account deficit. In other words, how the various schools explain the reason for it, and whether it can continue to grow or even remain the same size. The author's discussion of this is mostly transparent and always lucid even if it does take a bit of getting through at times. Reading it will definitely give one a more complete appreciation of what the phenomenon is and how it is caused, if not, perhaps, the exact reasons for it.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Wonderful collection of essays from the master thinker of global finance.Published 23 months ago by Robert R Derbenti
I ordered, and received the Kindle version of this book, read chapter 1, was going to continue reading today, and had an overlaying message on my screen that this... Read more
Could it be that those who commisioned the book gave the author a considerable pile of pesos more than the relative peanuts he'll receive from its publication? Read morePublished on May 19, 2011 by specwiz
Martin Wolf is no doubt much better than other journalists reporting on economic issues, who never know what they are talking about. But MW is not much better either. Read morePublished on November 24, 2010 by marshall
El libro esta muy detallado pero el autor como que trata de justificar en cada momento su punto de vista y deja fuera mucha evidencia.Published on June 28, 2010 by samuel
It is said that generals are always fighting the last war. The thesis of Martin Wolf's "Fixing Global Finance" is that the saying holds also for economic planners. Read morePublished on May 2, 2010 by Omer Belsky
Questions about current account deficits and international savings rates send many fiscal analysts into jingoistic declamations. Read morePublished on January 5, 2010 by Rolf Dobelli
Most books on the mechanics of financial crisis have taken a focus on either the Minsky type instability that was building up from the securitization business or the micro level... Read morePublished on October 20, 2009 by A. Menon
Martin Wolf's submission on the global train wreck is short, written in a readable, journalistic style, and duly supplemented with graphs and tables. Read morePublished on March 31, 2009 by reader 451