- Series: Economic Controversies
- Paperback: 170 pages
- Publisher: Zed Books (September 15, 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1780320140
- ISBN-13: 978-1780320144
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 10 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,690,779 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
The Global Minotaur: America, The True Origins of the Financial Crisis and the Future of the World Economy (Economic Controversies)
Use the Amazon App to scan ISBNs and compare prices.
There is a newer edition of this item:
"Rebound" by Kwame Alexander
Don't miss best-selling author Kwame Alexander's "Rebound," a new companion novel to his Newbery Award-winner, "The Crossover,"" illustrated with striking graphic novel panels. Pre-order today
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
Customers who bought this item also bought
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
About the Author
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
The book's two major attributes are: (1) its fluidity with classic myths and pop culture, weaving them to create and sustain metaphors that engage the reader and help them visualize concepts that would otherwise keep the reader at arm's length; (2) its willingness to wound the sacred cows of the accepted (read: Alan Greenspan's) wisdom relating to laws and rules of the global economy. Varoufakis isn't a contrarian for it's own sake, but rather does the reader a great service by simply putting those laws and rules to the simple tests of logic and experience.
The book goes back and retells the economic history of the last 90 years or so, nicely summarizing the concerns of the major world players during the Great Depression and through the postwar period of the Marshall Plan and the gold standard. He writes of the Bretton Woods global economic regime as a particular paradigm called the Global Plan, one in which the US played a central but mostly magnanimous role in the free world's economy. That paradigm changes in 1971, when Nixon abandons the gold standard, and the pillars of the Global Plan come down, to be replaced by a new economic paradigm that depends upon the US importing tons of goods from the rest of the world, and issuing tons of its own debt to pay for those goods, which the world gobbles up because there's no currency like the US dollar, stability wise. This is the basic nature of the Global Minotaur - dangerous and unstable in the long term, but if we keep feeding it, maybe the minotaur will let us live in peace. The meltdown of 2008 wounded the minotaur, and we now live in a world without a functional or safe economic food chain among nations.
I highly recommend this book to those who feel there's something missing in the everyday explanations and stories about the economy.
What is novel is how the Minotaur was created in the first place and the need for a GSRM (Duncan doesn't address this). The author provides a remedy for the current European sovereign crises as well. He touches upon China a bit towards the end but China is not the main focus of the book.
The reason I didn't give it 5 stars is that in some places it was hard to detect opinion from fact. For example, on page 197, he writes, "Key to [Germany's] success was keeping its growth rate below that of the rest of Europe, while at the same time, maintaining investment at a much higher level than that of its neighbours. The aim of this policy was simple: to accumulate more and more trade surpluses from within its European vital space in order to feed the Minotaur across the Atlantic, so as, in turn, to financialize its own export expansion within the United States and, later, China." In the next paragraph he refers to the common currency as a way to further that goal.
My interpretation of this is that Germany's goal was almost sinister/diabolical, meaning, to keep domestic consumption low to keep the other members from becoming wealthy. Isn't the whole point of trade to generate reserves? And if you couldn't generate a surplus against Germany when you at least had the option of a competitive devaluation, how dumb were you to think you could do it in a currency union without this adjustment mechanism? Also, Germany's goal was to keep its own growth rate low??? What he means is keep consumption low. Indeed, how horrible it is to encourage people to save money instead of spending (sarcasm).
Overall, I like the book and anyone interested in money, "wealth", and productivity should consider the author's views.