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Globalization and Its Discontents Hardcover – June, 2002
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
Top Customer Reviews
I think that there are two main points that Stiglitz makes. The first is that standard IMF policy has tended to approach countries in financial crises with the same rather crude economics as that used on Wall Street, which leads them to think like bank managers rather than economists. If you force a country with a fiscal deficit to reduce government spending, then this will reduce aggregate demand, which will reduce government income, and make the deficit worse, inflicting more pain on the population. The reason that the IMF does this, is that it is meant to restore confidence in the markets, but once a crisis starts, foreign investors tend to bail out anyway, so all it buys you is breathing space. You should accept that the foreign investors are gone, and focus on growth.
The other thing that I got from the book is the hypocrisy of the US administration, which forced policies on emerging markets, which it would not itself accept. In fact, the IMF more or less took instructions from the US Treasury during the 1990s, and certainly my sense at the time was that the actual IMF staffers were very frustrated at the policies that the US government forced them to follow.Read more ›
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) was the post-war brainchild of John Maynard Keynes, who thought future economic downturns could be reduced by establishing a source of funds to stimulate the economies of countries without the resources to provide stimulus packages from their own reserves. As an international institution, the Fund would provide impartial aid and offset the protectionist beggar-thy-neighbor policies that had made the Great Depression a global phenomenon.
In the 1980's, however, the Fund's mission was derailed by the new brand of market fundamentalism that marked the Reagan/Thatcher years: the market always knows best, and the best thing a government can do is to stay out of it as much as possible. Subsequently, the Fund's loans have come with a number of restrictive conditions, forcing recipient governments to balance their budgets and keep inflation down, quite the opposite of what Keynes had initially intended.
The evidence through the 1990's, particularly with respect to the Asian financial crisis of 1997, and the transition to capitalism of the former Soviet bloc countries, is that the IMF's market fundamentalism has been a terrible mistake. Stiglitz argues convincingly that the IMF has not only failed to prevent the disasters in Asia and Eastern Europe, but that its policies have been a leading cause of the disasters in the first place, and its subsequent actions only made matters worse. Sending huge aid packages to Russia to hold off devaluation of the ruble only meant that the super-rich oligarchs had a little more time to pocket their cash, ship it out of the country and transform it safely into hard currency.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I picked up this book as the world seems to be getting more and more divided nowadays, and I wanted to understand why. Read morePublished 1 day ago by Jessica
Nothing short of amazing! This life experience of Stiglitz brings an amazing perspective to the IMF, EU, and the power structure within. Loved it!Published 1 month ago by Karen Mathis
Stiglitz is an intellectual who is accessible to you and me in regards to what the actual government officials have always done to the poor people of this world. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Kindle Customer
Came extremely quickly and was in very good condition. If you are in a rush to get this textbook for a class, like I was, this is the way to go. Well worth the price!Published 8 months ago by Ross Tamburro
I learned so much from reading this book. It was easy to understandPublished 10 months ago by Beth Weik
This book is an excellent read. Joseph E. Stiglitz, Nobel Prize winner, former chief economist of the World Bank, and prolific writer is perhaps best known for his theories of how... Read morePublished 10 months ago by John R. Holmes, Jr.