- Hardcover: 384 pages
- Publisher: Crown Business; 1 edition (January 26, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0307464229
- ISBN-13: 978-0307464224
- Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.4 x 9.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 15 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,396,095 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Road from Ruin: How to Revive Capitalism and Put America Back on Top Hardcover – Deckle Edge, January 26, 2010
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"Well-written, challenging, uplifting--Bishop and Green bring incisive insight and timely analysis to some of our biggest economic and social topics. The Road from Ruin is an intelligent and stimulating contribution to a vitally important conversation."
Jim Collins, author of Good to Great and How the Mighty Fall
“As the smoke begins to clear after the biggest financial crisis since the Great Depression, Matthew Bishop and Michael Green have some persuasive suggestions about where we go from here. As befits an Economist writer, Bishop has not lost his faith in American capitalism. But the authors argue trenchantly that some root-and-branch reform will be needed to prevent it vitality from being sapped by ill-designed regulation and political cronyism.”
Niall Ferguson, Laurence A. Tisch Professor of History at Harvard University, author of The Ascent of Money
"Bishop and Green have written an uncommonly lucid, unfailingly gripping analysis of the financial crisis that has placed the nation and much of the world in profound economic jeopardy. A particular value of the book is the rich historical, global, and intellectual context in which the authors situate the crisis. Their diagnosis of the causes of the crisis, which emphasizes psychological factors, will be controversial, as will a number of the measures they propose to prevent similar crises from arising in the future. But they have provided rich food for thought. Let the debate begin."
The Honorable Richard A. Posner, author of A Failure of Capitalism
"In The Road From Ruin, Matthew Bishop and Michael Green show why companies must respond to this crisis with long term vision and a renewed emphasis on values. An essential read for anyone who wants to learn why a corporate focus on sustainability and building a better society is the key to the long-lasting productivity growth and job creation that are needed now more than ever.
John Chambers, Chairman and CEO, Cisco
“Drawing not only on their keen understanding of current economic events, but also on a depth of knowledge of financial history, Matthew Bishop and Michael Green have written a lucid and lively account of the underlying factors that brought the world economy to the brink of collapse.”
Liaquat Ahamed, author of The Lords of Finance
“Everyone--from the CEOs of the world’s biggest companies to the consumers of their products and services--seems to asking whether capitalism as we know it will survive as our economic system. Through a unique blend of historical insights into past crises and pragmatic reforms, Matthew Bishop and Michael Green provide the ideas and action steps for renewing prosperity and preventing another meltdown.”
Ram Charan, coauthor of Execution
“The Road from Ruin is a masterpiece. Matthew Bishop and Michael Green combine truly luminous writing with simple, clear, unprejudiced scholarship and a keen journalistic awareness of how to extract lessons from the financial crisis to begin forming an agenda for a badly-needed reform of capitalism.”
Robert A.G. Monks, shareholder activist, founder of the Corporate Library and the author of Corpocracy.
"The Road from Ruin will be remembered as a serious, highly readable book, of the broadest intellectual scope. Its insights will help all of us reshape the future and enable both citizen and policy maker alike to separate real reform from the grandstanding bluster so prevalent today.”
Robert J. Shiller, Arthur M.Okun Professor of Economics, Yale University, author of Irrational Exuberance and coauthor of Animal Spirits
“The title suggests a map for a new, improved capitalism to follow - and that’s exactly what Matthew Bishop and Michael Green provide. A steely analysis of the structural and human frailty that led to the implosion of 2008 becomes their foundation for specific future reform. Alternative remedies are scrupulously examined; some discarded; others seized upon and improved. In its clarity of both thought and expression, this is a book that leaves you feeling cautiously better about the potential of capitalism and so cautiously better about its prospects.
Sir Martin Sorrell, CEO, WPP
About the Author
MATTHEW BISHOP is the U.S. business editor of The Economist and a former faculty member of the London Business School.
MICHAEL GREEN is a London-based writer who previously taught economics at Warsaw University and was a senior official in the British government. He is coauthor (with Matthew Bishop) of Philanthrocapitalism.
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They illustrate their points with a very good historical overview of how international finance has worked for the last several hundred years. I finally learned some interesting stuff about the gold standard. For example, its downside: it limited the supply of money when more gold was hard to mine. This put a crimp on economic growth.
The second part of the book is devoted to the premise that the recent (2008) financial meltdown is another example and it requires that governments remake capitalism intelligently. It's a very good discussion of the pros and cons of regulation and free market theory.
As I write this (April 2010) I hope the people in charge of economic reform in the US and the EU will read this and takes it's lessons to heart.
B&G introduce their theme with what they call five wrong turns and what to do about them.
1. They cite Mackey's book for exaggerating bubbles. (The rest of the book doesn't support this idea.)
2. There is government aversion to risking taxpayer money. (Apparently they think more of this is needed.)
3. We address the fix without addressing causes. (They don't have the causes right.)
4. There's an error in thinking that the economy will naturally recover. (What on earth gives them the idea that government can effect an improvement?)
5. There is a rush to regulate.
I make it out one right and four wrong.
After the introduction the book turned into a surprisingly good history of economic thought, especially regarding debt and bubbles. Surprising, because it starts with the ridiculous assertion that capitalism has just seen off communism. The USSR,with it's mission of exporting communism has imploded but B&G are apparently blind to developing socialism in other places, especially the USA. The authors compound the error by advocating more government control in spite of many examples of failure. They tell us all the restrictions of the gold standard era and seem to think that government fiat money is an improvement.
B&G do a good job of paraphrasing works of both classical and modern economists
Smith, Keynes, Law, Stiglitz, Fisher, Friedman and quite a few more. They are somewhat pretentious in the social commentary, especially in the attempt to include ethical considerations. There are serious tries at analysis involving ethics. This doesn't quite qualify. There is no mention of greater good by Pareto efficiency nor economic analysis of care of the commons as, for example, by William Nordhaus.
If we discard the socio-political commentary in the introduction and conclusion, this is a very well written and entertaining economic history.