The Remaking of the Mining Industry
Reviewer: Dr Diane Coyle OBE, Director, Enlightenment Economics
The industrialisation of China prompted the biggest commodity boom of modern times. Soaring prices gave rise to talk of a commodity super cycle and induced a wave of resource nationalism. The author, who was chief economist at two of the world's largest mining companies, describes how this resulted in a transformation of the global mining industry.
Phishing for Phools: the economics of manipulation and deception
Reviewer: Dame Kate Barker, Chairman, Society of Business Economists
Ever since Adam Smith, the central teaching of economics has been that free markets provide us with material well-being, as if by an invisible hand. In Phishing for Phools, Nobel Prize-winning economists George Akerlof and Robert Shiller deliver a fundamental challenge to this insight, arguing that markets harm as well as help us. As long as there is profit to be made, sellers will systematically exploit our psychological weaknesses and our ignorance through manipulation and deception. Rather than being essentially benign and always creating the greater good, markets are inherently filled with tricks and traps and will "phish" us as "phools."
The Courage to Act
Reviewer: Ian Harwood, Independent Consultant
In 2006, Ben S. Bernanke was appointed chair of the Federal Reserve, capping a meteoric trajectory from a rural South Carolina childhood to professorships at Stanford and Princeton, to public service in Washington's halls of power. There would be no time to celebrate, however-the burst of the housing bubble in 2007 set off a domino effect that would bring the global financial system to the brink of meltdown. In The Courage to Act, Ben Bernanke pulls back the curtain on the tireless and ultimately successful efforts to prevent a mass economic failure.
Between Debt and the Devil: Money, Credit and Fixing Global Finance
Reviewer: Ian Mulheirn, Director of Consulting, Oxford Economics
Adair Turner became chairman of Britain’s Financial Services Authority just as the global financial crisis struck in 2008, and he played a leading role in redesigning global financial regulation. In this eye-opening book, he sets the record straight about what really caused the crisis. It didn’t happen because banks are too big to fail—our addiction to private debt is to blame.
The Silo Effect
Reviewer: Bronwyn Curtis OBE
In The Silo Effect, Gillian Tett uses an anthropological lens to explore how individuals, teams and whole organisations often work in silos of thought, process and product. With examples drawn from a range of fascinating areas - the New York Fire Department and Facebook to the Bank of England and Sony - these narratives illustrate not just how foolishly people can behave when they are mastered by silos but also how the brightest institutions and individuals can master them.
Urban Economics and Urban Policy: Challenging Conventional Policy Wisdom
Reviewer: Neil Reeder, Director, Head and Heart Economics
In this bold, exciting and readable volume, Paul Cheshire, Max Nathan and Henry Overman illustrate the insights that recent economic research brings to our understanding of cities, and the lessons for urban policy-making. The authors present new evidence on the fundamental importance of cities to economic wellbeing and to the enrichment of our lives. They also argue that many policies have been trying to push water uphill and have done little to achieve their stated aims; or, worse, have had unintended and counterproductive consequences.
Why Economists Failed to Predict the Crisis and How to Avoid the Next One
Reviewer: Christine Shields, Shields Economics
The failure of economists to anticipate the global financial crisis and mitigate the impact of the ensuing recession has spurred a public outcry. Economists are under fire, but questions concerning exactly how to redeem the discipline remain unanswered. In this provocative book, renowned economist Meghnad Desai investigates the evolution of economics and maps its trajectory against the occurrence of major political events to provide a definitive answer.
Making Sense of Markets
Reviewer: Ian Harwood, Independent Consultant
In March 2012, the Financial Times carried a front page story headlined 'Years of struggle for a jinxed generation'. It stated that 'For the first time in half a century, young Britons embarking on their careers cannot expect to be any better off than their parents…' Before and since, there have been numerous analyses highlighting a gloomy future ahead, and with little qualification or equivocation. The prevailing consensus since 2007 has been that the economic world is in a dire state. But are things really as bad as all that, or is sloppy thinking and excessively negative sentiment masking a more positive outlook? Making Sense of Markets argues that received wisdom is still far too pessimistic, and that investment opportunities have been missed as a result.
Reviewer: Duncan Brown, UK Commission for Employment & Skills
Today's global economy, with most developed nations experiencing very low inflation, seems a world apart from the "Great Inflation" that spanned the late 1960s to early 1980s. Yet, in this book, Brigitte Granville makes the case that monetary economists and policymakers need to keep the lessons learned during that period very much in mind, lest we return to them by making the same mistakes we made in the past.
Government Paternalism: Nanny State or Helpful Friend?
Reviewer: Neil Reeder, Head and Heart Economics
Should governments save people from themselves? Do governments have the right to influence citizens' behavior related to smoking tobacco, eating too much, not saving enough, drinking alcohol, or taking marijuana—or does this create a nanny state, leading to infantilization, demotivation, and breaches in individual autonomy? Looking at examples from both sides of the Atlantic and around the world, Government Paternalism examines the justifications for, and the prevalence of, government involvement and considers when intervention might or might not be acceptable.