Why Save the Bankers?: And Other Essays on Our Economic and Political Crisis

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9780544663329: Why Save the Bankers?: And Other Essays on Our Economic and Political Crisis

Incisive commentary on the financial meltdown and its aftermath, from the author of the bestselling global phenomenon Capital in the Twenty-First Century

Thomas Piketty's work has proved that unfettered markets lead to increasing inequality. Without meaningful regulation, capitalist economies will concentrate wealth in an ever smaller number of hands. Armed with this knowledge, democratic societies face a defining challenge: fending off a new aristocracy.

For years, Piketty has wrestled with this problem in his monthly newspaper column, which pierces the surface of current events to reveal the economic forces underneath. Why Save the Bankers? brings together selected columns, now translated and annotated, from the period book-ended by the September 2008 collapse of Lehman Brothers and the Paris attacks of November 2015. In between, writing from the vantage point of his native France, Piketty brilliantly decodes the European sovereign debt crisis, an urgent struggle against the tyranny of markets that bears lessons for the world at large. And along the way, he weighs in on oligarchy in the United States, wonders whether debts actually need to be paid back, and discovers surprising lessons about inequality by examining the career of Steve Jobs.

Coursing with insight and flashes of wit, these brief essays offer a view of recent history through the eyes of one of the most influential economic thinkers of our time.

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From the Inside Flap:

Incisive commentary on the financial meltdown and its aftermath, from one of the world s leading economists

Thomas Piketty s work has proved that unfettered markets lead to increasing inequality. Without meaningful regulation, capitalist economies will concentrate wealth in an ever smaller number of hands. Armed with this knowledge, democratic societies face a defining challenge: fending off a new aristocracy.

For years, Piketty has wrestled with this problem in his monthly newspaper column, which pierces the surface of current events to reveal the economic forces underneath. Why Save the Bankers? brings together selected columns, now translated and annotated, from the period bookended by the September 2008 collapse of Lehman Brothers and the Paris attacks of November 2015. In between, writing from the vantage point of his native France, Piketty brilliantly decodes the European sovereign debt crisis, an urgent struggle against the tyranny of markets that bears lessons for the world at large. And along the way, he weighs in on oligarchy in the United States, wonders whether debts actually need to be paid back, and discovers surprising lessons about inequality by examining the career of Steve Jobs.

Coursing with insight and flashes of wit, these brief essays offer a view of recent history through the eyes of one of the most influential economic thinkers of our time.
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From the Back Cover:

PRAISE FOR THOMAS PIKETTY

[Piketty s] influence runs deep. It has become a commonplace to say that we are living in a second Gilded Age or, as Piketty likes to put it, a second Belle Epoque defined by the incredible rise of the one percent. But it has only become a commonplace thanks to Piketty s work . . . The result has been a revolution in our understanding of long-term trends in inequality. Before this revolution, most discussion of economic disparity more or less ignored the very rich. Some economists (not to mention politicians) tried to shout down any mention of inequality at all . . . It therefore came as a revelation when Piketty and his colleagues showed that incomes of the now famous one percent, and of even narrower groups, are actually the big story in rising inequality. And this discovery came with a second revelation: talk of a second Gilded Age, which might have seemed like hyperbole, was nothing of the kind . . . Piketty has transformed our economic discourse. We ll never talk about wealth and inequality the same way we used to. Paul Krugman, New York Review of Books

Piketty s treatment of inequality is perfectly matched to its moment . . . [He] has emerged as a rock star of the policy-intellectual world . . . His work richly deserves all the attention it is receiving. Lawrence H. Summers, Democracy
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