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Bookplugs

July 25th, 2009

I’ve been meaning to do reviews of a couple of books, but the task of writing my own book means that I need to get rid of distractions (of course, it also means I’m even more tempted by every distractoin that comes along). Anyway, I thought I’d just give a recommendation and very quick summary for two of them.

Street Fighters: The Last 72 Hours of Bear Stearns, the Toughest Firm on Wall Street by Kate Kelly has a self-explanatory title. At the time, the failure of Bear Stearns seemed sure to be the biggest financial event of 2008, if not the whole decade. A little over a year later, it’s still interesting to read a blow-by-blow account of the collapse. I doubt if we’ll ever get anything like this for the October meltdown – even with this isolated case, it’s a bit hard to keep track of the varied cast of characters.

Recovering the Lost Tongue is a fascinating story of environmental struggle in central India. The link is to Amazon, but there’s also an Indian edition (details here).

Finally, here’s a link to a review of The Spirit Level a book arguing that inequality is bad for (almost) everyon.

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  1. Alice
    July 25th, 2009 at 19:30 | #1

    Oh about time on the inequality is bad for everyone (Spirit level) article JQ…..now when it is at crisis level (and inequality should have been stopped its rise somewhere in the mid 1980s with some decent policies).

    Better late, very late even, that it comes back into focus, than never..because it will bring a whole lot of problems if they keep ignoring the growing divide as they have been (for almost three decades now….)

    Well they do say about the Gini measure….it moves at snails pace over decades (so its eaasy to ignore year to year)…but this one has been leaving a persistent slime trail upwards since 1980.

  2. Ikonoclast
    July 26th, 2009 at 16:05 | #2

    Mention of the Bear Stearns book puts me in mind of the GFC again. Do others get the feeling we are now in a “phoney depression” period. I mean this in the sense of the “phoney war” period which preceded the real war of WW2.

    Let me expand. A lot of big names have collapsed all the way from multi billion dollar merhcant banks to car makers. Various Ponzi schemes, like Madhoff’s have collapsed. The massive private debt bubble has still not been deflated. And yet, here in Australia, it seems people think it’s all over. The real economy (as opposed to the financial or “unreal” economy) still appears to be ticking over nicely. Things are even reflating a bit except for employment.

    Is this period the “phoney depression” before the “real depression”? I believe it is. What do others think?

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