*Winner of the Enlightened Economist Prize 2019*
*Winner of Debut Writer of the Year at the Edward Stanford Travel Writing Awards 2020*
*Longlisted for the Financial Times & McKinsey Business Book of the Year Award 2019*
'Extreme Economies is a revelation - and a must-read.' Andy Haldane, Chief Economist at the Bank of England
To understand how humans react and adapt to economic change we need to study people who live in harsh environments. From death-row prisoners trading in institutions where money is banned to flourishing entrepreneurs in the world's largest refugee camp, from the unrealised potential of cities like Kinshasa to the hyper-modern economy of Estonia, every life in this book has been hit by a seismic shock, violently broken or changed in some way.
In his quest for a purer view of how economies succeed and fail, Richard Davies takes the reader off the beaten path to places where part of the economy has been repressed, removed, destroyed or turbocharged. He tells the personal stories of humans living in these extreme situations, and of the financial infrastructure they create. Far from the familiar stock reports, housing crises, or banking scandals of the financial pages, Extreme Economies reveals the importance of human and social capital, and in so doing tells small stories that shed light on today's biggest economic questions.
'A highly original approach to understanding what really makes economies tick.' Mervyn King, former Governor of the Bank of England
A highly original approach to understanding what really makes economies tick. Both insightful and accessible to non-economists.
Davies visits economies pushed to the limit and examines what their response teaches us about resilience in the face of climate change, demographic shifts and state failure.
An exploration of the lessons to be drawn from disaster-stricken economies and imperilled (but innovative) people, which ranges from the jungles of Panama to post-tsunami Indonesia to the prison system of Louisiana and Syrian refugee camps.
We learn most about ourselves at times of extreme stress and challenge. Using nine compelling country case studies, Richard Davies brilliantly demonstrates that the same is true of our economic systems. In its approach and insights, Extreme Economies is a revelation - and a must-read.