New and forthcoming

On the Edge

Richard Davies

To understand how humans react and adapt to change we need to study people who live in harsh environments. From the death-row prisoners trading in prisons where money is banned to the stateless ethnic Russians shut out of Estonia’s hyper-modern economy, every life in this book has been hit by a seismic shock, violently broken or damaged in some way.
People living in these odd and marginal places are ignored by number crunching economists and political pollsters alike. Science suggests this is a mistake.
This book tells the personal stories of humans living in extreme situations. 'Extreme' does not mean the familiar stock market crashes, housing crises, or banking scandals of the financial pages. The book takes the reader to really odd places, the places that no-one visits. Places where part of the economy has been repressed, removed, destroyed or turbocharged. By travelling to each of them and discovering what life is really like, On the Edge tells small stories that shed light on today’s biggest economic questions.

Talking to My Daughter

Yanis Varoufakis

‘Why is there so much inequality?’ Xenia asks her father, the world famous economist Yanis Varoufakis.

Drawing on memories of her childhood and a variety of well-known tales – from Oedipus and Faust to Frankenstein and The Matrix – Varoufakis explains everything you need to know in order to understand why economics is the most important drama of our times. In answering his daughter’s deceptively simple questions, Varoufakis disentangles our troubling world with remarkable clarity, while inspiring us to make it a better one.

Currency Wars

James Rickards

'Let's hope he's wrong' Financial Times

Currency wars are one of the most destructive and feared outcomes in international economics. At best, they result in countries stealing growth from their trading partners. At worst, they degenerate into inflation, recession and real violence.

In this fifth anniversary edition, James Rickards concludes that currency wars are as problematic now as they were in 1971 when President Nixon took the dollar off the gold standard. Headlines about the debasement of the dollar, bailouts in Europe and Chinese and currency manipulation are all indicators that we're entering an even more dangerous phase.

In this post-Trump, post-Brexit world of political uncertainty, James Rickards, New York Times bestseller and Strategic Adviser to the US intelligence community, argues that this is more than just a concern for economists and investors. The world is facing growing threats to its national security - from clandestine gold purchases by China to the hidden agendas of sovereign wealth funds. Left unchecked, the next currency war could end with massive casualties on all sides.

Aftermath

James Rickards

In his most practical book to date, financial expert and investment advisor James Rickards shows how and why our financial markets are being artificially inflated and what smart investors can do to protect their assets.

What goes up must come down. As any student of financial history knows, the dizzying heights of the stock market can't continue indefinitely. In turbulent times, the elites are prepared but what should the average investor do?

James Rickards lays out the true risks to our financial system and offers invaluable advice on how best to weather the storm.

The Future of Capitalism

Paul Collier

From world-renowned economist Paul Collier, a candid diagnosis of the failures of capitalism and a pragmatic and realistic vision for how we can repair it

Deep new rifts are tearing apart the fabric of Britain and other Western societies: thriving cities versus the provinces, the highly skilled elite versus the less educated, wealthy versus developing countries. As these divides deepen, we have lost the sense of ethical obligation to others that was crucial to the rise of post-war social democracy. So far these rifts have been answered only by the revivalist ideologies of populism and socialism, leading to the seismic upheavals of Trump, Brexit and the return of the far right in Germany. We have heard many critiques of capitalism but no one has laid out a realistic way to fix it, until now.

In a passionate and polemical book, celebrated economist Paul Collier outlines brilliantly original and ethical ways of healing these rifts - economic, social and cultural - with the cool head of pragmatism, rather than the fervour of ideological revivalism. He reveals how he has personally lived across these three divides, moving from working-class Sheffield to hyper-competitive Oxford, and working between Britain and Africa, and acknowledges some of the failings of his profession.

Drawing on his own solutions as well as ideas from some of the world's most distinguished social scientists, he shows us how to save capitalism from itself - and free ourselves from the intellectual baggage of the 20th century.

The Finance Curse

Nicholas Shaxson

Global finance is a system that works for the few and against the many.

We need finance – but when finance grows too big it becomes a curse. Far from being the geese that lay the golden eggs, Wall Street and the City of London have become cuckoos in the nest.

The City of London is the single biggest drain on our resources; it sucks talent out of every sphere, it siphons wealth, hoovers up government time, inflates prices and leads to boom and bust. Yet to be ‘competitive’, we’re told we must deregulate, bust the unions, turn a blind eye to money-laundering and appease big business. We are told global finance is about wealth creation; the reality is wealth extraction.

Nicholas Shaxson revealed the dark heart of tax havens long before the Panama and Paradise Papers. Now he’s issuing a new warning, telling the explosive story of how finance established a stranglehold on society and pointing us towards a way out.
This is a book that none of us can afford to ignore.

Social Mobility

Lee Elliot Major (and others)

What are the effects of decreasing social mobility?
How does education help - and hinder - us in improving our life chances?
Why are so many of us stuck on the same social rung as our parents?

Apart from the USA, Britain has the lowest social mobility in the Western world. The lack of movement in who gets where in society - particularly when people are stuck at the bottom and the top - costs the nation dear, both in terms of the unfulfilled talents of those left behind and an increasingly detached elite, disinterested in improvements that benefit the rest of society.

This book analyses cutting-edge research into how social mobility has changed in Britain over the years, the shifting role of schools and universities in creating a fairer future, and the key to what makes some countries and regions so much richer in opportunities, bringing a clearer understanding of what works and how we can better shape our future.

Money and Government

Robert Skidelsky

The dominant view in economics is that money and government should play only a minor role in economic life. Money, it is claimed, is nothing more than a medium of exchange; and economic outcomes are best left to the 'invisible hand' of the market. The view taken in this important new book is that the omnipresence of uncertainty make money and government essential features of any market economy. One reason we need money is because we don't know what the future will bring. Government - good government - makes the future more predictable and therefore reduces this kind of demand for money.

After Adam Smith orthodoxy persistently espoused non-intervention, but the Great Depression of 1929-32 stopped the artificers of orthodox economics in their tracks. A precarious balance of forces between government, employers, and trade unions enabled Keynesian economics to emerge as the new policy paradigm of the Western world. However, the stagflation of the 1970s led to the rejection of Keynesian policy and a return to small-state neoclassical orthodoxy. Thirty years later, the 2008 global financial crash was severe enough to have shaken the re-vamped classical orthodoxy, but, curiously, this did not happen. Once the crisis had been overcome - by Keynesian measures taken in desperation - the pre-crash orthodoxy was reinstated, undermined but unbowed. Since 2008, no new 'big idea' has emerged, and orthodoxy has maintained its sway, enacting punishing austerity agendas that leave us with a still-anaemic global economy.

This book aims to familiarise the reader with essential elements of Keynes's 'big idea'. By showing that much of economic orthodoxy is far from being the hard science it claims to be, it aims to embolden the next generation of economists to break free from their conceptual prisons and afford money and government the starring roles in the economic drama that they deserve.

Crashed

Adam Tooze

The definitive history of the Great Financial Crisis, from the acclaimed author of The Deluge and The Wages of Destruction.

In September 2008 the Great Financial Crisis, triggered by the collapse of Lehman brothers, shook the world. A decade later its spectre still haunts us. As the appalling scope and scale of the crash was revealed, the financial institutions that had symbolised the West's triumph since the end of the Cold War, seemed - through greed, malice and incompetence - to be about to bring the entire system to its knees.

Crashed is a brilliantly original and assured analysis of what happened and how we were rescued from something even worse - but at a price which continues to undermine democracy across Europe and the United States. Gnawing away at our institutions are the many billions of dollars which were conjured up to prevent complete collapse. Over and over again, the end of the crisis has been announced, but it continues to hound us - whether in Greece or Ukraine, whether through Brexit or Trump. Adam Tooze follows the trail like no previous writer and has written a book compelling as history, as economic analysis and as political horror story.

Give People Money

Annie Lowrey

Surely just giving people money couldn't work. Or could it?

Imagine if every month the government deposited £1000 in your bank account, with no strings attached and nothing expected in return. It sounds crazy, but Universal Basic Income (UBI) has become one of the most influential policy ideas of our time, backed by thinkers on both the left and the right. The founder of Facebook, Obama's chief economist, governments from Canada to Finland are all seriously debating some form of UBI.

In this sparkling and provocative book, economics writer Annie Lowrey looks at the global UBI movement. She travels to Kenya to see how UBI is lifting the poorest people on earth out of destitution, India to see how inefficient government programs are failing the poor, South Korea to interrogate UBI’s intellectual pedigree, and Silicon Valley to meet the tech titans financing UBI pilots in expectation of a world with advanced artificial intelligence and little need for human labour. She also examines at the challenges the movement faces: contradictory aims, uncomfortable costs, and most powerfully, the entrenched belief that no one should get something for nothing.

The UBI movement is not just an economic policy -- it also calls into question our deepest intuitions about what we owe each other and what activities we should reward and value as a society.

Adam Smith

Jesse Norman

Adam Smith is now widely regarded as 'the father of modern economics' and the most influential economist who ever lived. But what he really thought, and what the implications of his ideas are, remain fiercely contested. Was he an eloquent advocate of capitalism and the freedom of the individual? Or a prime mover of 'market fundamentalism' and an apologist for inequality and human selfishness? Or something else entirely? Jesse Norman's brilliantly conceived \book gives us not just Smith's economics, but his vastly wider intellectual project. Against the turbulent backdrop of Enlightenment Scotland, it lays out a succinct and highly engaging account of Smith's life and times, reviews his work as a whole and traces his influence over the past two centuries.

But this book is not only a biography. It dispels the myths and debunks the caricatures that have grown up around Adam Smith. It explores Smith's ideas in detail, from ethics to law to economics and government, and the impact of those ideas on thinkers as diverse as Karl Marx, Charles Darwin, John Maynard Keynes and Friedrich Hayek. Far from being simply an economist, Adam Smith emerges as one of the founders of modern social psychology and behavioural theory. Far from being a doctrinaire 'libertarian' or 'neoliberal' thinker, he offers a strikingly modern evolutionary theory of political economy, which recognises the often complementary roles of markets and the state.

At a time when economics and politics are ever more polarized between left and right, this book, by offering a Smithian analysis of contemporary markets, predatory capitalism and the 2008 financial crash, returns us to first principles and shows how the lost centre of modern public debate can be recreated. Through Smith's work, it addresses crucial issues of inequality, human dignity and exploitation; and it provides a compelling explanation of why he remains central to any attempt to defend, reform or renew the market system.

The Bank That Lived a Little

Philip Augar

Based on unparalleled access to those involved, and told with compelling pace and drama, The Bank that Lived a Little describes three decades of boardroom intrigue at one of Britain's biggest financial institutions. In a tale of feuds, grandiose dreams and a struggle for supremacy between rival strategies and their adherents, Philip Augar gives a riveting account of Barclays' journey from an old Quaker bank to a full-throttle capitalist machine. The disagreement between those ambitious for Barclays to join the top table of global banks, and those preferring a smaller domestic role more in keeping with the bank's traditions, cost three chief executives their jobs and continues to divide opinion within Barclays, the City and beyond.

This is an extraordinary corporate thriller, which among much else describes how Barclays came to buy Lehman Brothers for a bargain price in 2008, why it was so keen to avoid taking government funding during the financial crisis, and the price shareholders have paid for a decade of barely controlled ambition. But Augar also shows how Barclays' experiences are a paradigm for Britain's social and economic life over thirty years, which saw the City move from the edge of the economy to its very centre. These decades created unprecedented prosperity for a tiny number, and made the reputations of governments and individuals but then left many of them in tatters.

The leveraged society, the winner-takes-all mentality and our present era of austerity can all be traced to the influence of banks such as Barclays. Augar's book tells this rollercoaster story from the perspective of many of its participants - and also of those affected by the grip they came to have on Britain.

The Rise and Fall of the British Nation

David Edgerton

From the acclaimed author of Britain's War Machine and The Shock of the Old, a bold reassessment of Britain's twentieth century.

It is usual to see the United Kingdom as an island of continuity in an otherwise convulsed and unstable Europe; its political history a smooth sequence of administrations, from building a welfare state to coping with decline. Nobody would dream of writing the history of Germany, say, or the Soviet Union in this way.

David Edgerton's major new history breaks out of the confines of traditional British national history to redefine what it was to British, and to reveal an unfamiliar place, subject to huge disruptions. This was not simply because of the world wars and global economic transformations, but in its very nature. Until the 1940s the United Kingdom was, Edgerton argues, an exceptional place: liberal, capitalist and anti-nationalist, at the heart of a European and global web of trade and influence. Then, as its global position collapsed, it became, for the first time and only briefly, a real, successful nation, with shared goals, horizons and industry, before reinventing itself again in the 1970s as part of the European Union and as the host for international capital, no longer capable of being a nation.

Packed with surprising examples and arguments, The Rise and Fall of the British Nation gives us a grown-up, unsentimental history which takes business and warfare seriously, and which is crucial at a moment of serious reconsideration for the country and its future.

The Ethical Capitalist: How to Make Business Work Better for Society

Julian Richer

*A Financial Times Book of the Month*

‘The founder of Richer Sounds is one of the finest entrepreneurs we have.’ Archie Norman, chairman of Marks & Spencer

Capitalism has lost its way. Every week brings fresh news stories about businesses exploiting their staff, avoiding their taxes, and ripping off their customers. Every week, public anger at the system grows. Now, one of Britain’s foremost entrepreneurs intervenes to make the case for putting business back firmly in the service of society, and setting out on a new path to a kinder, fairer form of capitalism.

Drawing on four decades of hands-on management experience, the founder of Richer Sounds argues that ethically run businesses are invariably more efficient, more motivated and more innovative than those that care only about the bottom line. He uncovers the simple tools that the best leaders use to make their businesses fair, revealing how others can follow suit. And he also delves into the big questions that modern capitalism has to answer if it is to survive and to thrive. When should – and shouldn’t – the state intervene in the workings of commercial enterprises? What does business as a whole owe back to the wider community? Is the relationship between leaders of big corporations and politicians too cosy, and, if so, what is to be done about it?

At heart, The Ethical Capitalist is a plea for a new sense of moral purpose in business. If that takes hold, Julian Richer believes, we might just save capitalism from itself.

The Divide

Jason Hickel

‘There’s no understanding global inequality without understanding its history. In The Divide, Jason Hickel brilliantly lays it out, layer upon layer, until you are left reeling with the outrage of it all.’ - Kate Raworth, author of Doughnut Economics

The richest eight people control more wealth than the poorest half of the world combined.

Today, 60 per cent of the world’s population lives on less than $5 a day.

Though global real GDP has nearly tripled since 1980, 1.1 billion more people are now living in poverty.

For decades we have been told a story: that development is working, that poverty is a natural phenomenon and will be eradicated through aid by 2030. But just because it is a comforting tale doesn’t make it true. Poor countries are poor because they are integrated into the global economic system on unequal terms, and aid only helps to hide this.

Drawing on pioneering research and years of first-hand experience, The Divide tracks the evolution of global inequality – from the expeditions of Christopher Columbus to the present day – offering revelatory answers to some of humanity’s greatest problems. It is a provocative, urgent and ultimately uplifting account of how the world works, and how it can change for the better.

Bullshit Jobs

David Graeber

'The most influential radical political thinker of the moment' - New Yorker

Back in 1930, the economist John Maynard Keynes prophesied that by the century's end, technology would see us all working fifteen-hour weeks. But instead, something curious happened. Today, average working hours have not decreased, but increased. And now, across the developed world, three-quarters of all jobs are in services or admin, jobs that don't seem to add anything to society: bullshit jobs. In Bullshit Jobs, David Graeber explores how this phenomenon - one more associated with the 20th-century Soviet Union, but which capitalism was supposed to eliminate - has happened. In doing so, he looks at how we value work, and how, rather than being productive, work has become an end in itself; the way such work maintains the current broken system of finance capital; and, finally, how we can get out of it.

Praise for The Democracy Project: 'Clear, pungent and right ... a compact and incisive account of why capitalism has run with such a smash into the buffers' - Times Higher Education

'Captures the joys and fears of a movement' - Observer

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