New and forthcoming

Currency Wars

James Rickards

Donald Trump's top trade adviser Peter Navarro accused Germany of profiting from a 'grossly undervalued' currency. At the same time the President said countries such as Japan and China are responsible for 'global freeloading' due to their weak currencies.

Today, currency wars are raging across global markets, entering an even more dangerous phase, but they are nothing new. In this 5 year anniversary edition, James Rickards, two-time New York Times bestseller and Strategic Adviser to the US intelligence community, explores how currency wars are just as problematic now as they were in 1971 when President Nixon took the dollar off the gold standard.

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 actual violence. Rickards analyses the 2008 US financial crash, the debasement of the dollar, the European debt crisis, bailouts in Greece and Ireland and Chinese exchange rate manipulation, as a series of attacks and counter-attacks and ultimately as indications of growing global currency conflict. But, the author concludes, in currency wars, as in real wars, there are never any winners and without systematic reform, it could end with massive casualties on all sides.

In this special five year edition, featuring analysis of the 'Age of Trump' and encounters with Ben Bernanke, Tim Geithner and General Hayden, Rickards points the way towards a more effective course of action
one that could stabilise the global economy and broker peace and prosperity for all.

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. 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 society rewards and values.

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.

The Value of Everything

Mariana Mazzucato

Who really creates wealth in our world? And how do we decide the value of what they do? At the heart of today's financial and economic crisis is a problem hiding in plain sight. In modern capitalism, value-extraction - the siphoning off of profits, from shareholders' dividends to bankers' bonuses - is rewarded more highly than value-creation: the productive process that drives a healthy economy and society. We misidentify takers as makers, and have lost sight of what value really means. Once a central plank of economic thought, this concept of value - what it is, why it matters to us - is simply no longer discussed.

Yet, argues Mariana Mazzucato in this penetrating and passionate new book, if we are to reform capitalism - to radically transform an increasingly sick system rather than continue feeding it - we urgently need to rethink where wealth comes from. Who is creating it, who is extracting it, and who is destroying it? Answers to these questions are key if we want to replace the current parasitic system with a type of capitalism that is more sustainable, more symbiotic: that works for us all. The Value of Everything will reignite a long-needed debate about the kind of world we really want to live in.

Has the West Lost It?

Kishore Mahbubani

The West's centuries-old status as the centre of global wealth and power is coming to an end. As the new powers - China, India, Africa - rise to the top of the world's pecking order, how should the West react? Kishore Mahbubani argues passionately and provocatively that the West can no longer impose its ideals on the world at large, and - paradoxically - that only by admitting its decline can the West set itself up for strategic success in the long term. Mahbubani examines the myths and self-delusions of Western power with an outsider's critical eye, and the shocking freshness of his geopolitical analysis will give all Westerners and political thinkers pause for thought.

Austerity

Yanis Varoufakis

Selected from the books of Yanis Varoufakis.

VINTAGE MINIS: GREAT MINDS. BIG IDEAS. LITTLE BOOKS.

A series of short books by the world’s greatest writers on the experiences that make us human

The Great Economists

Linda Yueh

An expert new voice presents an overarching account of the biggest questions of our time - all in one accessible book

Since the days of Adam Smith, economists have grappled with a series of familiar problems - but often their ideas are hard to digest, even before we try to apply them to today's issues. Linda Yueh is renowned for her combination of erudition, as an accomplished economist herself, and accessibility, as a leading writer and broadcaster in this field. In The Great Economists she explains the key thoughts of history's greatest economists, how our lives have been influenced by their ideas and how they could help us with the policy challenges that we face today.

In the light of current economic problems, and in particular economic growth, Yueh explores the thoughts of economists from Adam Smith and David Ricardo to contemporary academics Douglass North and Robert Solow. Along the way, she asks, for example, what do the ideas of Karl Marx tell us about the likely future for the Chinese economy? How do the ideas of John Maynard Keynes, who argued for government spending to create full employment, help us think about state intervention? And with globalisation in trouble, what can we learn about handling Brexit and Trumpism?

The Entrepreneurial State

Mariana Mazzucato

'Superb ... At a time when government action of any kind is ideologically suspect, and entrepreneurship is unquestioningly lionized, the book's importance cannot be understated' Guardian

According to conventional wisdom, innovation is best left to the dynamic entrepreneurs of the private sector, and government should get out of the way. But what if all this was wrong? What if, from Silicon Valley to medical breakthroughs, the public sector has been the boldest and most valuable risk-taker of all?

'A brilliant book' Martin Wolf, Financial Times

'One of the most incisive economic books in years' Jeff Madrick, New York Review of Books

'Mazzucato is right to argue that the state has played a central role in producing game-changing breakthroughs' Economist

'Read her book. It will challenge your thinking' Forbes

Skin in the Game

Nassim Nicholas Taleb

The bestselling author of The Black Swan and 'the hottest thinker in the world' (Sunday Times) is back with a book challenging many of our long-held beliefs

Why should we never listen to people who explain rather than do? Why do companies go bust? How is it that we have more slaves today than in Roman times? Why does imposing democracy on other countries never work?

The answer: too many people running the world don't have skin in the game. In this provocative book, Nassim Nicholas Taleb shows that skin in the game, which is usually seen as the foundation of risk management, in fact applies to all aspects of our lives. It's about having something to lose and taking a risk. Citizens, lab experimenters, artisans, political activists and hedge fund traders all have skin in the game. Policy wonks, corporate executives, theoreticians, bankers and most journalists don't.

In his inimitable, pugnacious style, Taleb draws on everything from Antaeus the Giant to Hammurabi to Donald Trump, from ethics to used car salesmen, to create a jaw-dropping framework for understanding this idea. Along the way, he offers key rules to live by: do not do to others what you don't want them to do to you; never trust anyone who gives advice for a living.

Just as The Black Swan did during the 2007 financial crisis, Skin in the Game comes at precisely the right moment to challenge our long-held beliefs about risk, reward, politics, religion and finance - and make us rethink everything we thought we knew.

The Culture Code

Daniel Coyle

‘A marvel of insight and practicality’ Charles Duhigg, author of The Power of Habit

‘Truly brilliant . . . Read it immediately’ Adam Grant, author of Originals


What can we learn from the Chilean miners trapped underground in 2010, the San Antonio Spurs basketball team and Pixar animation studios?

Most of us have experienced the rewards of working in a successful team and know too the difficulties of being in a group that doesn’t function effectively. In The Culture Code, Daniel Coyle, New York Times bestselling author of The Talent Code, unlocks the secrets of some of the world’s most successful organisations. What was it about Google, back in 2002 a young upstart in the tech world, that allowed it to unlock the multibillion-dollar targeted advertising market, in the face of overwhelming competition? And what might kindergartners be able to teach us about how to operate in an effective team?

Drawing on diverse examples ranging from pioneering internet retailers to an infamous gang of jewel thieves, Coyle identifies the key skills that generate team cohesion, along the way asking where great cultures come from, and what can help strengthen a culture that needs fixing. Combining cutting-edge science, on-the-ground insight and practical ideas for action, The Culture Code is a groundbreaking exploration of how the best teams operate that will change the way we think and work together.

How Democracies Die

Steven Levitsky (and others)

Two Harvard professors explain the dangerous world we face today

Democracies can die with a coup d'état - or they can die slowly. This happens most deceptively when in piecemeal fashion, with the election of an authoritarian leader, the abuse of governmental power and the complete repression of opposition. All three steps are being taken around the world - not least with the election of Donald Trump - and we must all understand how we can stop them.

From the reign of General Augusto Pinochet in Chile to the quiet undermining of Turkey's constitutional system by President Recip Erdogan, Harvard professors Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt draw insightful lessons from across history to shine a light on governmental breakdown across the 20th and 21st centuries - including the dangers of an authoritarian leader faced with a major crisis.

Based on years of research, they present a deep understanding of how and why democracies die; an alarming analysis of how democracy is being subverted today in the US and beyond; and a guide for maintaining and repairing a threatened democracy, for governments, political parties and individuals.

History doesn't repeat itself. But we can protect our democracy by learning its lessons, before it's too late.

Global Discontents

Noam Chomsky (and others)

'If I were a voter in Britain, I would vote for [Jeremy Corbyn]' - Noam Chomsky, 2017

Global Discontents is an essential guide to geopolitics and how to fight back, from the world's leading public intellectual

What kind of world are we leaving to our grandchildren? How are the discontents kindled today likely to blaze and explode tomorrow?

From escalating climate change to the devastation in Syria, pandemic state surveillance to looming nuclear war, Noam Chomsky takes stock of the world today. Over the course of ten conversations with long-time collaborator David Barsamian, spanning 2013-2016, Chomsky argues in favour of radical changes to a system that cannot possibly cope with what awaits tomorrow.

Interwoven with personal reflections spanning from childhood to his eighth decade of life, Global Discontents also marks out Chomsky's own intellectual journey, mapping his progress to revolutionary ideas and global prominence.

Globalization and Its Discontents Revisited

Joseph Stiglitz

From Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz, Globalization and its Discontents is the bestselling exposé of the all-powerful organizations that control our lives.

Joseph Stiglitz's landmark book lifted the lid on how globalization was hurting those it was meant to help. Many of its predictions came true, and it became a touchstone in the debate. This major new edition looks afresh at the continuing mismanagement of globalization, and how it has led to our current political and economic discontents. Globalization can still be a force for good, Stiglitz argues. But the balance of power has to change. Here he offers real, tough solutions for the future.

'A massively important political as well as economic document ... we should listen to him urgently' Will Hutton, Guardian

'Stiglitz is a rare breed, an heretical economist who has ruffled the self-satisfied global establishment that once fed him. Globalization and its Discontents declares war on the entire Washington financial and economic establishment' Ian Fraser, Sunday Herald

'Gripping ... this landmark book shows him to be a worthy successor to Keynes' Robin Blackburn, Independent

My Life, Our Times

Gordon Brown

As former Prime Minister and our longest-serving Chancellor, Gordon Brown has been a guiding force for Britain and the world over three decades. This is his candid, poignant and deeply relevant story.

In describing his upbringing in Scotland as the son of a minister, the near loss of his eyesight as a student and the death of his daughter within days of her birth, he shares the passionately held principles that have shaped and driven him, reminding us that politics can and should be a calling to serve. Reflecting on the personal and ideological tensions within Labour and its achievements – the minimum wage, tax credits, Bank of England independence and the refinancing of the National Health Service – he describes how to meet the challenge of pursuing a radical agenda within a credible party of government.
He explains how as Chancellor he equipped Britain for a globalised economy while swimming against the neoliberal tide and shows what more must be done to halt rising inequality. In his behind-the-scenes account of the financial crisis and his leading role in saving the world economy from collapse, he addresses the question of who was to blame for the crash and why its causes and consequences still beset us.

From the invasion of Iraq to the tragedy of Afghanistan, from the coalition negotiations of 2010 to the referendums on Scottish independence and Europe, Gordon Brown draws on his unique experiences to explain Britain’s current fractured condition. And by showing us what progressive politics has achieved in recent decades, he inspires us with a vision of what it might yet achieve today.

Riveting, expert and highly personal, this historic memoir is an invaluable insight into our times.

WTF?: What's the Future and Why It's Up to Us

Tim O'Reilly

‘An indispensable guide.’ Reid Hoffman, co-founder of LinkedIn

‘Tech’s most valuable teacher.’ Forbes


Silicon Valley’s leading intellectual and the founder of O’Reilly Media explores the upside and the potential downsides of our future – what he calls the next economy’.

Tim O’Reilly’s genius is to identify and explain emerging technologies with world shaking potential – the World Wide Web, Open Source Software, Web 2.0, Open Government data, the Maker Movement, Big Data. ‘The man who can really can make a whole industry happen,’ according to Executive Chairman of Google Eric Schmidt, O’Reilly has most recently focused on the future of work – AI, algorithms, and new approaches to business organisation that will shape our lives. He has brought together an unlikely coalition of technologists, business leaders, labour advocates, and policy makers to wrestle with these issues. In WTF? he shares the evolution of his intellectual development, applying his approach to a number of challenging issues we will face as citizens, employees, business leaders, and a nation.

What is the future when an increasing number of jobs can be performed by intelligent machines instead of people, or only done by people in partnership with those machines? What happens to our consumer based societies – to workers and to the companies that depend on their purchasing power? Is income inequality and unemployment an inevitable consequence of technological advancement, or are there paths to a better future? What will happen to business when technology-enabled networks and marketplaces are better at deploying talent than traditional companies? What’s the future of education when on-demand learning outperforms traditional institutions? Will the fundamental social safety nets of the developed world survive the transition, and if not, what will replace them?

The digital revolution has transformed the world of media, upending centuries-old companies and business models. Now, it is restructuring every business, every job, and every sector of society. Yet the biggest changes are still ahead. To survive, every industry and organisation will have to transform itself in multiple ways. O’Reilly explores what the next economy will mean for the world and every aspect of our lives – and what we can do to shape it.

Talking to My Daughter About the Economy

Yanis Varoufakis

Why is there so much inequality? In this short book, world famous economist Yanis Varoufakis sets out to answer his daughter Xenia’s deceptively simple question. Using personal stories and famous myths – from Oedipus and Faust to Frankenstein and The Matrix – he explains what the economy is and why it has the power to shape our lives.

Intimate yet universally accessible, Talking To My Daughter About the Economy introduces readers to the most important drama of our times, helping to make sense of a troubling world while inspiring us to make it a better one.

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