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.

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 Finance Curse

Nicholas Shaxson

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 off wealth, hoovers up government time, inflates prices and, as we’ve all seen, leads to boom and bust.

Yet to be ‘competitive’, we must deregulate, bust the unions, and turn a blind eye to money-laundering to appease big business. We are told this 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. Here, he issues a new warning, telling the astonishing story of how finance established a stranglehold on society. How were tax havens born? Why did Swiss banks first become secret? What’s competitive about allowing big companies like Apple and Amazon to avoid paying tax?

An essential guide and an explosive new tool, The Finance Curse shows how we got where we are and how we can dismantle a suffocating system.

Crashed

Adam Tooze

For a decade much of the world has been haunted by the spectre of the Great Financial Crisis that became public in September 2008 with the collapse of Lehman brothers. As its appalling scope and scale was revealed, the financial institutions that had stood at the heart of the West's triumph since the end of the Cold War, seemed - through greed, malice and incompetence - to be about to bring the entire Western 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?

This exceptional book, by a writer who combines to an unusual degree intellectual training and practical political experience, dispels the myths and caricatures and gives us Smith in the round. It lays out a succinct and highly engaging account of Smith's life and times, explores his work as a whole and traces his influence over the past two centuries. Finally, it shows how a proper understanding of Smith can help us grasp - and address - the problems of modern capitalism. The Smith who emerges from this book is not only the first thinker to place markets at the heart of economics but also a pioneering theorist of moral philosophy, culture and society.

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 is nothing more than a medium of exchange, it is claimed, and economic outcomes are best left to Adam Smith's 'invisible hand' of the market. Yet these issues remain staunchly unsettled. The view taken in this important new book is that the omnipresence of uncertainty makes money and government essential features of any market economy. We hold money because we don't know what the future will bring. Government - good government - makes the future more predictable and therefore reduces the propensity to hold money.

After Smith, orthodox economics persistently espoused non-interventionism; 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 to afford money and government the starring roles in the economic drama that they deserve.

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.

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

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 and India from Asia and others from Africa and Latin America - 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 power and 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

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

How do we choose between what is fair and just, and what our debtors demand of us? Yanis Varoufakis was put in such a dilemma in 2015 when he became the finance minister of Greece. In this rousing book, he charts the absurdities that underpin calls for austerity, as well as his own battles with a bureaucracy bent on ignoring the human cost of its every action. Passionately outspoken and tuned to the voices of the oppressed, Varoufakis presents a guide to modern economics, and its threat to democracy, like no other.

Selected from the books And the Weak Suffer What They Must? and Adults in the Room

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

The Great Economists

Linda Yueh

What can the ideas of history's greatest economists tell us about the most important issues of our time?

'The best place to start to learn about the very greatest economists of all time' Professor Tyler Cowen, author of The Complacent Class and The Great Stagnation

Since the days of Adam Smith, economists have grappled with a series of familiar problems - but often their ideas are hard to digest, before we even 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; and in The Great Economists she explains the key thoughts of history's greatest economists, how their lives and times affected their ideas, how our lives have been influenced by their work, and how they could help 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 through Joan Robinson and Milton Friedman to 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 does the work of John Maynard Keynes, who argued for government spending to create full employment, help us think about state investment? And with globalization in trouble, what can we learn about handling Brexit and Trumpism?

In one accessible volume, this expert new voice provides an overarching guide to the biggest questions of our time.

The Great Economists includes:
Adam Smith
David Ricardo
Karl Marx
Alfred Marshall
Irving Fisher
John Maynard Keynes
Joseph Schumpeter
Friedrich Hayek
Joan Robinson
Milton Friedman
Douglass North
Robert Solow

'Economics students, like others, can learn a lot from this book' - Professor Paul Collier, author of The Bottom Billion

'Not only a great way to learn in an easily readable manner about some of the greatest economic influences of the past, but also a good way to test your own a priori assumptions about some of the big challenges of our time.' - Lord Jim O'Neill, former Chairman at Goldman Sachs Asset Management, former UK Treasury Minister, and author of The Growth Map

'An extremely engaging survey of the lifetimes and ideas of the great thinkers of economic history.' - Professor Kenneth Rogoff, author of The Curse of Cash and co-author of This Time is Different

'This book is a very readable introduction to the lives and thinking of the greats.' - Professor Raghuram Rajan, former Governor of the Reserve Bank of India, and author of I Do What I Do and Fault Lines

'Read it not only to learn about the world's great economists, but also to see how consequential thought innovations can be, and have been.' - Mohamed el-Erian, Chief Economic Adviser at Allianz, former CEO of PIMCO

Doughnut Economics

Kate Raworth

*The Sunday Times Bestseller*
*A Financial Times and Forbes Book of the Year*
*Winner of the Transmission Prize 2018*
*Longlisted for the FT/McKinsey Business Book of the Year Award 2017*

‘The John Maynard Keynes of the 21st century.’ George Monbiot, Guardian

‘This is sharp, significant scholarship . . . Thrilling.’ Times Higher Education

Remorseless financial crises. Extreme inequalities in wealth. Relentless pressure on the environment. Anyone can see that our economic system is broken. But can it be fixed?

In Doughnut Economics, Oxford academic Kate Raworth identifies the seven critical ways in which mainstream economics has led us astray – from selling us the myth of ‘rational economic man’ to obsessing over growth at all costs – and offers instead an alternative roadmap for bringing humanity into a sweet spot that meets the needs of all within the means of the planet. Ambitious, radical and thoughtful, she offers a new, cutting-edge economic model fit for the challenges of the 21st century.


Raworth’s magnum opus . . . A fascinating reminder to business leaders and economists alike to stand back at a distance to examine our modern economics.’ Books of the Year, Forbes

‘There are some really important economic and political thinkers around at the moment – such as Kate Raworth’s Doughnut Economics.’ Andrew Marr, Guardian

‘An admirable attempt to broaden the horizons of economic thinking.’ Martin Wolf, Books of the Year, Financial Times

‘A compelling and timely intervention.’ Caroline Lucas MP, Books of the Year, The Ecologist

Skin in the Game

Nassim Nicholas Taleb

From the bestselling author of The Black Swan, a bold book that challenges many of our long-held beliefs about risk and reward, politics and religion, finance and personal responsibility

'Skin in the game means that you do not pay attention to what people say, only to what they do, and how much of their neck they are putting on the line'

Citizens, artisans, police, fishermen, political activists and entrepreneurs all have skin in the game. Policy wonks, corporate executives, many academics, bankers and most journalists don't. It's all about having something to lose and sharing risks with others. In his most provocative and practical book yet, Nassim Nicholas Taleb shows that skin in the game, often seen as the foundation of risk management, in fact applies to all aspects of our lives.

In his inimitable 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. Among his insights:

For social justice, focus on symmetry and risk sharing.

Minorities, not majorities, run the world.

You can be an intellectual yet still be an idiot.

Beware of complicated solutions (that someone was paid to find).

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 business - and make us rethink everything we thought we knew.

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