June 29th 2019


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Articles from this issue:

COVER STORY John Setka, for all his faults, is the perfect scapegoat

FIGHTING FUND NCC president Patrick J. Byrne outlines the goals for 2019

SPECIAL FEATURE Author Rod Dreher brings St Benedict to bear on our decline and fall

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS One million protest China's attack on Hong Kong's freedom

GENDER POLITICS Vatican issues document on gender ideology

POLITICS AND SOCIETY New secularist strategies to bury Christianity

HISTORY OF SCIENCE Faith and reason and Father Stanley Jaki, Part 4: Ancient Jewish view of the cosmos

NATIONAL AFFAIRS Cardinal Pell's appeal: An account from the live streaming

BANKING FEATURE Greed works ... at least for a while and for a few

IDEOLOGY Feminist claims for equality, Part 2: What feminism should be

IDEOLOGY WARS Roger Scruton and the Tories: a sorry tale

MUSIC Melodic abundance: John, Paul, Duke and Antonio

CINEMA The End: Staging the apocalypse

BOOK REVIEW Scenes from Dante's Inferno

BOOK REVIEW Mrs Gould: she who drew the pictures

LETTERS

POETRY

Books promotion page

THE SHIFTS AND THE SHOCKS:
What We've Learned - and Still Have to Learn - from the Financial Crisis

Martin Wolf

$49.95


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(London: Penguin, 2014)
Hardcover: 336 pages
ISBN: 9781846146978
Price: AUD$49.95

 

Book description

There have been many books that have sought to explain the causes and courses of the financial and economic crisis which began in 2007-8. The Shifts and the Shocks is not another detailed history of the crisis, but the most persuasive and complete account yet published of what the crisis should teach us about modern economies and economics.

The book identifies the origin of the crisis in the complex interaction between globalisation, hugely destabilising global imbalances and our dangerously fragile financial system. In the eurozone, these sources of instability were multiplied by the tragically defective architecture of the monetary union. 

It also shows how much of the orthodoxy that shaped monetary and financial policy before the crisis occurred was complacent and wrong. In doing so, it mercilessly reveals the failures of the financial, political and intellectual elites who ran the system.

The book also examines what has been done to reform the financial and monetary systems since the worst of the crisis passed. “Are we now on a sustainable course?” Wolf asks. “The answer is no.” He explains with great clarity why “further crises seem certain” and why the management of the eurozone in particular “guarantees a huge political crisis at some point in the future”. Wolf provides far more ambitious and comprehensive plans for reform than any currently being implemented.

Written with all the intellectual command and trenchant judgement that have made Martin Wolf one of the world’s most influential economic commentators, The Shifts and the Shocks matches impressive analysis with no-holds-barred criticism and persuasive prescription for a more stable future. It is a book no-one with an interest in global affairs will want to neglect.

 

About the author

Martin Wolf is chief economics commentator at the Financial Times (UK). He has been visiting professor at Oxford and Nottingham universities, a fellow of the World Economic Forum in Davos, and a member of the UK’s Vickers Commission on Banking, which reported in 2011. His books include Why Globalization Works and Fixing Global Finance. In 2000, he was awarded the CBE for services to financial journalism, and in 2012 he received the Ischia International Journalism Award.

 

Endorsements

“We have been inundated with books about the ‘financial’ aspects of the crisis. There have also been many books about specific institutions or memoirs by retired policy-makers. We need something different. There are two dimensions of the crisis that have received surprisingly little treatment. One is the link between developments in the macro-economy and the behaviour of the financial sector. The other is the global dimension of the crisis. Both these lie at the heart of Martin Wolf’s analysis of the causes of the crisis and of his proposals to reduce the risk of another crisis. For these two reasons this is an important book that will be influential. Most important of all, it is in my view the right analysis and remedy.” — Mervyn King, Governor of the Bank of England (2003–2013)

“The 2008 financial crisis was an economic disaster, but as Martin Wolf brilliantly argues the policy response has failed to address the fundamental drivers of instability — excessive debt creation, global imbalances and inequality. To think straight about the causes and solutions of the financial crisis we must reject orthodox assumptions that more finance and global financial integration are limitlessly beneficial. The Shifts and the Shocks does just that, providing an intellectually sparkling and vital account of why the crisis occurred, and of the radical reforms needed if we are to avoid a future repeat.” — Adair Turner, chairman of the UK’s Financial Services Authority (2008–2013) 

“Martin Wolf is unsurpassed in the world of economic journalists. His superb book may be the best of all those spawned by the Great Recession. It is analytical and rigorous without ever succumbing to fatalism or complacency.” — Lawrence H. Summers, Secretary of the Treasury of the United States (1999–2001)

“Martin Wolf has established himself as one of the most influential economics journalists of our time, which has never been clearer than in his latest book, The Shifts and The Shocks, on the anaemic global economic recovery since 2008, outlining many of the reasons why economic growth has been so underwhelming since the crisis and what policy reforms he thinks are needed to avert another downturn.” — John Hartley (Washington Times, September 17, 2014)


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