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The Mystery of Capital: Why Capitalism…
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The Mystery of Capital: Why Capitalism Triumphs in the West and Fails…

by Hernando De Soto

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819None11,038 (4.12)4
  1. 00
    The Wealth and Poverty of Nations: Why Some Are So Rich and Some So Poor by David S Landes (br77rino)
    br77rino: De Soto does a wonderful job of making plain the problems of Third World capitalism.
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Showing 5 of 5
Only read half of this ( we get the idea ) although it is very good ( I also kept flashin on ' Thieves World ', the Asprin books ... hm ... ) ( )
  BakuDreamer | Sep 7, 2013 |
This book not only highlights global legal property right deficiencies, but also guides readers to a first step in reducing global poverty. ( )
  sagacious33 | Aug 12, 2010 |
This is a great book on the power of capitalism, and how its use outside the 'first world' is missing a key ingredient, namely, the legal right and acknowledgement of private property. ( )
  br77rino | Apr 18, 2010 |
Thesis: Poor are worse off because they don't have a proper system of legal property and judicial courts. ( )
  Ramirez | Mar 15, 2009 |
Showing 5 of 5
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To Mariano Cornejo, who showed me how
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0465016154, Paperback)

It's become clear by now the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of communism in most places around the globe hasn't ushered in an unequivocal flowering of capitalism in the developing and postcommunist world. Western thinkers have blamed this on everything from these countries' lack of sellable assets to their inherently non-entrepreneurial "mindset." In this book, the renowned Peruvian economist and adviser to presidents and prime ministers Hernando de Soto proposes and argues another reason: it's not that poor, postcommunist countries don't have the assets to make capitalism flourish. As de Soto points out by way of example, in Egypt, the wealth the poor have accumulated is worth 55 times as much as the sum of all direct foreign investment ever recorded there, including that spent on building the Suez Canal and the Aswan Dam.

No, the real problem is that such countries have yet to establish and normalize the invisible network of laws that turns assets from "dead" into "liquid" capital. In the West, standardized laws allow us to mortgage a house to raise money for a new venture, permit the worth of a company to be broken up into so many publicly tradable stocks, and make it possible to govern and appraise property with agreed-upon rules that hold across neighborhoods, towns, or regions. This invisible infrastructure of "asset management"--so taken for granted in the West, even though it has only fully existed in the United States for the past 100 years--is the missing ingredient to success with capitalism, insists de Soto. But even though that link is primarily a legal one, he argues that the process of making it a normalized component of a society is more a political--or attitude-changing--challenge than anything else.

With a fleet of researchers, de Soto has sought out detailed evidence from struggling economies around the world to back up his claims. The result is a fascinating and solidly supported look at the one component that's holding much of the world back from developing healthy free markets. --Timothy Murphy

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:47:31 -0400)

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