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Bad Money: Reckless Finance, Failed…

Bad Money: Reckless Finance, Failed Politics, and the Global Crisis… (edition 2008)

by Kevin Phillips

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399826,786 (3.5)9
Title:Bad Money: Reckless Finance, Failed Politics, and the Global Crisis ofAmerican Capitalism
Authors:Kevin Phillips
Info:Viking Adult (2008), Hardcover, 256 pages
Collections:Returned to Library
Tags:NON-CIRCULATING, from Hackley Public Library

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Bad money : reckless finance, failed politics, and the global crisis of American capitalism by Kevin Phillips



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Okay, we're all going to hell in a handbasket. Oil, bad mortgage loans, banking system that is not transparent. The Euro or the Yen will replace the dollar as the currency of choice. Our standard of living is actually falling. Education doesn't really help. Gloom and doom. Maybe it's all correct, but somehow or other I believe USA will muddle through for a little while longer. ( )
1 vote cdeuker | Jul 15, 2011 |
Kevin Phillips has published 13 books relating to the subject of doom of the American financial system and as of this review almost 100 reviewers on Amazon have recommended this book and admitted Phillips shows no solution to the decline of the US economy, largely because we have left agriculture and manufacturing for a plunge into finances as our largest economic section. The rest of the world hates and resents us and now has us under their feet. It could have been entitled, Goodbye American Dreams. What is interesting is that published before the Obama administration took office, predictions are correct.

There are interesting historical references to the decline and fall of earlier empires, Rome Spain, the Netherlands,and of course Britain.

Ah, and now, April 2011 the Republicans are about to close the government down to force the Democrats to make drastic cuts in humanitarian spending and the US is getting involved in yet another mid eastern war. This remains a timely book. ( )
  carterchristian1 | Nov 6, 2010 |
So far, so good. But, where were all of the professional economists who could have warned persons who relied on S&P and Moody's ratings, that they were unreliable?
  BrotherSka | Apr 9, 2009 |
Keven Phillips is a respected and knowledgeable writer on politics and economics since as a young man he predicted the realignment of American politics with the domination of conservative Republicans. In this book he looks at the current global crisis, comparing it against three previous imperial failures, that of Spain, the Dutch, and the British. He goes into lengthy explanations of the financial services sector domination of the U.S. economy and the questionable nature of the wealth it produced and the reasons for the failure of these financial instruments. He also ties in the question of the influence of oil on the world's economy, politics, and wars. If oil production has, or is about, to, peak, the world's economies are in for major and painful restructuring. Moreover, failed U.S. foreign policy, especially the disastrous Iraq war, has increased the speed of the formation of anti-American or post-American power blocks.

An important look at the current financial crisis and the problems that led up to it. ( )
1 vote reannon | Nov 22, 2008 |
Bill Moyers’ interview with Kevin Philips was sufficiently interesting that I bought this book and moved it to the top of my In stack.

Philips traces the roots of our current financial crisis, and brings up some data points I was previously unaware of. I knew that bad deregulation made it easy for subprime loans to be packaged up and sold off as financial instruments while hiding the actual risk, that the ratings agencies had engaged in a “race to the bottom” to put their seal of approval on bad investment pools, and that the SEC in 2004 waived its leverage rules for the Big Five Investment Banks that Are No More. (And lest anyone think that Democrats are blameless in this mess, Phil Gramm may have been instrumental in drafting the Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000, but Bill Clinton signed it, and the Clintons are quite cozy with Wall Street.) Philips notes that the Consumer Price Index was tinkered with in the late 1990s to camouflage inflation, and compares it to old-style debasing of currency, and that Bernanke suspended the publication of M3 statistics in 2006, also hiding indicators of inflation.

The book compares our current situation to historical examples of other world economic powers that passed their Zenith, such as Hapsburg Spain, the maritime Dutch Republic, and imperial Britain before WWI. We seem to be following a historical pattern: financialization (the shift of the economy from doing things and making things to finance), an intensification of religious fervor leading to conflicts with science, imperialism and military overreach, excessive debt, and (in the later two cases) the energy infrastructure becoming obsolete. There are many examples from our past three decades of “collusions between political permissiveness and financial recklessness”, receiving government rescue every time the voters felt threatened.

He points out the sources of our troubles: a quasi-religious faith in the efficient markets hypothesis, debasement of the statistics that help us steer the economy, the use of the “prosperity gospel” to anaesthetize voters who might otherwise have been more skeptical at the polls, and securitization to hide risky assets. He also looks at impending problems, taking a hard look at energy security, and the risks of some of seeing some of our trading partners decide to rethink policies like Bretton Woods II, or OPEC pricing oil in dollars. There will be a shift of economic power to Asia in this century, and if we aren’t careful, that shift will be abrupt and (for us) rather unpleasant.

He has little good to say about either political party, noting bipartisan trends of dynastic politics that selecting for working the system rather than doing good work, but still hopes that we might manage to eventually move the nation toward being a high-value-added manufacturer and exporter comparable to Germany, Japan, or Switzerland. Overall, a sobering read. ( )
1 vote slothman | Oct 2, 2008 |
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Gresham's Law . . . a general law or principle concerning the circulation of money . . . [named] after Sir Thomas Gresham, who clearly perceived its truth three centuries ago. This law, briefly expressed, is that bad money drives out good money, but that good money cannot drive out bad money.
-- W. S. Jevons, nineteen-century economist

In a Global free market, there is a variation on Gresham's Law: bad capitalism tends to drive out good.
-- Professor John Gray, False Draw, 1998
To William Russell Philips, our new grandson
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The most worrisome thing about the vulnerability of the U.S. economy circa 2008 is the extent of offical understatement and misstatement -- the preference for minimizing how many problems there are and how interconnected they are. (Preface, The Political Economies of Deception)
For centuries, the importance of harvesttime in the affair of men made August and September months notorious for declarations of war, crop failures, and, eventually, bank crises.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0670019070, Hardcover)

In a devastating follow-up to his last bestseller, American Theocracy, Kevin Phillips describes the consequences of our catastrophic economic policies, our mounting debt, our collapsing housing market, our diminishing oil, and the end of American domination of world markets.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:02:56 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

A survey of the role of America's financial sector in compromising the nation's global future examines the sources of rising debt, high mortgage rates, and increasing oil prices, making sobering predictions about the downfall of America as a world power.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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