"How Markets Fail" book

8 posts / 0 new
Last post
ginger's picture
ginger
Offline
Joined: 19-07-04
Nov 13 2009 17:37
"How Markets Fail" book

Anyone read "How Markets Fail" by John Cassidy?
http://us.macmillan.com/howmarketsfail

It looks like an indepth critique of market capitalism and associated myths. But before I go out and spend money on it, I wanted to know what other libcommers thought of it.

Cheers.

Boris Badenov
Offline
Joined: 25-08-08
Nov 13 2009 17:46

Looks kind of interesting, but it looks like Cassidy is going after free market purism from a Keynesian perspective; there's no criticism of the market per se and of capital, although I might be wrong, not having read it.

Joseph Kay's picture
Joseph Kay
Offline
Joined: 14-03-06
Nov 13 2009 18:11

saw this plugged on the BBC 'Stephanomics' blog, where the BBC's economics editor argues "it's not really capitalism that we have today" (under the 'free market = capitalism' fallacy beloved of economists). that would imply it's a Keyensian book, but that doesn't mean it isn't worth reading for its criticisms.

petey
Offline
Joined: 13-10-05
Nov 13 2009 18:26

i don't know the book at all, but the author is the economics columnist for the new yorker, a completely mainstream-liberal magazine.

Schwarz's picture
Schwarz
Offline
Joined: 7-01-09
Nov 13 2009 23:11

I heard this guy on WNYC today at work. He sounded relatively bright. He was certainly critical of market purism, monetarism, etc., and seemed to be arguing that game theory and behavioral economics will replace them as the new intellectual paradigm.

At one point the interviewer asked him about a resurgence of Marx and Cassidy lauded Marxist analysis, of course in a completely economistic way. Dickhead then went on to say something to the effect of, "Marx's economic analyses were great, but the system he designed was horrible", as though the bearded dude's corpse handed a blueprint of the Soviet Union to Lenin.

Anyways, Cassidy seemed to have a good grasp of the various historical approaches capitalists have taken to mitigate crisis and I guess the book may point to ways in which they may try to form policy in the future. I'm not rushing out to get it, but like others said there may be some interesting points in there.

Schwarz's picture
Schwarz
Offline
Joined: 7-01-09
Nov 13 2009 23:20

FYI: you can find that Cassidy interview here if you're interested.

georgestapleton's picture
georgestapleton
Offline
Joined: 4-08-05
Nov 14 2009 01:25
Joseph Kay wrote:
saw this plugged on the BBC 'Stephanomics' blog, where the BBC's economics editor argues "it's not really capitalism that we have today" (under the 'free market = capitalism' fallacy beloved of economists). that would imply it's a Keyensian book, but that doesn't mean it isn't worth reading for its criticisms.

Well on that blog, the only quote from him is this:

Quote:
"[T]he combination of a Fed that can print money, deposit insurance, and a Congress that can authorize bailouts provides an extensive safety net for big financial firms. In such an environment, pursuing a policy of easy money plus deregulation doesn't amount to free market economics: it's a form of crony capitalism."

And that definitely isn't a Keynesian comment.

Joseph Kay's picture
Joseph Kay
Offline
Joined: 14-03-06
Nov 14 2009 01:39

not in the sense Keynes wouldn't have described it as 'crony capitalism', but the tenor of the blog is that unprecedented state borrowing has saved capitalism (supposedly at the cost of turning it into something else). that's a very Keynesian idea, but you're right that's the blog rather than the book it endorses.