Never Let A Serious Crisis Go to Waste

Never Let A Serious Crisis Go to Waste

How Neoliberalism Survived the Financial Meltdown

Book - 2013
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After financial apocalypse, neoliberalism rose from the dead - stronger than ever. At the onset of the Great Recession, as house prices sank and joblessness soared, many commentators concluded that the economic convictions behind the disaster would now be consigned to history. And yet, in the harsh light of a new day, we've awoken to a second nightmare more ghastly than the first: a political class still blaming government intervention, a global drive for austerity, stagflation, and an international sovereign debt crisis. Philip Mirowski finds an apt comparison to this situation in classic studies of cognitive dissonance. He concludes that neoliberal thought has become so pervasive that any countervailing evidence serves only to further convince disciples of its ultimate truth. Once neoliberalism became a Theory of Everything, providing a revolutionary account of self, knowledge, information, markets, and government, it could no longer be falsified by anything as trifling as data from the "real" economy. In this sharp, witty and deeply informed account, Mirowski - taking no prisoners in his pursuit of "zombie" economists - surveys the wreckage of what passes for economic thought, finally providing the basis for an anti-neoliberal assessment of the current crisis and our future prospects. -- From dust jacket.
Publisher: London ; New York : Verso, 2013
ISBN: 9781781680797
Branch Call Number: 320.513 MIROWSKI
Characteristics: 467 pages : illustrations, maps ; 24 cm


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Apr 23, 2014

A perfectly on target book by an academic who really nails it. The oft cited, and incorrect, reason for the economic meltdown (even cited by pseudo-liberal and former Reagan Administration guy, Paul Krugman) was too much household debt, when, point of fact, it was the awesome amount of debt created by the banks, hedge funds and private equity firms by their ultra-leveraging, selling endless financial instruments [credit derivatives] based upon layer and layer of debt. Daisy chaining their financial instruments [one bank sells a credit derivative and marks it on the liability side, the purchaser marks it on the asset side, then generates their own credit derivative based upon that asset, and on and on and on] dramatically increased the creation of debt, resulting in years of deleveraging. Hence, their austerity drive to force poverty on the rest of us.


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