As the European Union exerts pressure on Portugal to commit to a programme of austerity measures in exchange for an €80billion bailout, we look at a variety of insightful books on global economics from Yale University Press.
The economic future of Portugal is in a state of disarray following the collapse of its government after the austerity plans put forward by Prime Minister Jose Socrates were rejected by parliament. Portugal’s main political parties are now being urged by the EU to agree on a more savage cuts programme if they are to receive financial help from the EU and the International Monitory Fund (IMF).
Portugal is the latest country to suffer a debt crisis that has already seen Greece and Ireland bailed out by the EU and IMF to the tune of nearly €200billion, prompting fresh concerns about the future of the Eurozone and the continuing legacy of the global banking crisis.
Yale University Press have published a number of recent books on world economics, offering insight and expertise on our febrile economic situation and the stability of the Euro, as well as advice for the economic leaders of the future.
Losing Control: The Emerging Threats to Western Prosperity
by Stephen D. King
For Stephen D King, the global chief economist at HSBC, the international financial crisis that began in 2007 is just one result of the increasing gravitational pull of the emerging economic giants of Asia and elsewhere. In his vividly written and compellingly argued book Losing Control King suggests that the decades ahead will see a major redistribution of wealth and power across the globe that will force consumers in the United States and Europe to stop living beyond their means. King describes how the tide of money washing in from emerging nations has already fuelled the recent property bubble in the West, while new patterns of trade have left the West increasingly dependent on risky financial services. Unless things change drastically, King argues, the increasing power of emerging markets, when coupled with poor internal regulation and an increasingly anachronistic system of global governance, will result in greater instability and income inequality, accompanied by the risk of a major dollar decline. And as Western populations age and emerging economies develop further, the social and political consequences may be alarming to citizens who have grown accustomed to living in prosperity. You can watch Stephen D King’s seminars on YouTube.
Fixing Global Finance
by Martin Wolf
The globalisation of finance should have brought substantial benefits. In practice it brought a series of devastating currency and banking crises in the 1980 and 1990s, particularly in the developing world. The failure of advanced countries and of the IMF to rescue the damaged economies of Asia, Russia or Brazil taught those countries, and the emerging Chinese giant, an overwhelming lesson: never again. Emerging economies ceased importing capital, but by keeping their exchange rates down, running huge current account surpluses, recycling capital inflows and accumulating enormous foreign currency reserves, they began to export it on a vast scale. Since several advanced countries also ran large current account surpluses, to which the oil exporters added their own massive contributions, the US emerged as the spender and borrower of last resort. But as its external deficit exploded, so did the domestic borrowing of US households, stimulated by rising house prices. The result was the subprime mortage crisis of 2007. In this expanded paperback edition. Martin Wolf includes a substantial new chapter on the global banking crisis of 2008-9 which has seen the argument of this book becoming the conventional wisdom among G20 policymakers. Only by tackling imbalances in the international financial system is there a chance of global financial stability.
What’s Next? A View from the World’s Leading Economists
Edited by David Hale and Lyric Hale
The world spins in economic turmoil, and who can tell what will happen next? Cold numbers and simple statistical projections don’t take into account social, financial, or political factors that can dramatically alter the economic course of a nation or a region. In this unique book, more than twenty leading economists and experts render thorough, rigorously researched prognoses for the world’s major economies over the next five years. Factoring in such varied issues as the price of oil, the strength of the U.S. dollar, geopolitics, tax policies, and new developments in investment decision-making, the contributors ground their predictions in the realities of current events, political conditions, and the health of financial institutions in each national economy. This most comprehensive volume on the global economy available today, What’s Next? presents up-to-date research on Russia, Australia, Europe, sub-Saharan and South Africa, the major Asian economies, North America, and the largest economies of Latin America. With unsurpassed expertise, the authors explain what’s going on in individual countries, how important current global issues will impact them, and what economic scenarios they most likely will face in upcoming years.
The Euro: The Politics of the New Global Currency
by David Marsh
The Euro by David Marsh is the first comprehensive political and economic account of the birth and development of the Euro. Today the Euro is the supranational currency for fifteen European countries and the world’s second largest reserve currency. Marsh tells the story of the rivalries, intrigues, and deal-making that brought about a currency for Europe, and he analyzes the achievements and shortcomings of its first decade of existence. While the Euro represents a remarkable triumph of political will, great pressures are building on the single currency. Drawing on more than 100 interviews with leading figures associated with the Euro, and scores of secret documents from international archives, Marsh underscores the Euro’s importance for the global economy, in particular for the U.S. and British economic and political agendas.Hidden facts and fresh insights from The Euro: how the legacy of France and Germany’s tortuous relations affects the Euro; why the UK is unlikely to accept the Euro before 2025; the impact on the Euro of the US credit crisis; how the Euro has rebounded against the aspirations of its founders; how Italy and Spain have massively lost competitiveness; and, why radical changes must be adopted to prevent a European upheaval.
“Marsh has achieved the seemingly impossible feat of making what the Brits tend to regard as a boring topic, best avoided, into a great story. What is more, it manages to be balanced, examining all the topical, as well as historical, issues.”
– William Keegan, The Observer
These books are available from Yale University Press.