Economics

Joy of TaxIn The Joy of Tax, tax campaigner Richard Murphy challenges almost every idea you have about tax. For him, tax is fundamentally about the ideas that shape the sort of society we want to live in, not technicalities. His intention is to demonstrate that there is indeed a joy in tax, and by embracing it we can create a fairer society and change the world for the better.

Where Does Money Come From? reveals how, contrary to public perception, the bulk of today’s money supply is created and allocated by commercial banks in their role as providers of credit. The authors argue that this system is inherently unstable, with little effective regulation of how much credit is provided or whether it is used for productive or speculative purposes. Based on detailed research and consultation with experts, including from the Bank of England, Where Does Money Come From? reviews theoretical and historical debates on the nature of money and banking and explains the role of the central bank, the Government and the European Union.

Money makes the world go round: but what is it really? And how is it produced? Above all, who controls its production, and in whose interests? Money is never a neutral medium of exchange. Nor are bankers simply go-betweens for savers and borrowers. In this accessible, brilliantly argued book, leading political economist Ann Pettifor explains in straightforward terms history’s most misunderstood invention: the money system. Pettifor argues that democracies can reclaim control over money production and subordinate the out-of-control finance sector to the interests of society, and also the ecosystem.
David Graeber, an anthropologist at the London School of Economics, and one of the organisers of Occupy Wall Street, presents a stunning reversal of conventional wisdom: he shows that long before there was money, there was debt. In this sweeping study, Graeber argues that our current ideas about money are limited, if not completely wrong. Society has always been divided into debtors and creditors, and debt and forgiveness have been at the centre of political debate long before money existed. Graeber shows how we are still fighting these battles today, and the financial crisis is an urgent and global example of that.
Debt or Democracy explodes the myths behind modern money. It challenges the neoliberal obsession with public debt and deficit, arguing that a much more serious problem is the privatised creation of money through bank debt that leads to boom and bust. Far from being a burden on the taxpayer, Mary Mellor argues that public money and public expenditure is necessary for economic well-being. Arguing that money is a public resource that should be under democratic control, Debt or Democracy directly challenges conventional economic thinking and presents a radical alternative for socially just and ecologically sustainable provisioning.

J IS FOR JUNK ECONOMICS is an A-to-Z guide that explains how the world economy really works – and who the winners and losers are. The book includes more than 400 concise and acerbic entries, several essays, and a full topic index. Expanding on KILLING THE HOST: HOW FINANCIAL PARASITES AND DEBT DESTROY THE GLOBAL ECONOMY, Prof. Hudson’s new book covers contemporary terms that are misleading or poorly understood as well as many important concepts that have been abandoned – many on purpose – from the long history of political economy. (Recommended by John Taft.)

How financial parasites and debt destroy the global economy. Professor Hudson continues the discussion on the financialisation of capital and its global effects. KILLING THE HOST exposes how finance, insurance, and real estate (the FIRE sector) have gained control of the global economy at the expense of industrial capitalism and governments. The FIRE sector is responsible for today’s economic polarization (the 1% vs. the 99%) via favoured tax status that inflates real estate prices while deflating the “real” economy of labor and production. The Great 2008 Bailout saved the banks but not the economy, and plunged the U.S., Irish, Latvian and Greek economies into debt deflation and austerity. This book describes how the phenomenon of debt deflation imposes austerity on the U.S. and European economies, siphoning wealth and income upward to the financial sector while impoverishing the middle class. (Recommended by John Taft.)

In the graveyard of economic ideology, dead ideas still stalk the land.
The recent financial crisis laid bare many of the assumptions behind market liberalism–the theory that market-based solutions are always best, regardless of the problem. For decades, their advocates dominated mainstream economics, and their influence created a system where an unthinking faith in markets led many to view speculative investments as fundamentally safe. The crisis seemed to have killed off these ideas, but they still live on in the minds of many–members of the public, commentators, politicians, economists, and even those charged with cleaning up the mess. In “Zombie Economics,” John Quiggin explains how these dead ideas still walk among us–and why we must find a way to kill them once and for all if we are to avoid an even bigger financial crisis in the future.