The European economic crisis has been ongoing since 2008 and while austerity has spread over the continent, it has failed to revive economies. The media have played an important ideological role in presenting the policies of economic and political elites in a favourable light, even if the latter’s aim has been to shift the burden of adjustment onto citizens. This book explains how and why, using a critical political economic perspective and focusing on the case of Ireland. Throughout, Ireland is compared with contemporary and historical examples to contextualise the arguments made. The book covers the housing bubble that led to the crash, the rescue of financial institutions by the state, the role of the European institutions and the International Monetary Fund, austerity, and the possibility of leaving the eurozone for Europe’s peripheral countries. Through a systematic analysis of Ireland’s main newspapers, it is argued that the media reflect elite views and interests and downplay alternative policies that could lead to more progressive responses to the crisis.
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A clear, authoritative guide to the crisis of 2008, its continuing repercussions, and the needed reforms ahead. The U.S. economy lost the first decade of the twenty-first century to an ill-conceived boom and subsequent bust. It is in danger of losing another decade to the stagnation of an incomplete recovery. How did this happen? Read this lucid explanation of the origins and long-term effects of the recent financial crisis, drawn in historical and comparative perspective by two leading political economists. By 2008 the United States had become the biggest international borrower in world history, with more than two-thirds of its $6 trillion federal debt in foreign hands. The proportion of foreign loans to the size of the economy put the United States in league with Mexico, Indonesia, and other third-world debtor nations. The massive inflow of foreign funds financed the booms in housing prices and consumer spending that fueled the economy until the collapse of late 2008. This was the most serious international economic crisis since the Great Depression of the 1930s. Menzie Chinn and Jeffry Frieden explain the political and economic roots of this crisis as well as its long-term effects. They explore the political strategies behind the Bush administration’s policy of funding massive deficits with foreign borrowing. They show that the crisis was foreseen by many and was avoidable through appropriate policy measures. They examine the continuing impact of our huge debt on the continuing slow recovery from the recession. Lost Decades will long be regarded as the standard account of the crisis and its aftermath.
This book is devoted to the analysis of the three main financial crises that have marked this century: 2001 Argentina’s defaulting on its external debt, the American subprime crisis in 2008, and the current European debt crisis in Europe. The book pursues three major objectives: firstly, to accurately portray these three financial crises; secondly, to analyze what went wrong with mainstream economic theory, which was unable to foresee these types of economic turmoil; and thirdly, to review macroeconomic theory, re-evaluating Keynes’ original contribution to economic analysis and pointing out the need to rebuild macroeconomics with a view to studying economic illness rather than trying to prove the non-existence of economic problems.
The crisis in Europe is often discussed as a crisis of European integration or a crisis of national economies within Europe. Both the ‘methodological Europeanism’ and ‘methodological nationalism’ miss out the important links between economic and political processes at different spatial scales within Europe, and therefore, asymmetries and phenomena of uneven development. In addition, a discussion of possible scenarios which systematically addresses the implications of anti-crisis policies is missing. This volume seeks to close this gap by systematically integrating the analysis of economic policy or ‘technical’ solutions to the crisis within a broader framework of political economy. It argues that combining critical political economy approaches and post-Keynesian perspectives allows for a systematic understanding of the economic and political dimensions of the crisis. Although both approaches have the capacity to deal with asymmetries and uneven development, the heterogeneity in Europe has been an often largely neglected dimension of analysis. However, this recent crisis has shown that this is an essential dimension which has to be addressed in order to better understand the dynamics of European development and integration. Hence, this book aims to deal with asymmetries in Europe and to bridge the gap between the two perspectives. This work will initiate an integrative debate that is crucial for a deeper understanding of the current crisis and is an important resource for all students and scholars of IPE, European political economy and European politics.
In this volume, the nation's leading advisors on health policy and financing appraise America's ailing healthcare system and suggest reasonable approaches to its rehabilitation. Each chapter confronts a major challenge to the country's health security, from runaway costs and uneven quality of care to declining levels of insurance coverage, medical bankruptcy, and the growing enthusiasm for health plans that put patients in charge of risk and cost. Bringing the latest research to bear on these issues, contributors diagnose the problems of our present system and offer treatments grounded in extensive experience. Free of bias and rhetoric, Health at Risk is an invaluable tool for those who are concerned with the current state of healthcare and are eager to effect change.
This book presents original research that examines the growth of international investment agreements as a means to attract foreign direct investment (FDI) and considers how this affects the ability of capital-importing countries to pursue their development goals. The hope of countries signing such treaties is that foreign capital will accelerate transfers of technologies, create employment, and benefit the local economy through various types of linkages. But do international investment agreements in fact succeed in attracting foreign direct investment? And if so, are the sovereignty costs involved worth paying? In particular, are these costs such that they risk undermining the very purpose of attracting investors, which is to promote human development in the host country? This book uses both economic and legal analysis to answer these questions that have become central to discussions on the impact of economic globalization on human rights and human development. It explains the dangers of developing countries being tempted to 'signal' their willingness to attract investors by providing far-reaching protections to investors' rights that would annul, or at least seriously diminish, the benefits they have a right to expect from the arrival of FDI. It examines a variety of tools that could be used, by capital-exporting countries and by capital-importing countries alike, to ensure that FDI works for development, and that international investment agreements contribute to that end. This uniquely interdisciplinary study, located at the intersection of development economics, international investment law, and international human rights is written in an accessible language, and should attract the attention of anyone who cares about the role of private investment in supporting the efforts of poor countries to climb up the development ladder.
Selected as a Financial Times Best Book of 2013 Governments today in both Europe and the United States have succeeded in casting government spending as reckless wastefulness that has made the economy worse. In contrast, they have advanced a policy of draconian budget cuts--austerity--to solve the financial crisis. We are told that we have all lived beyond our means and now need to tighten our belts. This view conveniently forgets where all that debt came from. Not from an orgy of government spending, but as the direct result of bailing out, recapitalizing, and adding liquidity to the broken banking system. Through these actions private debt was rechristened as government debt while those responsible for generating it walked away scot free, placing the blame on the state, and the burden on the taxpayer. That burden now takes the form of a global turn to austerity, the policy of reducing domestic wages and prices to restore competitiveness and balance the budget. The problem, according to political economist Mark Blyth, is that austerity is a very dangerous idea. First of all, it doesn't work. As the past four years and countless historical examples from the last 100 years show, while it makes sense for any one state to try and cut its way to growth, it simply cannot work when all states try it simultaneously: all we do is shrink the economy. In the worst case, austerity policies worsened the Great Depression and created the conditions for seizures of power by the forces responsible for the Second World War: the Nazis and the Japanese military establishment. As Blyth amply demonstrates, the arguments for austerity are tenuous and the evidence thin. Rather than expanding growth and opportunity, the repeated revival of this dead economic idea has almost always led to low growth along with increases in wealth and income inequality. Austerity demolishes the conventional wisdom, marshaling an army of facts to demand that we recognize austerity for what it is, and what it costs us.
In this gripping narrative, Carlo Bastasin reconstructs the main political decisions of the euro crisis, unveiling the hidden interests and the secret diplomacy behind the scene. The European dream was both the rejection of war and the creation of a new spirit of peaceful cooperation. Yet confrontation has been the hallmark of the euro crisis, and national opportunistic gimmicks have driven the awkward attempts to solve the crisis itself. Today, Europe is in a crisis of democracy, which Bastasin has dubbed, "the first War of Interdependence of the global age." Praise for the first edition of Saving Europe Bastasin does an admirable job in analysing the euro-zone's economic challenges and is a sure-footed guide through the seemingly endless European Union summit meetings that were supposed to resolve them. He also has an eye for the human detail that makes his sad account of institutional muddle surprisingly compelling. — Financial Times Bastasin's book is worth reading for its detailed political narrative of the eurozone crisis to date, focusing on the interaction among decision-makers in Europe's capitals. — Foreign Affairs A reconstruction that may be considered definitive. Revelations on the European negotiations are written with talent and go hand in hand with no-esoteric economic analysis and with the right amount of realism to reach the political substance. —Corriere della Sera Anyone looking for general knowledge and deeper understanding of the crisis, I can recommend a formidable analysis by Carlo Bastasin: Saving Europe. The author is a very unusual combination of a qualified economist and driven journalism. —Svenska Dagbladet