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.
Thirty years ago, China seemed hopelessly mired in poverty, Mexico triggered the Third World Debt Crisis, and Brazil suffered under hyperinflation. Since then, these and other developing countries have turned themselves around, while First World nations, battered by crises, depend more than ever on sustained growth in emerging markets. In Turnaround, economist Peter Blair Henry argues that the secret to emerging countries’ success (and ours) is discipline—sustained commitment to a pragmatic growth strategy. With the global economy teetering on the brink, the stakes are higher than ever. And because stakes are so high for all nations, we need less polarization and more focus on facts to answer the fundamental question: which policy reforms, implemented under what circumstances, actually increase economic efficiency? Pushing past the tired debates, Henry shows that the stock market’s forecasts of policy impact provide an important complement to traditional measures. Through examples ranging from the drastic income disparity between Barbados and his native Jamaica to the “catch up” economics of China and the taming of inflation in Latin America, Henry shows that in much of the emerging world the policy pendulum now swings toward prudence and self-control. With similar discipline and a dash of humility, he concludes, the First World may yet recover and create long-term prosperity for all its citizens. Bold, rational, and forward-looking, Turnaround offers vital lessons for developed and developing nations in search of stability and growth.
Successive Enlargements to the European Union membership have transformed it into an economically, politically and culturally heterogeneous body with distinct vulnerabilities in its multi-level governance. This book analyses core-periphery relations to highlight the growing cleavage, and potential conflict, between the core and peripheral member-states of the Union in the face of the devastating consequences of Eurozone crisis. Taking a comparative and theoretical approach and using a variety of case studies, it examines how the crisis has both exacerbated tensions in centre-periphery relations within and outside the Eurozone, and how the European Union’s economic and political status is declining globally. This text will be of key interest to students and scholars of European Union studies, European integration, political economy, public policy, and comparative politics.
This book explores the foundations of the current economic crisis. Offering a heterodox approach to interpretation it examines the policies implemented before and during the crisis, and the main institutions that shaped the model of advanced economies, particularly in the last two decades. The first part of the book provides a theoretical analysis of the crisis. The roots of the ‘great recession’ are divided into fundamentals with origins in financial liberalisation, financial innovation and income distribution, and complementary or contributory factors such as the international imbalances, the monetary policy,and the role of credit rating agencies. Part II suggests various paths to recovery while emphasising that it will be necessary to develop alternative strategies for sustainable economic recovery and growth. These strategies will require genuine political support and a new 'great European vision' to address major issues concerning the EU such as unemployment, structural regional differences and federalism. Drawing on various schools of thought, this book explains the complexities of the crisis through a wider evolutionary-institutional and heterodox framework.
The authors suggest that some of the problems of the public sector are self-inflicted and that current policies may only deliver partial success 'at a price we cannot afford'. It proposes a radical alternative and discusses practical ways it could be implemented. It also explores the threats and opportunities that such an approach might face.
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
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.