Economists and the Powerful

Economists and the Powerful

Convenient Theories, Distorted Facts, Ample Rewards

This book explores the workings of the modern global economy – in which competition is imperfect and influence of power is ubiquitous – and reveals the vast difference between the true workings of capitalism and the myths that mainstream economics would have us believe.

EPUB, 260 Pages

ISBN:9780857289193

October 2012

£13.59, $23.96

MOBIPOCKET, 260 Pages

ISBN:9780857285423

October 2012

£13.59, $23.96

  • About This Book
  • Reviews
  • Author Information
  • Series
  • Table of Contents
  • Links

About This Book

“Economists and the Powerful: Convenient Theories, Distorted Facts, Ample Rewards” explores the workings of the modern global economy – an economy in which competition has been corrupted and power has a ubiquitous influence upon economic behavior. Based on an array of empirical and theoretical studies by a series of distinguished economists, this book reveals a stark and unpleasant truth: that the true workings of capitalism are very different from the popular myths that mainstream economics would have us believe.

By connecting the dots and coloring the resulting picture with real life examples, this work provides a groundbreaking account of the mechanics of capitalism, and demonstrates how different groups and elites consistently further their own economic interests at the expense of others. Journeys into economic history allow the reader to travel to the source of the political power enjoyed by our current-day financiers, and unveil a whole host of systematic problems – such as that our banks are the main beneficiaries of today’s unstable, debt-oriented monetary system, or that leading economists often play a role in helping CEOs massively inflate their salaries without improving their performance – that are today more pertinent, and prevalent, than ever.

To investigate these issues, “Economists and the Powerful” looks closely at the incentives pursued by economists, and explores the history of the economic doctrines supported in our current financial climate. Via this scrutinizing approach, the text approaches the most overlooked issue of all: the matter of how, when and why the questioning of power was erased from the radar screen of mainstream economics – and the influence this subversive removal has had upon the modern financial world.

For more information please see the book website: http://economistsandthepowerful.anthempressblog.com/

 

 

Reviews

“I strongly recommend this book. It is exactly what is needed as supplementary (but required!) reading in introductory economics courses everywhere.” —John Weeks, “Science and Society”

“Häring and Douglas’s book is praiseworthy in many ways […] [I]ts spirit is quintessentially institutionalist, for the authors’ focus is set squarely upon those real-world socio-political, cultural and, to some extent, biological structures that determine actual economic activities. In particular, Häring and Douglas are keen on reintroducing the notion of power within the economic discourse, thus recovering it from the other social sciences, where mainstream economists have been confining it for too many decades.” — Giorgio Baruchello, “Economics, Management, and Financial Markets”

“Häring and Douglas’s book is praiseworthy in many ways […] [I]ts spirit is quintessentially institutionalist, for the authors’ focus is set squarely upon those real-world socio-political, cultural and, to some extent, biological structures that determine actual economic activities. In particular, Häring and Douglas are keen on reintroducing the notion of power within the economic discourse, thus recovering it from the other social sciences, where mainstream economists have been confining it for too many decades.” — Giorgio Baruchello, “Economics, Management, and Financial Markets”

“There’s no lack of books on the shortcomings of mainstream economics. ‘Economists and the Powerful,’ by Norbert Haering, a German financial journalist, and Niall Douglas, an Irish IT consultant, stands out from the crowd.” —Olaf Storbeck, “Reuters BreakingViews”

“Best economics read of 2012: Economists and the Powerful by Norbert Häring and Niall Douglas went with me to Majorca and it was a rewarding and enjoyable mistake [...] it is an important book for understanding the times in which we live. For both works, the role of power in the economy and the successful efforts of the ultra-powerful and their minions to keep their doings off society's radar is the central theme.” —Edward Fullbrook, “Best economics read of 2012,” Real-World Economics Review Blog

“‘Economists and the Powerful: Convenient Theories, Distorted Facts, Ample Rewards’ by Norbert Haring and Niall Douglas nails one central fact with impeccable and uncompromising clarity: the concentration of power in the hands of a very few has ensured that the rewards at the top of the finance and business pyramids are increasingly disproportionate in relation to the economic contribution they make.” —“Cambridge Business”

“In their new book, ‘Economists and the Powerful,’ Norbert Häring and Niall Douglas trace how the most powerful of all the social sciences became a doctrine for helping the rich – with the aid of huge sums from business. You may be familiar with a version of this critique, thanks to the film Inside Job, which described how some of the best-known economists practising today are in the pay of Wall Street. But the history unearthed by Häring and Douglas is far more disturbing – because they argue that vested interests have slanted some of economics' most fundamental ideas.” —Aditya Chakrabortty, “Big business has corrupted economics,” “Guardian”

“[Häring and Douglas] provide a wealth of references tracing how economics was turned into a propaganda exercise for financiers, landlords, monopolists, insiders, fraudsters and other rent-seeking predators whom classical economists sought to tax and regulate out of existence. This state of affairs reflects the century-long drive of these free lunchers to fight back against classical economics by sponsoring self-serving fictions that depict them as earning their fortunes not in predatory and extractive ways, but by contributing to output as ‘job creators.’” —Michael Hudson, counterpunch.org

“Weaving the intellectual history of economics with economic history, this book presents thoughtful and often courageous arguments that help us understand how power exists everywhere – not just in politics, as the powerful and the economists who serve them want you to think, but in markets, boardrooms, workplaces, and, last but not least, in academia. Essential reading for those who are interested in reforming our economies and changing the world for the better.” —Ha-Joon Chang, University of Cambridge, author of “Kicking Away the Ladder” and “23 Things They Don't Tell You About Capitalism”

“This is an important book. It corrects current economic thinking by introducing the dimension of power. In financial and labour markets traditional economic analysis fails to understand the mounting pressure of powerful players. Their attempt to force governments to take the back seat as long as things go well, but to assume responsibility once the damage is done, has to be energetically refuted.” —Heiner Flassbeck, Director of the Division on Globalization and Development Strategies, UNCTAD

“This is an important book. It corrects current economic thinking by introducing the dimension of power. In financial and labour markets traditional economic analysis fails to understand the mounting pressure of powerful players. Their attempt to force governments to take the back seat as long as things go well, but to assume responsibility once the damage is done, has to be energetically refuted.” —Heiner Flassbeck, Director of the Division on Globalization and Development Strategies, UNCTAD

“Häring and Douglas have provided a useful account of the ways in which the rich and powerful have steered the economics profession in directions that support their own interests. Economic theory predicts that those with money will try to corrupt the discipline. This book is an effort to find the evidence to support the theory.” —Dean Baker, Co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, Washington, DC

“In terms of shaping economic and political history (for the better), Economists and the Powerful could turn out to be the book of the decade. It tells the story of how the discipline of economics has been captured by America’s ultra-rich and powerful, and has been used by them as a propaganda tool to stuff their pockets while leading their country and others into decline. Americans are unlikely to be ready for Häring and Douglas’s book, but the rest of the world probably is.” —Edward Fullbrook, Editor of “Real-World Economics Review”

“Conventional economic theory deals with power by assuming that it doesn't exist. Häring and Douglas bring power back to the centre stage to devise a far more realistic vision of the economy.” —Steve Keen, University of Western Sydney, School of Economics and Finance, and author of “Debunking Economics”

"From governments and banks to business and labor, Häring and Douglas provide a far-reaching survey of the role played by power in economics – a role that too many economists are still determined to ignore.” —James K. Galbraith, University of Texas at Austin

Author Information

Norbert Häring is the co-founder and director of the World Economics Association, editor of the “World Economic Review,” and a correspondent for “Handelsblatt,” the leading German business newspaper.

Niall Douglas is the Social Networking Coordinator of the World Economics Association, operates an expert IT consultancy firm and serves on international engineering standards committees within the ISO and IEEE.

Series

No series for this title.

Table of Contents

Introduction; Chapter 1. The Economics of the Powerful; Chapter 2. Money is Power; Chapter 3. The Power of the Corporate Elite; Chapter 4. Market Power; Chapter 5. Power at Work; Chapter 6. The Power to Set the Rules of the Game; Afterword; References; Index

Links

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