The Lion Wakes – a Modern History of HSBC
Reviewer: Bill Allen, Economic Consultant
The Lion Wakes tells the modern story of HSBC, starting in the late 1970s, when the bank first broke out of the Asia-Pacific region with its purchase of Marine Midland Bank in the US. It follows HSBC's battle to purchase Midland Bank in1992, the subsequent move of head office from Hong Kong to London, and the string of acquisitions that brought the bank to its pre-eminent place in global finance today. Acclaimed historians Richard Roberts and David Kynaston chronicle the bank's struggles as well as its successes: the last part of the book deals with the ill-fated move into consumer finance in the US, as well as the financial crisis of 2008 and its effect on HSBC. Impeccably researched and generously illustrated from the HSBC archives, this is a valuable addition to global financial history.
Urban Economics and Urban Policy: Challenging Conventional Policy Wisdom
Reviewer: Neil Reeder, Director, Head and Heart Economics
In this bold, exciting and readable volume, Paul Cheshire, Max Nathan and Henry Overman illustrate the insights that recent economic research brings to our understanding of cities, and the lessons for urban policy-making. The authors present new evidence on the fundamental importance of cities to economic wellbeing and to the enrichment of our lives. They also argue that many policies have been trying to push water uphill and have done little to achieve their stated aims; or, worse, have had unintended and counterproductive consequences.
Why Economists Failed to Predict the Crisis and How to Avoid the Next One
Reviewer: Christine Shields, Shields Economics
The failure of economists to anticipate the global financial crisis and mitigate the impact of the ensuing recession has spurred a public outcry. Economists are under fire, but questions concerning exactly how to redeem the discipline remain unanswered. In this provocative book, renowned economist Meghnad Desai investigates the evolution of economics and maps its trajectory against the occurrence of major political events to provide a definitive answer.
Making Sense of Markets
Reviewer: Ian Harwood, Independent Consultant
In March 2012, the Financial Times carried a front page story headlined 'Years of struggle for a jinxed generation'. It stated that 'For the first time in half a century, young Britons embarking on their careers cannot expect to be any better off than their parents…' Before and since, there have been numerous analyses highlighting a gloomy future ahead, and with little qualification or equivocation. The prevailing consensus since 2007 has been that the economic world is in a dire state. But are things really as bad as all that, or is sloppy thinking and excessively negative sentiment masking a more positive outlook? Making Sense of Markets argues that received wisdom is still far too pessimistic, and that investment opportunities have been missed as a result.
Reviewer: Duncan Brown, UK Commission for Employment & Skills
Today's global economy, with most developed nations experiencing very low inflation, seems a world apart from the "Great Inflation" that spanned the late 1960s to early 1980s. Yet, in this book, Brigitte Granville makes the case that monetary economists and policymakers need to keep the lessons learned during that period very much in mind, lest we return to them by making the same mistakes we made in the past.
Government Paternalism: Nanny State or Helpful Friend?
Reviewer: Neil Reeder, Head and Heart Economics
Should governments save people from themselves? Do governments have the right to influence citizens' behavior related to smoking tobacco, eating too much, not saving enough, drinking alcohol, or taking marijuana—or does this create a nanny state, leading to infantilization, demotivation, and breaches in individual autonomy? Looking at examples from both sides of the Atlantic and around the world, Government Paternalism examines the justifications for, and the prevalence of, government involvement and considers when intervention might or might not be acceptable.
Why Are We Waiting? The Logic, Urgency and Promise of Climate Change
Reviewer: Ian Roderick, Director, The Schumacher Institute
The risks of climate change are potentially immense. The benefits of taking action are also clear: we can see that economic development, reduced emissions, and creative adaptation go hand in hand. In this book, Nicholas Stern explains why, notwithstanding the great attractions of a new path, it has been so difficult to tackle climate change effectively. He makes a compelling case for climate action now and sets out the forms that action should take.
The Business of Sharing: Making it in the New Sharing Economy
Reviewer: Helen Solomon, Lecturer in Economics, De Montfort University
Today, 'collaborative consumption' lets people earn over $15 billion a year by sharing what they already own: from cars and homes to money and time. And that's almost nothing. According to PwC, the sharing economy will grow into a $335 billion market by 2025. Written by one of the business leaders of the movement, The Business of Sharing is an insider's guide for anyone thinking of entering the sharing economy and looking to profit from the upheavals ahead.
Rogues, swindlers and the rise of modern finance
Reviewer: Bill Allen
In a story teeming with playboys and scoundrels and rich in colorful and amazing events, Klaus chronicles the evolution of trust through three distinct epochs: the age of values, the age of networks and reputations, and, ultimately, in a world of increased technology and wealth, the age of skepticism and verification. In today’s world, where the questionable dealings of large international financial institutions are continually in the spotlight, this extraordinary history has great relevance, offering essential lessons in both the importance and the limitations of trust.
Measuring Happiness: The Economics of Well‑Being
Reviewer: Tony Dolphin, Senior Economist, IPPR
The authors examine the evolution of happiness research, considering the famous "Easterlin Paradox," which found that people's average life satisfaction didn't seem to depend on their income. But they question whether happiness research can measure what needs to be measured. They argue that we should not assess people's well-being on a "happiness scale," because that necessarily obscures true social progress. Instead, rising income should be understood as increasing opportunities and alleviating scarcity.