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Incisive commentary on the financial meltdown and its aftermath, from the author of the bestselling global phenomenon Capital in the Twenty-First Century Thomas Piketty's work has proved that unfettered markets lead to increasing inequality. Without meaningful regulation, capitalist economies will concentrate wealth in an ever smaller number of hands. Armed with this knowl Incisive commentary on the financial meltdown and its aftermath, from the author of the bestselling global phenomenon Capital in the Twenty-First Century Thomas Piketty's work has proved that unfettered markets lead to increasing inequality. Without meaningful regulation, capitalist economies will concentrate wealth in an ever smaller number of hands. Armed with this knowledge, democratic societies face a defining challenge: fending off a new aristocracy. For years, Piketty has wrestled with this problem in his monthly newspaper column, which pierces the surface of current events to reveal the economic forces underneath. Why Save the Bankers? brings together selected columns, now translated and annotated, from the period book-ended by the September 2008 collapse of Lehman Brothers and the Paris attacks of November 2015. In between, writing from the vantage point of his native France, Piketty brilliantly decodes the European sovereign debt crisis, an urgent struggle against the tyranny of markets that bears lessons for the world at large. And along the way, he weighs in on oligarchy in the United States, wonders whether debts actually need to be paid back, and discovers surprising lessons about inequality by examining the career of Steve Jobs. Coursing with insight and flashes of wit, these brief essays offer a view of recent history through the eyes of one of the most influential economic thinkers of our time.


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Incisive commentary on the financial meltdown and its aftermath, from the author of the bestselling global phenomenon Capital in the Twenty-First Century Thomas Piketty's work has proved that unfettered markets lead to increasing inequality. Without meaningful regulation, capitalist economies will concentrate wealth in an ever smaller number of hands. Armed with this knowl Incisive commentary on the financial meltdown and its aftermath, from the author of the bestselling global phenomenon Capital in the Twenty-First Century Thomas Piketty's work has proved that unfettered markets lead to increasing inequality. Without meaningful regulation, capitalist economies will concentrate wealth in an ever smaller number of hands. Armed with this knowledge, democratic societies face a defining challenge: fending off a new aristocracy. For years, Piketty has wrestled with this problem in his monthly newspaper column, which pierces the surface of current events to reveal the economic forces underneath. Why Save the Bankers? brings together selected columns, now translated and annotated, from the period book-ended by the September 2008 collapse of Lehman Brothers and the Paris attacks of November 2015. In between, writing from the vantage point of his native France, Piketty brilliantly decodes the European sovereign debt crisis, an urgent struggle against the tyranny of markets that bears lessons for the world at large. And along the way, he weighs in on oligarchy in the United States, wonders whether debts actually need to be paid back, and discovers surprising lessons about inequality by examining the career of Steve Jobs. Coursing with insight and flashes of wit, these brief essays offer a view of recent history through the eyes of one of the most influential economic thinkers of our time.

30 review for Why Save the Bankers?: And Other Essays on Our Economic and Political Crisis

  1. 5 out of 5

    Andrew

    Why Save the Bankers?: And Other Essays on Our Economic and Political Crisis, written by Thomas Piketty, is a collection of essays written during the financial crisis of 2008. Piketty is well known for his Capital in the Twenty-First Century, and this book presents a collectio0n of his essays and ideas on subjects such as debt-income ratios and central banking, topics well covered in his magnum opus. Topics in the book range from EU central banking policy to French political scandals perpetuated Why Save the Bankers?: And Other Essays on Our Economic and Political Crisis, written by Thomas Piketty, is a collection of essays written during the financial crisis of 2008. Piketty is well known for his Capital in the Twenty-First Century, and this book presents a collectio0n of his essays and ideas on subjects such as debt-income ratios and central banking, topics well covered in his magnum opus. Topics in the book range from EU central banking policy to French political scandals perpetuated by the L'Oreal clanswomen and their clandestine financial maneuverings. This was an interesting and quick read, but it offers nothing new if you have already read Capital. I would even recommend skipping this one, and heading straight for Capital, which is much more interesting and well formulated. All in all a fine but seemingly redundant book which has very little new information or ideas to offer.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Renée

    The key to reading on the New York subways (or any mode of public transit I suppose but especially in the people-watching, crowded, gawker-friendly MTA-territory) is to carry a book more interesting than your phone or the person next to you. This is that book. The key to a good new year is a radicalizing piece of scathing social science from one of the Zeitgeist‘s chosen Wunderkinder Propheten. This is that book. (The other is Anand Giridharadas’ Winners Take All.) Do I want to read Piketty’s Capit The key to reading on the New York subways (or any mode of public transit I suppose but especially in the people-watching, crowded, gawker-friendly MTA-territory) is to carry a book more interesting than your phone or the person next to you. This is that book. The key to a good new year is a radicalizing piece of scathing social science from one of the Zeitgeist‘s chosen Wunderkinder Propheten. This is that book. (The other is Anand Giridharadas’ Winners Take All.) Do I want to read Piketty’s Capital? Obviously. Do I want to read Ulysses? Duh. The key to loving Joyce but never reading Ulysses is the Dubliners. The Dubliners:Joyce:: This Book: Piketty.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Justin

    The structure of this book really grabbed my attention. It took me a few sessions to become accustomed to the short staccato style essays that jumped from topic to topic. Once I became familiar with Piketty's writing style and essay structure, it became easier to grasp the main thesis of each piece and how one layered over the previous. Regardless of your politics, anyone who is serious about studying our current political and economic climates, should treat these essays as a unique opportunity The structure of this book really grabbed my attention. It took me a few sessions to become accustomed to the short staccato style essays that jumped from topic to topic. Once I became familiar with Piketty's writing style and essay structure, it became easier to grasp the main thesis of each piece and how one layered over the previous. Regardless of your politics, anyone who is serious about studying our current political and economic climates, should treat these essays as a unique opportunity to hear what are essentially first-hand accounts of events as they've happened since the financial crises. Piketty has a rare ability to quickly summarize events, put them into historical context, and immediately call attention to where progress might be found in solving issues. On a personal note, having grown in up in my 20's throughout the economic crises and studied it while it was happening in school, this book served as a highlight-reel of everything that was happening on a global scale and where I was as it was happening. I still remember debates in class rooms as the Arab Spring was just getting started and to compare that to where we are just 7 years later made this book that much more engaging.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Bill Lewis

    I love this book. It challenged a lot of preconceived notions I had about free markets and it very systematically and logically identifies some of the flaws in classical economic doctrine in a way that isn't so much a critique as it is a deeper investigation of the fundamentals of a market economy. It's a good fair read for anyone interested in the topic of how and why markets work the way they do and how we can manipulate them. I only give it 4 stars though because you can tell there are points I love this book. It challenged a lot of preconceived notions I had about free markets and it very systematically and logically identifies some of the flaws in classical economic doctrine in a way that isn't so much a critique as it is a deeper investigation of the fundamentals of a market economy. It's a good fair read for anyone interested in the topic of how and why markets work the way they do and how we can manipulate them. I only give it 4 stars though because you can tell there are points where he kind of uses the data to work backwards from his prejudices instead of examining the data to form an opinion.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Kyle Minton

    What a stupid name for this collection of essays by economist Thomas Piketty. One would think it is an entire book of intensely ideological essays dedicated to rumination of whether we should have bailed out a corrupt financial industry. Instead, the reader is greeted with a series of opinion pieces written for a leftist French Magazine from 2008 - 2015. Written with both brevity and the authority given to a man whose career revolves around the study of capital as it pertains to major world powe What a stupid name for this collection of essays by economist Thomas Piketty. One would think it is an entire book of intensely ideological essays dedicated to rumination of whether we should have bailed out a corrupt financial industry. Instead, the reader is greeted with a series of opinion pieces written for a leftist French Magazine from 2008 - 2015. Written with both brevity and the authority given to a man whose career revolves around the study of capital as it pertains to major world powers, each piece offers insight on questions of inequality, globalism, taxation, trade, and even topics like terrorism or reparations for slavery. The best part about reading WSTB was the timing I had in picking it up. Reading Piketty make plea after plea for a government that steps in to bail out citizens who are inevitably left behind by global capitalism (that global capitalism leaves many people in the lower and middle classes behind is an indisputable fact at this point, thanks largely in part to Piketty's work in Capital in the Twenty First Century) AND watching those citizens rebel against global capitalism with phenomenons such as Trump or the Brexit, offers unique validation to everything he was saying in real time. It's almost like reading a countdown to dangerous nationalist protectionism. What's more interesting is that Piketty's tome Capital in the Twenty First Century was long thought to be an arm of the far left, but it seems that Piketty believes in bailing out the banks, free trade agreements, and rapid technological advancement with the caveat that there must be strong social governments that work to redistribute the subsequent gains from global economic growth. After realizing that our world governments, for the most part, have been doing the opposite of what Piketty suggests doing at the time, it is amazing to look around and see everything he warned would happen if they don't; booming economic inequality, nationalist protectionism, distrust of governments, xenophobia, anti-globalism, and terrorism (which is actually the weakest piece, but the point is compelling and worth looking into at length). The worst part about this books is mostly likely the decisions made by the publisher. The title and the exception of depth. If you're looking to read snippets as to why we might be where we are as an international community while maybe restoring your faith in a capitalism that could work for everyone, then this is a great and gratifying read. But if you're looking for depth, data, and a longer, more detailed timeline you should do yourself a favor and actually read Capital in the Twenty First Century all the way through. Then, ideally, publishers won't feel the need to push a sparknotes version like Why Save the Bankers.

  6. 4 out of 5

    James Klagge

    A series of selected columns Piketty wrote for a French journal from 2008 to 2015. He applies some of the lessons he drew in his big book to contemporary events in Europe. The good points are that these are brief, to the point, and gave me a European perspective that is hard to get in the USA. The bad point is that it is quite repetitious. I suppose he writes each column to be somewhat self-contained, so he can't assume you know what he thinks on a certain issue from a previous column. So I lost A series of selected columns Piketty wrote for a French journal from 2008 to 2015. He applies some of the lessons he drew in his big book to contemporary events in Europe. The good points are that these are brief, to the point, and gave me a European perspective that is hard to get in the USA. The bad point is that it is quite repetitious. I suppose he writes each column to be somewhat self-contained, so he can't assume you know what he thinks on a certain issue from a previous column. So I lost count of how many times he said that a common currency (the euro) for 18 countries without a mutualized common debt is unsustainable. It leads to widely varying interest rates in different countries. France and Germany pay 1-2% for its debt while Greece and Italy and Spain pay 5-6% for its debt. And this accounts for Greece's inability to overcome its crisis. And similarly he repeats that growth cannot overcome inequality so that we need strongly progressive taxation. And we need international agreements to avoid tax competition between countries. In general, Piketty's good sense and clear understanding come through on issue after issue. And the survey over time since the crisis began was helpful. One surprise was that he never once mentioned Britain in the whole series of essays. He did mention the threats to the EU from countries wanting to withdraw, but it was always southern European countries he mentioned. This shows what a shock Brexit was. But I guess that forms a launching point for his next book of topical columns.

  7. 5 out of 5

    C. Scott

    French economist Thomas Piketty set the world ablaze a few years back with this massive tome Capital in the 21st Century. I haven't tackled that particular work just yet, but certainly intend to. Here we have a collection of Piketty's monthly newspaper columns published after the global financial crisis in 2008. The title is probably the best thing about this book. I found the change in perspective from my own American-dominated one to Piketty's Eurocentric view very refreshing. Piketty has a li French economist Thomas Piketty set the world ablaze a few years back with this massive tome Capital in the 21st Century. I haven't tackled that particular work just yet, but certainly intend to. Here we have a collection of Piketty's monthly newspaper columns published after the global financial crisis in 2008. The title is probably the best thing about this book. I found the change in perspective from my own American-dominated one to Piketty's Eurocentric view very refreshing. Piketty has a lively prose and a knack for explaining inequality in layman's terms. By far my favorite parts were the brief glimpses of analysis on American history and economics. Here are some good examples: "In concrete terms, the United States didn't develop a welfare state because it didn't want to subsidize a black underclass..." Discussing the US Supreme Court after the Citizens United and McCutcheon v. Federal Election decisions, "The justices once tried to block the income tax in the nineteenth century and the minimum wage in the 1930s. They seem well on their way to reprising the same reactionary role today..." Sometimes it takes an outsider's perspective to grasp some harsh truths about your own country. Having said that, this book is far from essential. Much of it is intensely focused on the picayune scandals of post-crisis France and the European Union. There are some gems buried inside though.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Steven Peterson

    Thomas Picketty, of course, made a great splash with his serious work on economic inequality, The Economics of Inequality. This work by the French economist is actually a series of bagatelles, columns published in French media. The obvious analogy is Paul Krugman, a Nobel laureate in economics, who writes a column for the New York Times. Also, bagatelles as his product. Still, such works can be useful. In both cases, we have serious economists trying to explain issues to a wider audience than oth Thomas Picketty, of course, made a great splash with his serious work on economic inequality, The Economics of Inequality. This work by the French economist is actually a series of bagatelles, columns published in French media. The obvious analogy is Paul Krugman, a Nobel laureate in economics, who writes a column for the New York Times. Also, bagatelles as his product. Still, such works can be useful. In both cases, we have serious economists trying to explain issues to a wider audience than other experts in economics. Whether I agree or disagree with specific columns by Picketty and Krugman, I appreciate their efforts. Both are literate with an engaging style (more difficult for Picketty, since English is not the language I n which he normally publishes). Each reader will have to choose for him or herself how satisfying the set of essays is. Personally, I find his essays engaging. He has a perspective (and is not shy at sharing it), but within those contours he provides sprightly analyses of current events and issues. Worth a read. . . .

  9. 5 out of 5

    Zak Essa

    Picketty has a brilliant mind and writes persuasively. Although I enjoyed reading this, most essays are short which is quite frustrating, you also need to have a fair knowledge of the European economic system and current events to fully appreciate most of the essays. It often felt like you would just get into a subject when suddenly a new (mostly) unrelated topic was introduced.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Lloyd Fassett

    3/30/16 suggested by Goodreads because I've read the author. From the book summary: "he weighs in on oligarchy in the United States, wonders whether debts actually need to be paid back, and discovers surprising lessons about inequality by examining the career of Steve Jobs."

  11. 5 out of 5

    Danielle

    2.5 stars There's no reason to read this if you've already read Capital but I'm glad smart people throughout the world continue to think and write about the worldwide impact of economic and income inequality. If this book keeps that in the forefront of people's minds, then more power to it.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Sina Mousavi

    This volume is a compilation of essays written by prominent French economist, Thomas Piketty, in his Libération column between 2008 and 2015. I found the majority of essays insightful and thought-provoking, helped by the succinct and precise writing style. A pleasant reading experience. Although Piketty covers a diverse range of topics, it does not make for a disjointed whole. The coherence of the book is preserved through two concurring, and inter-related, themes. (I) The European response to the This volume is a compilation of essays written by prominent French economist, Thomas Piketty, in his Libération column between 2008 and 2015. I found the majority of essays insightful and thought-provoking, helped by the succinct and precise writing style. A pleasant reading experience. Although Piketty covers a diverse range of topics, it does not make for a disjointed whole. The coherence of the book is preserved through two concurring, and inter-related, themes. (I) The European response to the 2008 Financial Crisis. Predictably, the author is highly critical of the austerian approach taken by European elites and institutions in the aftermath of the crisis. A fervent Europhile disturbed by the diminishing status and agency of Europe vis-à-vis the US and China, Piketty points out the limitations of monetary policy as a recession-fighting instrument, and persuasively argues for a pan-European federal alternative to fiscal austerity. In a column written for Le Monde in 2019, hinting to the neoliberal origins of the EU, well-documented in the work of Quinn Slobodian, he perfectly summarises his approach to the European question: There is no reason why present-day Europe should remain imbued with a Hayek-type vision. Today the European banner serves the interests of those whose aim is to impose their class politics. But it is up to us to remind people that Europe could be organised in a different manner as was already the opinion of Wooton, Beveridge or even Robbins almost 80 years ago. Frustrated by the endless public debt crises in the Eurozone, and zero-sum “tax dumping” measures taken by certain countries (e.g. Ireland and Luxembourg) to attract foreign capital, Piketty maintains that the European status quo is simply untenable, a view only enhanced by the ongoing Brexit saga. Among his bold proposals to reform the current institutional arrangement, is the mutualisation of all European public debt, to prevent financial markets from disruptive speculation on different Eurozone treasury bonds, resulting in impossible debt service payments for certain nations, such as Greece and Italy. This, in turn, necessitates the creation of a European Senate, combining finance committees from all Eurozone national parliaments, to discuss and conduct a unified European fiscal policy. (II) The inherent tendency of capital accumulation to outpace economic growth (r > g). This, indeed, is the main thesis for the author’s magnum opus, Capital in the Twenty-First Century. Exacerbated by increasingly regressive and unfair tax policies, extreme inequality has resulted in dwindling standards of living for Western European and American working-classes, and thus a global backlash against the elites responsible for such outcomes. The emboldening of the forces of reaction and xenophobia, giving rise to dangerous demagogues, such as Trump and Salvini, is by no means a surprise to any serious observer of our inegalitarian era of capitalism. For Piketty, however, the future does not have to be all bleak and gloomy. He passionately presents his vision for a progressive European project, which invests in green infrastructure, education, and technology, instead of in-fighting endlessly over French debt to German Banks, and German debt to French banks, while shooting itself in the foot by adopting counter-productive austerity measures. Progressive taxation, on both income and wealth, is an essential tool to implement this agenda, on which the survival of our civilizational achievements, as Homo Sapiens, depends. Piketty’s body of work, alongside his French colleagues, Gabriel Zucman and Emmanuel Saez, is invaluable to cosmopolitan and forward-looking political movements fighting for justice all over the world. For this, I can not be thankful of them enough.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Arkajit Dey

    Good refresher of concepts from Piketty’s Capital, with the background of recent economic and political events from the US housing crisis of 2008 to the Eurozone crisis of 2010-2015. Reading his essays a few years after the events, I am amazed at the correctness of some of his predictions such as about the rise of extreme political parties on the left and right in Europe. I could see him describe the seeds of Trump and Brexit in 2016 when he highlighted the effects of deindustrialization in the m Good refresher of concepts from Piketty’s Capital, with the background of recent economic and political events from the US housing crisis of 2008 to the Eurozone crisis of 2010-2015. Reading his essays a few years after the events, I am amazed at the correctness of some of his predictions such as about the rise of extreme political parties on the left and right in Europe. I could see him describe the seeds of Trump and Brexit in 2016 when he highlighted the effects of deindustrialization in the major Western world economies and the discontent it created among the working classes. I also enjoyed the history lessons about how public debt has been dealt with in the past. For example, how both France and Germany went from public debts at 200% of GDP after WWII to just 30% a few years later. They benefited from rampant inflation and generous debt restructuring plans. This makes the austerity measures imposed on Greece seem all the more short-sighted. How does a country invest in the future growth of its citizens and its economy when it has to service a large debt? And a debt that is being charged a much higher interest rate (as was the case with Greece vs France) to boot. I always learn more about both economics and history when I read Piketty. And that’s why I enjoyed this collection too.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Neil H

    A compilation of essays largely EU in nature. As a bloc, what are the inherent advantages and shortfalls in making sense of how a united EU dollar can behave to avoid speculation as if it were 18 different currencies subject to the manipulations of national banks, speculators and companies. Since the 2008 financial crisis lays bare the work desperately needed to attach a political and not just monetary label to address the glaring yields of capital vs labor. The riches shall lobby for protection A compilation of essays largely EU in nature. As a bloc, what are the inherent advantages and shortfalls in making sense of how a united EU dollar can behave to avoid speculation as if it were 18 different currencies subject to the manipulations of national banks, speculators and companies. Since the 2008 financial crisis lays bare the work desperately needed to attach a political and not just monetary label to address the glaring yields of capital vs labor. The riches shall lobby for protectionism of their wealth and assets. Those below will succumb to populist and easy persuasion of immigrant, inflation, selected government's impotence in addressing the questions when what is needed is a EU wide represented coalition to pursue transparent discipline of those offshore wealth. Tax those who can and provide stimulus of social, political will, and infrastructure for more equitable relevant job and salaried distribution. Germany and France loosens no reins and the EU will only proceed in a surely precipitous spiral maybe not downward but even stasis is just going to deepen and reveal its inherent poor political and indecisive band aid cracks.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Islam Mohamed

    This anthology of short essays in the wake of the 2008 Great Recession focuses on monetary policy responses to the economic shock in Europe. Specifically, it focuses on the shortcomings of a single currency but fragmented monetary policy and political framework, a condition that punishes some nations with unsustainably high interest rates for public debt that deprives them of the means to redress it. I like the ideas in this book. No doubt Piketty is a deft mind and principled economic philosoph This anthology of short essays in the wake of the 2008 Great Recession focuses on monetary policy responses to the economic shock in Europe. Specifically, it focuses on the shortcomings of a single currency but fragmented monetary policy and political framework, a condition that punishes some nations with unsustainably high interest rates for public debt that deprives them of the means to redress it. I like the ideas in this book. No doubt Piketty is a deft mind and principled economic philosopher. However, as a book this anthology suffers by failing to develop its ideas in depth, and for being repetitive. The preface amply summarizes Piketty’s thesis, with some temporal context along the way provided by the essays that follow. I’m looking forward to reading one of his books that develops his ideas more coherently, more deeply, less episodically, and less fragmented than this compilation.

  16. 5 out of 5

    George Berry

    This "book" is really interesting: it's a collection of Piketty's opinion pieces in newspapers translated into English. The book ranges from 2008-2015, and reads both as a series of policy proposals and an in-the-moment narration of history. I really enjoyed it, because it called to mind the various stages of the financial crisis. Piketty's focus is Europe, where the crisis was (in his telling) managed worse than in the United States. In his mind, France must be an honest broker who gets Germany This "book" is really interesting: it's a collection of Piketty's opinion pieces in newspapers translated into English. The book ranges from 2008-2015, and reads both as a series of policy proposals and an in-the-moment narration of history. I really enjoyed it, because it called to mind the various stages of the financial crisis. Piketty's focus is Europe, where the crisis was (in his telling) managed worse than in the United States. In his mind, France must be an honest broker who gets Germany and southern Europe to work together, and he consistently criticizes France's weak steps in this direction. The big themes discussed are: 1) we must take action against inequality, particularly a tax on wealth; 2) Europe should mutualize its sovereign debt ("Eurobonds"); 3) a race-to-the-bottom to attract corporations isn't productive.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Matt

    As a collection of short news articles, Piketty's "Why Save the Bankers?" is a quick read. His analysis of the economic situation of the EU from 2009-20015 is informative, but not overly academic. And his prognostications about the potential rise of the "radical right" have now come to fruition only a few years later. For those who follow technology news, Piketty's essays also set the stage for an understanding of the Ireland/Apple affair of late 2016, in which the EU intervened in Ireland's tax As a collection of short news articles, Piketty's "Why Save the Bankers?" is a quick read. His analysis of the economic situation of the EU from 2009-20015 is informative, but not overly academic. And his prognostications about the potential rise of the "radical right" have now come to fruition only a few years later. For those who follow technology news, Piketty's essays also set the stage for an understanding of the Ireland/Apple affair of late 2016, in which the EU intervened in Ireland's tax deal with Apple Computers. Because this work is a collection of articles originally published months or even years apart, certain themes are repeated to the point where they become highly repetitious. But that is forgivable given the accessibility of the volume.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Henrik Warne

    Consists of newspaper columns published in France between 2005 and 2015. A lot of them deal with French and European politics (for example elections), and the columns are quite repetetive. The main themes are: there should be a progressive tax on the capital to combat the increasing inequality, and the euro zone should unite to avoid having high interest on national debt for some countries hold back growth.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Peter

    This was a fun book to listen to while reading Crashed; it's a compilation of wide-ranging opeds written by Piketty during and after the financial crisis. The brevity and clarity of a lot of the writing was easy to get through, and a more nuanced understanding of French economic law was helpful as I slogged through 700 pages of eurozone debt negotiations next door. Overall worthwhile, but not transcendent.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Dave

    I wanted to read something about economies that wasn't the regular stuff that we get in America. This was interesting and informative. Traveling to Europe a little more regularly for business, understanding the interplay of countries and how they manage their economies is helpful in understanding some of the frictions and issues.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Vasco

    The bad: nothing in particular. The good: An interesting collection of essays that gives a lot of context on the subprime backlash. We see points of view that the public doesn't mostly consider and alternative explanations and additional context to things like austerity, the Greek crisis and much more. Interesting book.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Luke Adams

    Thomas Piketty is obviously a good writer and a skilled economist. However, I read this before Capital In The 21st Century as a primer for his more daunting work and I've honestly gotta vouch that the 3-page essay structure doesn't really do him justice. If you really want to get into his work, just dive head-first into Capital.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Aaron

    I stumbled upon this book in the discount section at my local bookstore. I had never heard of this economist, but after reading this collection of essays, I want to read more of his work. Left-leaning, in US terms. I learned a lot about capital and economic history in general and the intricacies of European economics more specifically.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Senthilprabhu

    It’s a wonderful book. It gives insight about banks in the post recession period. How the money was pumped into the banks and the impact of it in the overall economy. And remaining essays are about the integration of Europe.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Adam

    Gave me an okay basic understanding of how the EU works and how it got itself into a debt crisis, and what it could do to get back out. Similar understanding of the US 2008 crash. The essays were generally bite sized and very readable.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Duane Williams

    This book is a collection of essays, previously published. Unfortunately, the ideas in them are hugely repetitive! So by the time you are half way through the book you will be bored.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Kristen Li

    Quite repetitive and the articles pretty much all had one theme - having a European federation instead of union

  28. 5 out of 5

    Carlo Corti

    Thought this would be something more than just Piketty's already written editorials. Didn't bring any insight or cohesion to the thoughts of the essays.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Wendy Liu

    It kind of feels like I'm cheating to mark this as read because it's really just a rebranding of Chronicles (see this Q&A for an explanation of the differences) but I added this to my to-read shelf before I realised this and this one does have a few essays that Chronicles doesn't have so, whatever. It's a quick read. Probably not worth reading if you've already read Capital, but if you haven't, or if you just want to read more of Piketty's writing, I recommend you give this (or Chronicles) a try. It kind of feels like I'm cheating to mark this as read because it's really just a rebranding of Chronicles (see this Q&A for an explanation of the differences) but I added this to my to-read shelf before I realised this and this one does have a few essays that Chronicles doesn't have so, whatever. It's a quick read. Probably not worth reading if you've already read Capital, but if you haven't, or if you just want to read more of Piketty's writing, I recommend you give this (or Chronicles) a try.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Shane Senécal-Tremblay

    Ambivalent about this one except that I'm glad that it was a short read. Despite the seeming large scope of articles of broad European economic interest, most of the articles seem to converge back to the same conclusion: that European countries face an existential challenge; to reconcile their domestic grasp on fiscal policy and supranational directing of monetary policy... that they too often go in different directions and that this creates significant political and economic cleavages. Interest Ambivalent about this one except that I'm glad that it was a short read. Despite the seeming large scope of articles of broad European economic interest, most of the articles seem to converge back to the same conclusion: that European countries face an existential challenge; to reconcile their domestic grasp on fiscal policy and supranational directing of monetary policy... that they too often go in different directions and that this creates significant political and economic cleavages. Interesting stuff but repetitive. Probably my favourite article was about the Betancourt family scandal (the l'Oreal heiress and her daughter's legal scandal that clumsily exposed the family's book keeping to the French courts, and to great spectacle). The converging interests of economists, politicians, and French tabloids on this story was great, and Pickety did a fun job of covering this.

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