Book Release — The Economic Crisis: Notes from the Underground

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By Thomas I. Pal­ley

The Eco­nom­ic Cri­sis: Notes from the Under­ground pro­vides a col­lec­tion of short essays detail­ing the caus­es of the eco­nom­ic cri­sis and the fail­ure of the eco­nom­ics pro­fes­sion to fore­see and explain it. An old adage is “The win­ners get to write his­to­ry” and that is prov­ing true in the cur­rent moment. Open any major news­pa­per and the op-ed page con­tains arti­cles by the same econ­o­mists and pol­i­cy­mak­ers as before the finan­cial crash of 2008. One myth the win­ners are look­ing to pro­mul­gate is the cri­sis was not pre­dict­ed and not pre­dictable. This claim has a pur­pose as it excus­es the eco­nom­ics pro­fes­sion from its cat­a­stroph­ic intel­lec­tu­al fail­ure. The book chal­lenges this “win­ners’ ver­sion of his­to­ry” by show­ing the cri­sis was pre­dictable and fore­seen. The arti­cles pro­vide easy access to both the­o­ret­i­cal and pol­i­cy con­tro­ver­sies that con­tin­ue to be impor­tant, and they also show lit­tle has been done to fix the root prob­lems. The acad­e­my is a club and it resists change because club mem­bers ben­e­fit from their intel­lec­tu­al monop­oly. This monop­oly means politi­cians are all fed rough­ly the same pol­i­cy diet. Politi­cians are also sub­ject to the pull of mon­ey and mon­ey likes the exist­ing main­stream eco­nom­ic par­a­digm. Togeth­er, this con­sti­tutes a pow­er­ful soci­o­log­i­cal sys­tem that is hard to crack. Part of crack­ing it is expos­ing the fail­ure of econ­o­mists by show­ing the cri­sis was fore­told and pre­dict­ed.

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About Steve Keen

I am Professor of Economics and Head of Economics, History and Politics at Kingston University London, and a long time critic of conventional economic thought. As well as attacking mainstream thought in Debunking Economics, I am also developing an alternative dynamic approach to economic modelling. The key issue I am tackling here is the prospect for a debt-deflation on the back of the enormous private debts accumulated globally, and our very low rate of inflation.