Michael Hudson’s new book The Bubble & Beyond is vital for those vying to make sense of the economic quicksand global policy makers find themselves in. He ties a thread between the big issues of our times – underwater housing, money market manipulations and lifetime debt – concerns that appear too difficult for the world’s mainstream economists.
Hudson does this by looking at the systemic causes of inequality, complexity and economic despair.
The book traces how industrial capitalism has turned into finance capitalism. The finance, insurance and real estate (FIRE) sector has emerged to create “balance sheet wealth” not by new tangible investment and employment, but financially in the form of debt leveraging and rent-extraction.
Decision making is clouded by an economic system that favors natural monopolies. Michael’s reading of policy implications for the geo-political future is compelling.
“There are few people alive who have taught me more than Michael Hudson. The incisive and brilliant essays in this book should really be assigned to every first-year student of economics. The fact they never will be is the ultimate testimony to the fact economics has betrayed its own most noble tradition – one that Hudson here so magnificently embodies – to become a sheer instrument of power.”
– David Graeber, author of Debt: The First 5,000 Years and co-organizer of Occupy Wall Street
“Michael Hudson has consistently been an eloquent, erudite, accurate analyst of the strengths and failings of modern capitalism. He is one of the prescient few who anticipated today’s never-ending economic crisis, and one of a smaller number still whose advice about how to end the crisis would actually work. His simple mantra “debts that can’t be repaid, won’t be repaid” will echo down the ages. Buy this book and acquire real wisdom, with a breadth of vision from the origins of human society till today that no one else can match – and I include myself in that judgment.”
– Steve Keen, author of Debunking Economics and editor of debtdeflation.com
“Among the contemporary voices crying in the wilderness of the world’s financial trouble, I know of none more forceful or prescient than Michael Hudson’s. He sets the crooked straight and makes the rough places plain.”
– Lewis Lapham, editor of Lapham’s Quarterly and editor emeritus of Harper’s magazine
Hudson has peppered the online community with cutting commentary of contemporary issues over recent years. This is his first full book in over 20 years.
For students of the big picture, The Bubble and Beyond provides a compelling road map into our empty wallets and onto a future rich in opportunity. Support Michael’s work.
Table of Contents
The Bubble and Beyond:
The Road from Industrial Capitalism to Finance Capitalism and Debt Peonage
Essays on Fictitious Capital, Debt Deflation and the Global Crisis
Summary and Analytic Table of Contents
Introduction: Today’s Financial Crisis and Economic Theory
I. Fictitious Capital and Economic Fictions
1. Two Traditions of Financial Doctrine
2. The Magic of Compound Interest: Mathematics at the Root of the Crisis
3. How Ricardo’s Value Theory Ignored the Role of Debt
4. The Industrialization of Finance and the Financialization of Industry
5. The Use and Abuse of Mathematical Economics
6. The Road to Debt Deflation, Debt Peonage and Neofeudalism
II. From Inflated Debts to Debt Deflation
7. Property is Worth Whatever a Bank Will Lend Against It
8. The Real Estate Bubble at the Core of Today’s Debt-leveraged Economy
9. Junk-Bonding Industry
10. Privatizing Social Security to Rescue Wall Street
11. Saving, Asset-Price Inflation, and Debt Deflation
12. Saving our Way into Debt Peonage
III: The Global Crisis
13. Trade and Payments in a Financialized Economy
14. U.S. Quantitative Easing fractures the Global Economy
15. America’s Monetary Imperialism: Dollar Debt Reserves without Constraint
16. The Dollar Glut Finances America’s Military Build-up
17. De-dollarizing the Global Economy
18. Incorporating the Rentier Sectors into a Financial Model
IV: The Political Dimension/The Need for a Clean Slate
19. From Democracy to Oligarchy: National Economies at the Crossroads