The Hidden Cause of the Great Recession (And How to Avert the Next One)
Yale University Press, 9780300159103, 192pp.
Publication Date: November 29, 2011
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A growing complacency that stability has been restored in the wake of recent economic turmoil is not just wishful thinking, it is dangerous thinking
This book directly confronts uncomfortable questions that many prefer to brush aside: if economists and other scholars, politicians, and business professionals understand the causes of economic crises, as they claim, then why do such damaging crises continue to occur? Can we trust business and intellectual elites who advocate the principles of Realpolitik and claim the "public good" as their priority, yet consistently favor maximization of profit over ethical issues?
Former deputy prime minister of Russia Grigory Yavlinsky, an internationally respected free-market economist, makes a powerful case that the often-cited causes of global economic instability—institutional failings, wrong decisions by regulators, insufficient or incorrect information, and the like—are only secondary to a far more significant underlying cause: the failure to understand that universal social norms are essential to thriving businesses and social and economic progress. Yavlinsky explores the widespread disregard for moral values in business decisions and calls for restoration of principled behavior in politics and economic practices. The unwelcome alternative, he warns, will be a twenty-first-century global economy in the grip of unending crises.
About the Author
Praise For Realeconomik: The Hidden Cause of the Great Recession (And How to Avert the Next One)…
— George Soros
— Vartan Gregorian
“Yavlinsky provides a new and in-depth interpretation of the events leading to the current recession and broader interpretations of how to avoid future ones. Realeconomik has my enthusiastic endorsement.”—Michael D. Intriligator, University of California, Los Angeles
— Michael D. Intriligator
“With clarity and eloquence, Yavlinsky argues that the deepest cause of the global recession was the erosion of the world economy’s moral dimensions. As a professional economist who has long been a leader of the Russian opposition, he knows how to splice politics and economics. As a politician who has repeatedly declined high office on grounds of principle, he lends the book additional authority. Realeconomik is a work that will, I believe, help to spark a public debate on issues of profound importance for humankind.”—Peter Reddaway, George Washington University
— Peter Reddaway