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Beyond the Crash

Overcoming the First Crisis of Globalization

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Hardcover published by Free Press (Free Press)

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About This Book
The international financial crisis that has held our global economy in its grip for too long still seems to be in full stride. Former British Prime Minister and Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown believes the crisis can be reversed, but that the world’s leaders must work together if we are to avoid a decade of lost jobs and low growth.

Brown speaks both as someone who was in the room driving discussions that led to some crucial decisions and as an expert renowned for his remarkable financial acumen. No one who had Brown’s access has written about the crisis yet, and no one has written so convincingly about what the global community must do next in order to climb out of this abyss. Brown outlines the shocking recklessness and irresponsibility of the banks that he believes contributed to the depth and breadth of the crisis. As he sees it, the crisis was brought on not simply by technical failings, but by ethical failings too. Brown argues that markets need morals and suggests that the only way to truly ensure that the world economy does not flounder so badly again is to institute a banking constitution and a global growth plan for jobs and justice.

Beyond the Crash puts forth not just an explanation for what happened, but a directive for how to prevent future financial disasters. Long admired for his grasp of economic issues, Brown describes the individual events that he believes led to the crisis unfolding as it did. He synthesizes the many historical precedents leading to the current status, from the 1933 London conference of world leaders that failed to resolve the Great Depression to the more recent crash in the Asian housing market. Brown’s analysis is of paramount importance during these uncertain financial times.

As Brown himself said of his ideas for the future, “We now live in a world of global trade, global financial flows, global movements of people, and instant global communications. Our economies are connected as never before, and I believe that global economic problems require global solutions and global institutions. In writing my analysis of the financial crisis, I wanted to help explain how we got here, but more important, to offer some recommendations as to how the next stage of globalization can be managed so that the economy works for people and not the other way around.”##

***

The crisis exposed the contradiction of globalization itself: as economies have become more interconnected, regulators and governments have failed to keep pace and increase coordination. It is a failure intrinsic to unregulated global markets, an instability that resulted from the manner in which increasing flows of capital around the world happened and impacted the economy. And it is a failure of collective action at an international level to respond quickly enough to the structural imbalances and inequities that arose.

At its simplest, then, this is the first true crisis of globalization. For the first time everybody, from the richest person in the richest city to the poorest person in the poorest slum, was affected by the same crisis. Although its roots are global, its impact is local, directly felt on nearly every main street, on nearly every shop floor, around nearly every kitchen table.

Billions of people around the world are in need of and are demanding a better globalization. It is the nature of power that you always leave tasks unfinished when you leave office. It is the nature of politics that the argument must continue. This book is my warning of a decade of lost growth and my answer to that fear with a call for a better globalization. It is an explanation of a pattern in the numbers that points to an enormous opportunity to alleviate poverty, create jobs, and grow. A future of low growth, high unemployment, decline, and decay is not inevitable; it’s about the change we choose.
-- From Beyond the Crash
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The international financial crisis that has held our global economy in its grip for too long still seems to be in full stride. Former British Prime Minister and Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown believes the crisis can be reversed, but that the world’s leaders must work together if we are to avoid a decade of lost jobs and low growth.

Brown speaks both as someone who was in the room driving discussions that led to some crucial decisions and as an expert renowned for his remarkable financial acumen. No one who had Brown’s access has written about the crisis yet, and no one has written so convincingly about what the global community must do next in order to climb out of this abyss. Brown outlines the shocking recklessness and irresponsibility of the banks that he believes contributed to the depth and breadth of the crisis. As he sees it, the crisis was brought on not simply by technical failings, but by ethical failings too. Brown argues that markets need morals and suggests that the only way to truly ensure that the world economy does not flounder so badly again is to institute a banking constitution and a global growth plan for jobs and justice.

Beyond the Crash puts forth not just an explanation for what happened, but a directive for how to prevent future financial disasters. Long admired for his grasp of economic issues, Brown describes the individual events that he believes led to the crisis unfolding as it did. He synthesizes the many historical precedents leading to the current status, from the 1933 London conference of world leaders that failed to resolve the Great Depression to the more recent crash in the Asian housing market. Brown’s analysis is of paramount importance during these uncertain financial times.

As Brown himself said of his ideas for the future, “We now live in a world of global trade, global financial flows, global movements of people, and instant global communications. Our economies are connected as never before, and I believe that global economic problems require global solutions and global institutions. In writing my analysis of the financial crisis, I wanted to help explain how we got here, but more important, to offer some recommendations as to how the next stage of globalization can be managed so that the economy works for people and not the other way around.”##

***

The crisis exposed the contradiction of globalization itself: as economies have become more interconnected, regulators and governments have failed to keep pace and increase coordination. It is a failure intrinsic to unregulated global markets, an instability that resulted from the manner in which increasing flows of capital around the world happened and impacted the economy. And it is a failure of collective action at an international level to respond quickly enough to the structural imbalances and inequities that arose.

At its simplest, then, this is the first true crisis of globalization. For the first time everybody, from the richest person in the richest city to the poorest person in the poorest slum, was affected by the same crisis. Although its roots are global, its impact is local, directly felt on nearly every main street, on nearly every shop floor, around nearly every kitchen table.

Billions of people around the world are in need of and are demanding a better globalization. It is the nature of power that you always leave tasks unfinished when you leave office. It is the nature of politics that the argument must continue. This book is my warning of a decade of lost growth and my answer to that fear with a call for a better globalization. It is an explanation of a pattern in the numbers that points to an enormous opportunity to alleviate poverty, create jobs, and grow. A future of low growth, high unemployment, decline, and decay is not inevitable; it’s about the change we choose.
-- From Beyond the Crash
Product Details
Hardcover (336 pages)
Published: December 7, 2010
Publisher: Free Press
Imprint: Free Press
ISBN: 9781451624052
Other books byGordon Brown
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    My Scotland, Our Britain: A Future Worth Sharing is a highly personal account of Gordon Brown's Scotland, the nation he was born in, and our Britain, the multinational state that the Scots, English, Welsh and Northern Irish have created and share. Laying bare his family's ancestry over 300 years of the Union and explaining how it shaped his background, Brown charts what it was like growing up in Scotland in the 1950s and 1960s, and explains the influence of religion, education and Scotland's unique industrial structure on the shaping of his and Scotland's identity. He sets out the dramatic economic, social and cultural changes of the past fifty years and the vastly different prospects his children will face, demonstrating that a sense of Scottish national identity has always remained strong and how Scottish institutions have always fiercely guarded their independence. The referendum should not be seen as a battle between Scotland and Britain, he argues, but one between two visions of Scotland's future: one that sees Scotland prosper with a strong Scottish Parliament that is part of the UK, and one that severs all the political links Scots have with the UK. Brown puts forward his proposal for a constitutional settlement that could unite the country, and argues that in tune with Scotland's history of deep engagement with the wider world - as inventors, explorers, traders, missionaries, business leaders and aid workers - the best future for Scots is not to leave Britain, but to continue to shape it.

    Courage

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    The Captain Who Burned His Ships

    The Captain Who Burned His Ships
    Captain Thomas Tingey, USN, 1750-1829
    This is the first biography of Captain Thomas Tingey, who was a key figure in the development of the early U.S. Navy. Having come to America after a short service in the Royal Navy, Tingey contributed importantly to the growth of the American Navy, but was then obliged to burn the Washington Navy Yard in 1814 to prevent it from falling into the hands of British invaders. This is at the same time a history of the first quarter-century of the Washington Navy Yard, which Tingey commanded for that period, and of the transition of the young Navy from an object of partisan discord to an honored defender of a growing and increasingly self-confident nation. The book looks at Tingey's contributions to navy yard procedures and practices, his civic role in the budding city of Washington, the dramatic events of 1814, and the rebuilding of the yard as a major technical center for the navy.

    Adam Smith, Radical and Egalitarian

    Adam Smith, Radical and Egalitarian
    An Interpretation for the 21st Century
    In this reexamination of the political legacy of Adam Smith, McLean argues that Smith was a radical egalitarian and that his work supported the ideas behind the French Revolution and his  Theory of Moral Sentiments crystallized the radically egalitarian philosophy of the Scottish Enlightenment. Bringing Smith into full view, showing how much of modern economics and political science was influenced by the Scottish thinker, and locating his intellectual heritage firmly within the context of the Enlightenment, McLean addresses the international links between American, French, and Scottish histories of political thought.

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