Stabilizing an Unstable Economy

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Date

May 5, 2008

Format

Hardback, 350 pages

ISBN

0071592997 / 9780071592994

$

Your Price

34.95



Overview


Main description

“Mr. Minsky long argued markets were crisis prone. His 'moment' has arrived.” -The Wall Street Journal

In his seminal work, Minsky presents his groundbreaking financial theory of investment, one that is startlingly relevant today. He explains why the American economy has experienced periods of debilitating inflation, rising unemployment, and marked slowdowns-and why the economy is now undergoing a credit crisis that he foresaw. Stabilizing an Unstable Economy covers:

  • The natural inclination of complex, capitalist economies toward instability
  • Booms and busts as unavoidable results of high-risk lending practices
  • “Speculative finance” and its effect on investment and asset prices
  • Government's role in bolstering consumption during times of high unemployment
  • The need to increase Federal Reserve oversight of banks

Henry Kaufman, president, Henry Kaufman & Company, Inc., places Minsky's prescient ideas in the context of today's financial markets and institutions in a fascinating new preface. Two of Minsky's colleagues, Dimitri B. Papadimitriou, Ph.D. and president, The Levy Economics Institute of Bard College, and L. Randall Wray, Ph.D. and a senior scholar at the Institute, also weigh in on Minsky's present relevance in today's economic scene in a new introduction.

A surge of interest in and respect for Hyman Minsky's ideas pervades Wall Street, as top economic thinkers and financial writers have started using the phrase “Minsky moment” to describe America's turbulent economy. There has never been a more appropriate time to read this classic of economic theory.


Author comments

Hyman P. Minsky, Ph.D., was an American economist who studied under Joseph Schumpeter and Wassily Leontief. He taught economics at Washington University, University of California--Berkeley, Brown University, and Harvard University. Minsky joined the Jerome Levy Economics Institute of Bard College as a distinguished scholar in 1990, where he continued his research and writing until a few months before his death in October, 1996. His two seminal books were Stabilizing an Unstable Economy and John Maynard Keynes.


Back cover copy

Praise for the prescient work of Hyman P. Minsky

“Twenty-five years ago, when most economists were extolling the virtues of financial deregulation and innovation, a maverick named Hyman P. Minsky maintained a more negative view of Wall Street; in fact, he noted that bankers, traders, and other financiers periodically played the role of arsonists, setting the entire economy ablaze.”
--John Cassidy, The New Yorker

“The journey from subprime mortgages to a major credit crisis, a weak economy and broken business models in finance could all have been foreseen through Hyman Minsky’s perspectives. His work remains essential to understanding the ground beneath us and the path ahead.”
—-George Magnus, Senior Economic Adviser, UBS Investment Bank

“It is time to revive an old issue: Just how inherently unstable are economies? But instead of getting much guidance these days from contemporary economists, we need to turn to some of the giants from the past. The work of Hyman Minsky . . . is especially on the mark.”
--Jeff Madrick, The New York Times

“Hyman Minsky's work has never been more valuable. His financial instability hypothesis, complete with hedge, speculative and ponzi units, has played out to a T in the U.S. property and mortgage markets over the last half decade.”
--Paul McCulley, Managing Director, PIMCO

“As it happens, Minsky is enjoying something of a revival. Two of his books, John Maynard Keynes, and Stabilizing an Unstable Economy were just republished by McGraw-Hill, and his contention that stability is inherently unstable seems more relevant than ever in the aftermath of the period of low market volatility that ended in the current crisis.

"In the latter of those books, published in 1986, Minsky wrote, 'If the institutions responsible for the lender-of-last resort function stand aside and allow market forces to operate, then the decline in asset values relative to current output prices will be larger than with intervention; investment and debt financed consumption will fall by larger amounts; and the decline in income, employment and profits will be greater.' In other words, without government bailouts, there can be a downward spiral.”
--The New York Times




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