CAPITALISM: Money, Morals and Markets

CAPITALISM: Money, Morals and Markets

JOHN PLENDER    Book Number: 86401    Product format: Paperback

The great financial crisis that began in 2008 with the collapse of Lehman Brothers, the US investment bank, has been the worst since the Wall Street Crash of 1929. What the crisis did was to provoke intense soul searching about the merits and defects of an entrenched capitalist system. Capitalism is a market-based system where predominantly private ownership of industry and commerce is supported by property rights. It has lifted millions out of poverty thanks to its remarkable capacity to raise output per worker and living standards in the West have been transformed. The Asian Tiger economies have been followed by other emerging market countries across the globe. As they go through one industrial revolution after another, growth rates have accelerated to levels far beyond anything achieved through industrialisation in Europe and North America - most spectacularly so in the case of China where 'to get rich is glorious'. Capitalism has created prosperity on a breath-taking scale, yet it is unloved. Voices compete to point out the flaws in the system that allow increasingly powerful elites to grab an ever-larger share of our collected wealth. This clear-sighted guide explores the paradoxes and pitfalls and takes us on a journey from the Venetian merchants of the Renaissance to the gleaming temples of commerce in 21st century Canary Wharf. Plender shows us our economic creation through the eyes of philosophers, novelists, poets, artists and divines. He delves into the ethics of debt and reveals the truth about the unashamedly materialistic artistic giants who pioneered copyrighting, and traces the path of our instinctive conviction that entrepreneurs are greedy, unethical opportunists, while manufacturing is innately virtuous. Eloquent and compelling writing on this enduring debate. 334pp in paperback.
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ISBN 9781785900204
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