Can "It" Happen Again?: Essays on Instability and Finance (Anglais) Broché – 1 juin 1982
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First Published in 2015. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor&Francis, an informa company.
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Now one moves from hedge to speculative and then to ponzi finance according to the general mood of the market. If the market is experiencing a "state of tranquility," then the typical margins of safety that characterize hedge finance will be displaced by speculative finance which is still considered safe according to entpreneurial optimism. This is all subject to change, however. The performance of the market, interest rate changes, rapid changes in animal spirits, etc. etc. are all conditions which give rise to market instability.
In so many words, this is basically Minsky's FIH. Minsky believed that this concept was a logical implication of Keynes' work, although he is careful to point out that the FIH stands on its own even if it is interpreted as being inconsistent with Keynes' message.
Minsky is a pleasure to read and I recommend this book to anyone interested in "endogenous instability". Minsky believed that all market disruptions are *systemic* and not merely accidental. This sets his work apart from most professional economists.
In Chapter Two Minsky provides the basic formula for the relationship of our advance economy:
After Tax Profits = Investment + the Government Deficit - the Balance of Trade Deficit + Consumption Out of Profit Income - Saving Out of Wage Income
Reflection on this will allow the reader to better understand the complex relationships that govern the performance of the economy and the interconnection between Big Business, Big Government, executive pay, consumer behavior, and many other areas. He outlines three other types of economies where the following formulas hold sway:
1) Profits = Investment (Pre-Keynesian, small government)
2) After Tax Profits = Investment + Government Deficit (Huge Government with private investment)
3) After Tax Profits = Investment + the Government Deficit - the Balance of Trade Deficit
3a) Profits = Investment - the Balance of Trade Deficit
Utilizing formula 3a he predicts the Japanese economic malaise of the 90s in 1980.
The other chapters in the book focus on unveiling the nature of true Keynesian economics untainted by the Neoclassical synthesis and, thereby, allowing the creation of policies to avoid another Great Depression. Unfortunately, no one was listening in the heydays of Reagan's supply-side reign of terror that has continued to lead us to the Great Recession. One hopes that policymakers with the Minsky Moment on their lips will also be taking the time to read his thoughts on the issues that are inherent in the capitalist system we are embedded in.
The only criticism I have is that Minsky missed the chance to completely nail down his financial fragility hypothesis by making explicit reference to the detailed analysis of Adam Smith,Keynes and Mandelbrot.