Born OTD in 1883, economist John Maynard Keynes. A groundbreaking debunking of moderate attempts to resolve financial crises In the ruins of the 2007-2008 financial crisis, self-proclaimed progressives the world over clamored to resurrect the economic theory of John Maynard Keynes. The crisis seemed to expose the disaster of small-state, free-market liberalization and deregulation. Keynesian political economy, in contrast, could put the state back at the heart of the economy and arm it with the knowledge needed to rescue us.

But what it was supposed to rescue us from was not so clear. Was it the end of capitalism or … More

It’s a belief that unites the left and right, psychologists and philosophers, writers and historians. It drives the headlines that surround us and the laws that touch our lives. From Machiavelli to Hobbes, Freud to Dawkins, the roots of this belief have sunk deep into Western thought. Human beings, we’re taught, are by nature selfish and governed by self-interest. Humankind makes a new argument: that it is realistic, as well as revolutionary, to assume that people are good. The instinct to cooperate rather than compete, trust rather than distrust, has an evolutionary basis going right back to the beginning of Homo sapiens. By thinking the worst of others, we bring out the worst in our politics and economics too.

In this major book, international-bestselling author Rutger Bregman takes some of the world’s most famous studies and events and reframes … More

Financial malpractice, we’re told, is an aberration: the actions of a few bad apples deviating from the norms of a market-governed process and gaming the system. In Sabotage, political scientists Anastasia Nesvetailova and Ronen Palan blow this fiction apart, showing that sabotage is not an anomaly, but part of the business model of finance – and always has been. Abusive lending practices, misleading investors, manipulating prices, deliberately falsifying figures, cheating, obstruction and taking advantage of ‘the dumbest person in the room’ – they’re actually the main source of profitability in finance, and the surest way to a bonus.

If you want to make money in the industry, you need to find ways of sabotaging either your clients, your … More

Born OTD in 1818, German philosopher, economist, historian, sociologist, political theorist, journalist and socialist revolutionary, Karl Marx. Marx’s Das Kapital cannot be put into a box marked ‘economics’. It is a work of politics, history, economics, philosophy and even in places, literature. This illustrated introduction to the Marxist critique of capitalist production and its consequences for a whole range of social activities such as politics, media, education and religion.

  Das Kapital is not a critique of a particular capitalist system in a particular country at a particular time. … More

Economics is broken, and the planet is paying the price. Unforeseen financial crises. Extreme wealth inequality. Relentless pressure on the environment. Can we go on like this? Is there an alternative? In Doughnut Economics, Kate Raworth lays out the seven deadly mistakes of economics and offers a radical re-envisioning of the system that has brought us to the point of ruin. Moving beyond the myths of `rational economic man’ and unlimited growth, Doughnut Economics zeroes in on the sweet spot: a system that meets all our needs without exhausting the planet.

The demands of the 21st century require a new shape of economics. This might just be it. Available online.

Today, our lives are dominated by an ideology of extreme competition and individualism. It misrepresents human nature, destroying hope and common purpose. But we cannot replace it without a positive vision, one that reengages people in politics and lights a path to a better world. Urgent and passionate, George Monbiot shows how new findings in psychology, neuroscience & evolutionary biology cast humans in a radically different light: as the supreme altruists and cooperators. He shows how both democracy and economic life can be radically reorganised from the bottom up, enabling us to take back control and overthrow the forces that have thwarted our ambitions for a better society.

Out of the Wreckage explains just how communities can be rebuilt with the help of a new “politics of belonging”. … More

Where Does Money Come From? reveals how, contrary to public perception, the bulk of today’s money supply is created and allocated by commercial banks in their role as providers of credit. The authors argue that this system is inherently unstable, with little effective regulation of how much credit is provided, or whether it is used for productive or speculative purposes.

Based on detailed research and consultation with experts, including from the Bank of England, Where Does Money Come From? reviews … More

In this original and provocative book Ellen Meiksins Wood reminds us that capitalism is not a natural and inevitable consequence of human nature, nor is it simply an extension of age-old practices of trade and commerce. Rather, it is a late and localized product of very specific historical conditions, which required great transformations in social relations and in the human interaction with nature. This new edition is substantially revised and expanded, with extensive new material on imperialism, anti-Eurocentric history, capitalism and the nation-state, and the differences between capitalism and non-capitalist commerce.

The author traces links between the origin of capitalism and contemporary conditions such as ‘globalization’, ecological degradation, and the current … More

Coming soon, pre-order here. The leading thinker & most visible public advocate of modern monetary theory – the freshest & most important idea about economics in decades – delivers a radically different, bold, new understanding for how to build a just & prosperous society. Any ambitious proposal – ranging from fixing crumbling infrastructure to Medicare for all or preventing the coming climate apocalypse – inevitably sparks questions: how can we afford it? How can we pay for it? Stephanie Kelton points out how misguided those questions really are by using the bold ideas of modern monetary theory (MMT), a fundamentally different approach to using our resources to maximize our potential as a society. We’ve been thinking about government spending in the wrong ways, Kelton argues, on both sides of the political aisle.

Everything that both liberal/progressives and conservatives believe about deficits and the role of money and government spending in the economy … More

In the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, central banks created trillions of dollars of new money, & poured it into financial markets. ‘Quantitative Easing’ (QE) was supposed to prevent deflation & restore economic growth. But the money didn’t go to ordinary people: it went to the rich, who didn’t need it. It went to big corporations & banks – the same banks whose reckless lending caused the crash. This led to a decade of stagnation, not recovery. QE failed.

In this book, Frances Coppola makes the case for a ‘people’s QE’, in which the money goes directly to ordinary … More