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The End of the Free Market: Who Wins the War Between States and Corporations?
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The End of the Free Market: Who Wins the War Between States and Corporations?

3.35 of 5 stars 3.35  ·  rating details  ·  252 ratings  ·  36 reviews
"An essential guide to the future of the world economy." -David Smick, author of The World is Curved

A number of authoritarian governments, drawn to the economic power of capitalism but wary of uncontrolled free markets, have invented something new: state capitalism. In this system, governments use markets to create wealth that can be directed as political officials see fi
Paperback, 240 pages
Published September 27th 2011 by Portfolio Trade (first published May 13th 2010)
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This book was clearly written with an audience of wealthy American Friedmanites in mind. If that is not you, its assumptions may sicken/disappoint you and it's self-contradictions will certainly frustrate/amuse/confuse you. The only reason to read this book is to get further insight into what modern Friedmanites/neo-liberals/neo-conservatives are afraid of.

The bulk of the book is a laundry list of all the good (sometimes great) results of various economic practices the author calls "state capita
This is one of those big-themed books that looks at what's going on economically on a global basis, and tries to make sense of it. The pattern that Ian Bremmer sees is one where Western countries with free-market economies and relatively laissez-faire governments are having their butts kicked by the likes of China and India whose governments practice what he calls "state capitalism". He defines this concept as one where there's a large amount of free enterprise but the state is clearly the domin ...more
In the end, something of a disappointment. Bremmer begins by talking about "state capitalism" as something new, but neglects Alexander Gerschenkron's work two generations ago about the role of the state in directing and supporting industrialisation in Central and Eastern Europe in the 19th and early-20th centuries. He also seems to think that state capitalism is the aberration, that some Friedmanite version of the "free market" is and should be the norm, and takes it as a given that only "free m ...more
Bremmer is a sharp critic of state capitalism, but an apologist for the failures of markets. He goes so far as to hold government primarily responsible for the economic collapse of 2008. While government surely is responsible for some of the blame, the outright greed and immorality (is that even a concept anymore?) of the markets is quickly dismissed. While he believes that state capitalism is not an enduring model, he barely nibbles at the nefarious intrusion of corporations into government in ...more
Interesting look at future international economies. The financial crash of 2008 and subsequent years have brought forward a new international struggle between free markets and states. The regimes that practice state capitalism do so only to protect their political survival and not necessarily for the good of their citizens. This book discusses in great detail what this means for the international economic system in both the long and short term. A balanced perspective based on facts, history and ...more
Books like this make the advocates of free markets work a lot harder to get their case across. This is not so much making a case for free markets but a diatribe against state capitalism from someone who confuses free markets with the corporate market rigging which exists in the USA.

The freer markets exist at local levels where product and service providers fight tooth and claw to grasp at local opportunities but where competition is fierce.

At a higher level, corporations, with their lawyers and
It seems that a tsunami of business books have swept across the media radar in the aftermath of the collapse of Lehman Brothers. Some offer entertaining, informative or outraged calls-to-arms, such as the books by Michael Lewis. Some seem to turn into recycled lectures on vicious cycles in business, such as Prof. Nouriel Roubini's Crisis Economics. This entry by Ian Bremmer takes a rather intriguing premise that fails to boost the reader's interest to "escape velocity."

The premise is intriguing
I gave this book the 3.5 stars, because although it's well researched and makes some interesting points, there are number of places in which the argument is more of a stretched and awkward in the definitions used. This appears to be an attempt to support "free markets", but quickly changes to a book that compares free markets (Western version) to State run capitalism (Emerging dictatorship economies) with comparisons drawn in a bit of a static sense. As a result, the book really misses the histo ...more
Disappointing. Rather than being a methodical analysis of how statist regimes use industrial enterprises for political ends, using examples as case studies--i.e. what the book advertises itself to be, it is instead little more than a series of anecdotes, written from the perspective of someone who refuses to rethink the legitimacy of neoliberal economic theory, even in light of what's happened in the West over the past two years.

I think a more fruitful approach to the study of this topic requir
Call Me Ishmael
ISBN-10: 1591843014

He does a good job of listing the issues with “State Capitalism” mostly using China, India, Venezuela, and Brasil as examples. The flaw of which is picking winners to support political power. Ultimately, this works early in the cycle..while the economy’s growing and there’s enough benefits to buy off opposition. BUT, as the system matures corruption/inefficiency shows, and you wake up one day to find the people in charge are not willing to do the things required to realign the
The book is written with conclusions already in mind and the structure seems to have been created to state the already-formed conclusions.

To start with, state capitalism is more or less defined as something that starts with just beyond whatever the US government does and is expanded to include everyone the author does not like.

Biases are too ridiculous even when you want to agree with the conclusions. For example, market capitalism is branded as only good system because that's the only one that
John Hively
This is an incredibly dumb book and it’s very boring. It lacks clarity and decent research to back up it’s point, whatever it is. For example, the author implies that the Smoot-Hawley Act was responsible for the depth of the Great Depression, yet all academic studies show that the act had little impact on the severity of the Great depression. On top of that, Bremmer argues that modern nations don’t attack each other much, but “In 2010, the US troops are still fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan, bu ...more
It has been an interesting month of reading. After Bill McKibben's "Eaarth" about overheated consumption's impact on the planet and Daniel Quinn's "Ishmael" speaking on the toll modern day "Taker" culture has on society, and a viewing of Michael Moore's "Capitalism: A Love Story", I thought a book on the free market may provide some balance.

"The End of the Free Market" is actually a fascinating book. I enjoy learning areas that I have little or no knowledge of. Economics is certainly one of tho
Frank Kelly
I guess the real question is: have governments ever NOT been engaged in regulating/manipulating/fixing the markets? Bremmer postulates that for a variety of reasons, we have reached the end of the free market and state capitalism is increasingly emerging as the new global model (see: China, Saudi Araba, US bail-out of banks, etc.). Overall, Bremmer is right to some degree but the tensions will remain and pendulum will undoubtedly swing back and forth in the decades to come, I suspect. Overall, h ...more
This was one of the worst books that I've read in awhile. The arguments were completely incoherent and I didn't even get halfway through.

I decided to read it because I thought it would be about how the Chinese economic model presents an alternative the current model of liberal democracy. The book attempts to explain this, but it presents no useful distinctions between liberal democracy and what it calls "state capitalism." Bremmer defines state capitalism as "a system in which the state dominat
The name isn't quite what you would expect from the subtitle - it's less about the fight between corporations and government and more about the fight between "state capitalism", where industries are often owned or largely supported by the governments, and traditionally capitalistic countries, where there is some regulation and protectionism but most things are free.

It's an interesting book - fairly easy to read despite a less-than-exciting subject matter, and it makes you think about things tha
While not one of Bremmer's bests, "The End of the Free Market" was still a wonderful read and invaluable for anyone interested in politics or investment. The book does an excellent job at showing the distinct philosophical differences between supporters of capitalism and supporters of state-capitalism. While the first 150 pages may seem redundant for anyone well informed on economic policy, the last 50 pages of analysis make the entire read worthwhile.

One of my few complaints was the typo on pa
I had this on audiobook and pretty much did the audio equivalent of skimming, because...well, this book really don't grab you. That said, the overall concept of the book is pretty great - basically that all states practice some degree of state capitalism, but the new model of a state directed capitalism (*cough* China *cough*) isn't going away, because of the power it conveys to the state and the favoritism it conveys to pet corporations. He also talks about the gulf monarchies, the new trend in ...more
Христо Блажев
Иън Бремер обявява свободния пазар за мъртъв

Сензационните теории имат едно лошо свойство – почти винаги са неверни и лесни за опровергаване. Имах личен интерес към “The End of the Free Market: Who Wins the War Between States and Corporations?”, която развива тезата, че държавите превземат управлението на корпорациите и започват да ги използват за свои политически и икономически цели. Дипломната ми работа бе посветена точно на обратния процес – на приватиза
I like books that help me see the world in a different way, hopefully in a way that better reflects its complexities and diversities. This book did that for me because it helped me learn more about different kinds of economic systems, how each works and how they work, for good and bad, in conjunction with each other. Of course, I also liked this book because, as a product of and believer in the free market system, it takes the stand that capitalism and the free market, properly regulated, is the ...more
Best text on economic-theory book since The World is Flat. Focuses on the transfer of wealth to state-owned enterprises, oil companies and sovereign wealth funds from G3 economics. The book details the structure of each national actor and makes a case for the end of free markets. The research is worthy of five stars but sacrifices it in the final two chapters by saying that free markets won't end, despite its title and introductory thesis. Much like Thomas Friedman's revisions, I imagine this bo ...more
An excellent overview of the globe's state sponsored capitalism. What seemed like a pessimistic view of the rise of states like China, Russia, and Saudi Arabia and their perverted approach to capitalism ended in a fairly optimistic future view. If we look back 20 years, no one would have imagined how much capitalism and free markets are driving the global economy. It is only time before these "partial capitalists" make the eventual move towards American and European style free markets.
Pretty Good, but lacking something. The book reminds me of all too many of the papers I wrote in college, grand in vision, slim in follow through. I wanted to like it more, but couldn't. The book seemed like a primer on the effects state capitalism impose on the global free market. Some may disagree with the authors conclusions and insinuations on how the global economy works best, but were they the authors target audience? Good Book, happy I read it.
Dean Croshere
Ian Bremmer does some wonderful research. I love his characterization of the markets around the world. He finds a lot of data and presents it in a clear concise manner.

I didn't have any respect for the conclusions he drew from the data, but he is usually rather brief in his analysis before he gets back to his excellent research.
Definitely a great read! Very interesting first 2/3rds - Bremmer lost my interest a bit in the specific analyses of nations (excluding Russia) simply because I don't have much of a knowledge base of the economy side of political economics. I loved Bremmer's tone throughout the book - informative without being self-indulgent of his own perspective.
Eye opening and informative, perhaps too much so. Great information about our current global financial situation. Students of the pseudo-science of economics will be chewing through the depth of detail provided. Ultimately a frustrating book because, as an individual, I am without means to change the reckless and greedy actions of states and institutions.
Very compelling analysis of ascendant state capitalist systems. The author defends the 'free market' system, but fails to make the case for why its survival is so crucial. I want to believe him, but was left unconvinced. We're in for a rough ride.
Ralph Orr
Good nuanced and balanced introduction to state capitalism and its challenges to the market-capitalism (state regulated) that is the Western norm. Now somewhat dated in its comments about Egypt, yet still quite useful.
Mark Egge
Eminently insightful and useful. Though the information is excellent, its organization sometimes feels topsy-turvey and a little repetitive.
Interesting and relevant especially after the 2008 crisis. Worth a read if you are interested in current affairs and the global economy.
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Ian Bremmer (born November 12, 1969) is an American political scientist specializing in US foreign policy, states in transition, and global political risk. He is the president and founder of Eurasia Group, a leading global political risk research and consulting firm, and a professor at Columbia University. Eurasia Group provides financial, corporate, and government clients with information and ins ...more
More about Ian Bremmer...
The J Curve: A New Way to Understand Why Nations Rise and Fall Every Nation for Itself: Winners and Losers in a G-Zero World The Fat Tail: The Power of Political Knowledge for Strategic Investing What's Next: Essays on Geopolitics That Matter (a Penguin Special from Portfolio) Macht-Vakuum: Gewinner und Verlierer in einer Welt ohne Führung

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