Steve's Reviews > ECONned: How Unenlightened Self Interest Undermined Democracy and Corrupted Capitalism

ECONned by Yves Smith
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's review
May 20, 10

bookshelves: economics
Read from April 13 to May 14, 2010

Everyone has a villain to blame for our current economic fiasco, but as far as I know, only Yves Smith points the finger at the most obvious target: the intellectual gurus of our material world, the economists. For decades, she says, they have been preoccupied with a misguided effort to create a “science of economics”, an enterprise that has led them to focus exclusively on measurable phenomena and a simplistic model of a “free market”.

She calls it a “Potemkin science” that falls apart when confronted with a society even slightly more complex than Robinson Crusoe on his island. Worse, it provides cover for financial interests seeking to accumulate political power. The result is our wildly unstable economy characterized by corruption, looting and fraud on a grand scale.

This book gets fairly deep in the weeds regarding such things "structured finance", "synthetic CDOs", neo-classical economics and its need for "ergodicity", so it's not for the casual reader. Smith is a Harvard MBA who has worked in the financial services industry for 25 years, so she brings some credibility to her charges.
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message 1: by Donna (new)

Donna  Napier Great review! I always learn things when I read your reviews - and then I don't have to read the book, especially the deep-in-the-weeds part. :)

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