For the present edition four chapters have been added which form the fourth 1 part at the end of the book. Entitled The triumph of neoliberalism, the new partexplains how theimplementation worldwide oftheneoliberal agenda paved the way for the present crisis. As a matter of fact, the evidence provided in chapter 9 suggests that the present crisis already began to build up in the mid-1970s. It is around 1975 that (real) US wages reached a peak-level they would never regain in f- lowing decades. It was also around 1975 that the number of strikes began to fall sharply. The mid-1970s also marked the beginning of a huge in ow of immigrants (in large part of Hispanic origin) into the United States. The in ated supply of labor depressed wages and this had the consequence that consumption could be increased only by an unprecedented development of credit. Perhaps the reader may think that to blame the prevailing economic system for the unfolding depression is a fairly common and all too easy temptation.
From the reviews of the first edition:
“This book promises a lot. … I found myself quite fascinated by the multitude of market events which are tabulated and carefully related to each other. … The book is an excellent example of why the econophysics approach is so very welcome in the finance field. … the book in general is an interesting and satisfying read.” (Jessica James, Quantitative Finance, November 2001)
From the Back Cover
What are the roots of the present economic crisis? The book shows that the factors commonly mentioned (e. g. subprime loans, fall in housing prices) have occurred in the past and therefore cannot account for the severity of the present crisis. There must be “something else”. The analysis shows that there was a “phase transition” in the United States around 1975 which brought the following changes: – The stagnation of real wages over the past 30 years and a parallel rise in indebtment levels. – The abrupt fall in unionization rates and in the number of strikes. – The development of tax havens which deprived states of tax revenue. – The globalization of financial transactions which hinders long-term investment.
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