Book Reviews: ‘Economics After The Crisis’ And ‘Money And Sustainability’

“Economics After the Crisis,” by Adair Turner, MIT Press 2012

“Money and Sustainability,” by Bernard Lietaer, Christian Arnsperger, Sally Goerner, Stefan Brunnhuber, Triarchy Press, 2012

The essential link between “Economics After the Crisis” by Adair Turner and “Money and Sustainability” by Bernard Lietaer and his co-authors is the agreements that the authors arrive at independently: conventional economics is bankrupt, at last revealed by the financial crises of 2008 still reverberating in recessions in real economies worldwide.

Lord Adair Turner who oversaw Britain’s Financial Services Authority typifies the elite, top-down view in this slim volume of essays based on his Lionel Robbins Memorial Lectures in 2012. Lord Turner’s analysis is worth our attention since he may be tapped as the next head of the Bank of England. He catalogues all the aspects of policy failures and how many were rooted in the many assumptions of conventional economic theory that proved wrong: from “efficient markets” and “rational actors” to the many “externalized” costs. These blinded policy makers, asset managers, corporate executives and accountants to these ignored threats overhanging balance sheets, institutional portfolios and GDP-measured national accounts. Turner pinpoints erroneous discount rates, ignoring of avoided costs, insights of other disciplines and scientific research.

Read More