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The Crisis of Global Capitalism: Open Society Endangered [Paperback]

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Item Specifications...

Pages   245
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.1" Width: 6.2" Height: 1"
Weight:   1.2 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Dec 2, 1998
Publisher   PublicAffairs
ISBN  1891620274  
EAN  9781891620270  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
Examines economic theory and the collapsing global economy, and discusses the concept of open society as a means of preventing further financial disintegration

Publishers Description
The global economy, on which the world now depends more than ever, is in crisis. The Russian economy has collapsed, leading to punishing inflation and economic hardship. Scores of Japanese banks are in ruin while the Japanese government muddles along, the nation falling deeper and deeper into recession. The once-booming economies of Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia have imploded. Brazil and the rest of Latin America has begun to edge toward the precipice, and even in Europe and America the markets lurch violently, wiping out gains with each passing week.

No one is better positioned to explain the current global financial crisis than George Soros, the man Morgan Stanley head Barton Biggs calls "the finest analyst of the world in our time." In The Crisis of Global Capitalism, Soros, chairman of Soros Fund Management (whose Quantum Fund is considered to have been the best performing investment fund in the world over the past thirty years), dissects the current crisis and economic theory in general, revealing how theoretical assumptions have combined with human behavior to lead to today's mess. He shows how unquestioning faith in market forces blinds us to crucial instabilities, and how those instabilities have chain-reacted to cause the current crisis—a crisis that has the potential to get much, much worse. Offering brilliant solutions to the global meltdown, based on years of Soros's own experience as a financier and philanthropist, this is essential reading for anyone involved with the new economy—that is, all of us.

Buy The Crisis of Global Capitalism: Open Society Endangered by George Soros from our Christian Books store - isbn: 9781891620270 & 1891620274

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More About George Soros

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! George Soros heads Soros Fund Management and is the founder of a global network of foundations dedicated to supporting open societies. The author of several previous bestselling books, including The Alchemy of Finance and Soros on Soros, he lives in New York City.

George Soros currently resides in New York, in the state of New York. George Soros has an academic affiliation as follows - ?.

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
The hobo Philosopher  Jul 18, 2008
This is my first exploration into the mind and thinking of George Soros. This book was not difficult to read. Mr. Soros is not a deceptive writer.
It seems that Mr. Soros is one of the richest men in the world. He made his money in the international financial marketplace. Today he is out of the speculation business and characterizes himself as a philanthropist.
His educational background is in economics and philosophy. Being familiar reading philosophers, I feel safe in saying that he writes, thinks and explains himself like a philosopher.
Many critics consider Mr. Soros a liberal or an apologist for the "socialist, communist" left. I think not. Mr. Soros is first a Capitalist. He does not believe in the "equilibrium" notion which proposes a self-adjusting world.
As I see it, George Soros is a capitalist to the core. Like John Maynard Keynes before him, I understand him to be a pragmatic capitalist personally engaged in the task of expanding and attempting to move capitalism along positively to a globally successful economic system. He accepts that capitalism has gone global. He doesn't resist globalism but realizes that without restraints and rules and regulations it has a possibility of collapsing upon itself. Soros's solutions are in my opinion the philosophical convolutions of a capitalist investment broker. Sort of a Meditations by Marcus Aurelius - but in international financial investment. It was a real struggle for Marcus Aurelius to maintain his philosophical inclinations and at the same time, authoritatively and often ruthlessly, rule the Roman Empire. It is equally difficult for George Soros to balance his philosophical and moral character with his necessary ruthless and amoral behavior in the gruesome world of international finance. But like Marcus, George gives it an honorable attempt. Many speculative amoral capitalist should be going to prison not to the Riviera. In fact Mr. Soros may be one of them. If he doesn't belong inside a prison, he could certainly be doing some community service. Actually, that is probably exactly what he is attempting with his philanthropic endeavors - as was the case with Andrew Carnegie, John D. Rockefeller, Henry Ford, and many other of our past unscrupulous economic giants.
Cramming World Government Down Your Throat  May 8, 2006
It's a good idea to find out what financiers like George Soros are thinking because it may give some hints of what is in our future. His book, "The Crisis of Global Capitalism" was rushed into print "at breakneck speed." That should give a hint about Soros' power and influence.

Soros, once a Hungarian Jewish refugee, is now a big shot. When he isn't masterminding international financial scams or working toward world government, he makes public appearances, testifies before Congress, and writes books.

The stimulus for the book was the global financial crisis that began in Thailand in July 1997. The crisis steamrolled through the economies of many nations, collapsing the Russian banking system before the recovery began. Malaysia shut down its financial markets to foreigners, pointing to Soros as the source of the problem.

After that close brush with global economic meltdown, perhaps Soros is trying to convince us that we should create a mechanism to clean up after his meddling. Soros' "remedy" is international supervision over the national authorities. World government.

How much world government is enough? "You cannot have a common market without a common currency. You cannot have a common currency without a common fiscal policy, including some kind of centralized tax collection."

And of course he says we need the International Criminal Court. Still not enough world government for you?

"A society without social values cannot survive and a global society needs universal values to hold it together." In case you missed it, we are talking about a global religion. Maybe world government is like sex--you can't be a little bit pregnant, and you can't have a little bit of global government.

Soros clouds the issue with a lot of talk about "open societies," although world government would be anything but that. Soros touts democracy and open societies, but he obviously favors bureaucratic secrecy over an open society. Soros favors some type of powerful paternalistic oligarchy that falls somewhat short of actual totalitarianism-or better yet, makes people think that it stops short of totalitarianism.

This book is loaded with contradictions. Soros' definition of an open society diametrically opposes his desired stable society. Soros calls Communism a cure worse than the disease, yet he maintains that we must put common interest ahead of self-interest. He says that the US can't go it alone, yet somehow the US can save the world.

Soros is too dishonest to admit that pumping capital from advanced nations to the third world will lower US living standards, although he predicts that the US will have to dismantle the social safety net to become more competitive.

Soros decries the profit motive as the basis of human behavior, but what other motive is there for international capital flight and destroying national sovereignty?

What does internationalism deliver? If you look at the US in the age of internationalism, then the answer is war, low wages, unemployment, and loss of self-reliance.

The fact is, free movement of capital is a relatively recent phenomenon. At the end of the Second World War, economies were largely national in character. Since 1980, the balance has swung so far in favor of financial capital that multinational corporations and international financial markets have supplanted national sovereignty. The ability of a nation to provide for the welfare of its citizens has been impaired by the ability of capital to escape paying taxation and decent wages by moving elsewhere.

Regarding the 1977 financial crisis that sparked this book, the international financial system itself constituted the main ingredient in the meltdown process. The big difference with China was that its currency is not convertible; otherwise it's economy would have been exposed to the "wrecking ball," as Soros puts it. The countries that kept their financial markets closed weathered the storm better than those that were open. India was less affected than the Southeast Asian countries; China was better insulated than Korea.
Economic theory has misrepresented how markets behave  Jan 13, 2006
Reflexivity, is the two way interaction between thinking and reality. Reality is not separate from thinking. Reflexivity is acceptance that there is a reality and we are a part of that reality. Reflexity, strength of its statement is contingent on their impact.

Fallibility means there is a lack of correspondence between the participants thinking and the actual state of affairs. When one recognizes a fallible belief, he can correct for error, this is another name for learning. All human designs are bound to be defective. In finance the value of a hypothesis is measured in money. Money accumulation measures the degrees of success in a belief system and the exploitation of observed fallacy. No fertile fallacy is likely to last forever and eventually, it will be replaced with a new fallacy that will occupy people's imagination. There are two ways to deal with deficient design, one, to look for an escape and two, to look for improvement. Marxist philosophy and economics is not scientific provable.

Karl Popper's theory of scientific method involves predicting a specific phenomena then testing and explaining the phenomena. Therefore, prediction and explanation are reversible. Testing is comparing the initial and final conditions and establishing whether they conform to the hypothesis. One should accept the hypothesis provisionally, until is can be falsified. This approach allows the hypothesis to provide predictions and explanations without insisting on verification. The predictions can be either deterministic or probabilistic. However, generalizations made about reflexive events cannot be tested.

Equilibrium in supply and demand means there is exists no unsatisfied sellers and buyers. Economics is the study of the relationship between supply and demand, not the conditions. All markets have radical fallibility and are liable to be flawed. Economic theory has misrepresented how markets behave. The conditions of supply and demand are unknowable because financial markets are discounting the future contingent on how they discount the present.

Rational expectations of price are based on fundamentals, such as, future earnings, dividend, and the prospect of future transactions. Therefore, it would be irrational for an investor to believe they can outperform the market.

Self-interest is the best explanation why free markets succeed. Different people work with different bias. A sequence of events occurs and these events affect a person's bias. Rational expectations philosophy contents that markets are always right. However, in reality financial markets are almost always wrong, but have the ability to validate them selves to a point. Divergence from outcomes and expectations can be taken as bias.

For example, credit expansion and contraction are followed by a boom or bust, in the business cycle. Collateral value depends on the amount of money the bank is willing to lend. Investors had sought fast per-share growth rates and certain companies had exploited this bias using their high-priced shares to acquire companies with lower multiple of earnings and producing higher shares and growth earning increases, for which, the investors appreciated. These companies become bestowed with higher P/E multiples far from the mean and reality cannot sustain these expectations.

The turning point formed because there were size limits and the company could not sustain momentum. Investors got carried away with expectations. The moment of truth occurred when reality could not support investor expectation. People only increased their pain by continuing too play the game when they, themselves no long believed, hoping a greater fool would arrive and bail them out. The crossover point would be followed by a downward trend and eventual crash. Markets are in constant dis-equilibrium: Prices do not clear the market and there are dissatisfied buyers and sellers in the wings, who could not execute order at the last sell or could not make up their minds.

1972, Citibank enters the market and starts using capital to simulate stock prices, raise additional capital, and made purchase acquisitions. 1973, Oil crisis causes a boom and swing into dis-equilibrium. 1982, radical change caused the international banking crisis. 1989, the Soviet empire collapsed and robber capitalism emerged, as, management tool control of companies and private property by cheating workers of vouchers and buying up companies cheap. State to Private property distribution became the problem of a free for all. The Russian central government was unable to collect taxes.

1998, IMF negotiates with Russia, a $22.5 billion rescue plan. Emerging market Russia's stock had fallen 48% in four weeks. Prior too the bailout, Russia had $11 billion in hard currency in its reserves, but this was not enough to cover debts come due. The USSR was on the verge of breaking up and building a free-market system in the stead. Peoples exchanging their rubles for dollars had depleted the central bank by $2.4 billion. Russia was too big and too nuclear to fail and IMF bailout mandated and required. The IMF role in the financial intervention of Russia would be too help Russia make the transition into a free-market. Russia lacked many of the components needed in a free-market: viable commercial banks, stocks and bond markets, and laws to protect private property and enforce contracts. The IMF used "shock tactic" to dismantle communist command and control hierarchy and liberalizing price and markets. Soon after shock tactic private retail shops opened and imports of foreign goods increased. Bloated budget deficits caused an explosive rise in Russian money supply and in 1993, inflation topped 843% and 224% in 1994. 1995, Russian reforms acquired a $6.8 billion IMF loan aimed primarily to tame inflation and inflation subsided. The ruble was pegged too the dollar ending a slide in currency value. The next stage of reform was modern banking. By 1997, inflation was 11 %, the ruble stable, communism vanquished, and portfolio investor were infusing money into Russia. Portfolio investment surged to $45.6 billion. Russia economy looked health, but its heavy dependence on short term borrowing subjected it to heavy costs. Russia had to borrow $1 billion each week by selling GKO to replace the maturing ones with increase costs of 25%. The
"policeman to the world"... on second thought...  Dec 29, 2005
One of Soros' most compelling arguments comes out of his experiences during the 90's- mostly during the Clinton years- that the Open Society should take an active role in becoming a strong advocate for creating nascent Open societies in areas of political and economic strife. He berates America (as the leader of the free world) for not taking an active role in promoting stable and fair markets in Russia, and not doing enough to prevent the tragedies in the Balkans. He even goes as far as to say that America should step up and become the "policeman of the world".

Then again... isnt that exactly what he's spent the years after this book was authored trying to stop in his attacks on the campaign of George W Bush? Soros is fascinating in the sense that he feels perfectly comfortable documenting his complete ineptitude at coming up with theories about world politics. He even deconstructs his earlier writings, pointing out his flaws, suggesting that the fact that he can be falsified reinforces his self-title as thoretician.

Soros makes the bold claim that if you can get people to agree with you, you can make money off them on the upside, and then make money off them on the downside as long as you don't continue believing your own guff past the sell-by date. He defends this as moral, because it is playing by the rules. He trumpets his years of philanthropy as the justification for a life spent in raiding the economies of the world.

This is a book well-worth reading, and attempting to understand, because he makes/confirms his own point about the evils of market fundamentalism in autobiography. It is an expose on the evils of self-deception and over-reliance on the rules of the game to create morality. Laws and civility, like economics, do not construct good morals and ethics. He leaves himself lost, essentially falling into recourse to a higher power (of a more perfect UN or WTO or IMF, rather than a deity), but calling upon a higher power nonetheless to check the excesses of which has been his daily bread and butter for fifty years.
Soros and capitalism...  Jul 21, 2005
George Soros, one of the greatest speculators of all time wrote this book which is an ode to govenment and bureaucracy intervention. It seems at first sight that Soros realized that true liberalism (not the liberalism of the left wing in America) was wrong and thus the Estate should intervene to fix the market's problems.

Now you may be asking, How come a guy who made 1 billion dollars in one day thru speculation against the british pound in the 90's is now a critic of the system that let him speculate and get rich?. Well, Soros changed his mind about capitalism when he lost 2 billion dollars during the russian crisis. He tried to convince the World Bank and the IMF to save russian markets like they did in Mexico in 1995, but no help was approved.

So, what's the solution according to Soros? Easy: create new bureaucracy. He wants a Global Fed, Government intervention in the markets and a more robust and strong Estate. If this solution were to be implemented, Soros would be denying to others the opportunities he had to get rich. I think what Soros wants is to prevent others to compete with him perhaps because he is tired of today's competition.

If you are into Mises, Hayek or even Friedman, this book will only be useful to show the clichés that the left wing repeats over and over against capitalism. It doesn't add something new to the debate, just shows us that Soros is a great speculator but a poor economist.

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