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End This Depression Now!

Krugman, Paul R. (Book - 2012)
Average Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5.
End This Depression Now!
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WW Norton
The Great Recession is more than four years old—and counting. Yet, as Paul Krugman points out in this powerful volley, "Nations rich in resources, talent, and knowledge—all the ingredients for prosperity and a decent standard of living for all—remain in a state of intense pain."How bad have things gotten? How did we get stuck in what now can only be called a depression? And above all, how do we free ourselves? Krugman pursues these questions with his characteristic lucidity and insight. He has a powerful message for anyone who has suffered over these past four years—a quick, strong recovery is just one step away, if our leaders can find the "intellectual clarity and political will" to end this depression now.

Baker & Taylor
Looks at the economic downturn of the early 21st century, declaring it a depression, and outlines the steps that can be taken to reverse the trend and get back on the road to economic recovery.

Norton Pub
A call-to-arms from Nobel Prize–winning economist and best-selling author Paul Krugman.
The Great Recession is more than four years old—and counting. Yet, as Paul Krugman points out in this powerful volley, "Nations rich in resources, talent, and knowledge—all the ingredients for prosperity and a decent standard of living for all—remain in a state of intense pain."

How bad have things gotten? How did we get stuck in what now can only be called a depression? And above all, how do we free ourselves? Krugman pursues these questions with his characteristic lucidity and insight. He has a powerful message for anyone who has suffered over these past four years—a quick, strong recovery is just one step away, if our leaders can find the "intellectual clarity and political will" to end this depression now.

Book News
For general readers with an interest in economic policy, this latest volume by Nobel Prize winning economist Paul Krugman examines the continuing effects of the recent economic crisis and makes a strong and well reasoned argument for the implementation of proactive progressive economic policies to promote growth. Addressing conservative concerns about deficits and inflation head on, Krugman contends that the traditional approach to growth crisis, targeted federal spending, is the solution to the current enduring downturn. Krugman is a New York Times columnist, a professor of economics at Princeton University, and a leading voice in American progressive economics. Annotation ©2012 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Authors: Krugman, Paul R.
Statement of Responsibility: Paul Krugman
Title: End this depression now!
Publisher: New York : W. W. Norton, c2012
Edition: 1st ed
Characteristics: xii, 259 p. : ill. ; 25 cm.
Notes: Includes index
Contents: Introduction: what do we do now?
How bad things are
Depression economics
The Minsky moment
Bankers gone wild
The second gilded age
Dark age economics
Anatomy of an inadequate response
But what about the deficit?
Inflation : the phantom menace
Eurodämmerung
Austerians
What it will take
End this depression!
What do we really know about the effects of government spending?
Subject Headings: Financial crises United States History 21st century Recessions United States History 21st century United States Economic policy 21st century Unemployment United States History 21st century
Topical Term: Financial crises
Recessions
Unemployment
LCCN: 2012009067
ISBN: 9780393088779
0393088774
Branch Call Number: 330.973 K
Research Call Number: *R-SIBL HB3743 .K78 2012
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Sep 05, 2014
  • redban rated this: 2.5 stars out of 5.

I could give this book a lower rating, but do not want to be miscategorized as being pro-austerity or Libertarian or even a neocon! But in all seriousness, this book just scratches the surface. It neither exposes the systemic corruption that led to the Depression; nor does it go far enough in providing a solution to end the mess and actually prevent it from happening again.

Apr 25, 2014
  • StarGladiator rated this: 1 stars out of 5.

For a magnificent recent critique of Krugman please see the interview with Michael Hudson [Google nakedcapitalism.com + Piketty + Michael Hudson] I would never acuse Krugman of being an economist, or anything having to do with finance or economics, for that matter. Krugman, who claims to be a "liberal" claimed back in 2008 - - when firms such as Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley were pumping up the paper price of oil (13.8 times higher than its physical price) by doing wash sales of oil futures on the ICE exchange (InterContinental Exchange), while also pumping up the price of refinery processing by pumping up the prices of those chemicals used in the refining process, and pumping up the prices of transporting the oil by speculation on freight forward futures (affecting the prices of oil tankers, etc.) - - that the price surge in oil was "simple supply and demand"! Outrageous! Later, in a talk to the EPI Krugman would claim that the top banks are "healthy" and the cause of the global economic metldown was too much "household debt" (evidently Krugman still can't comprehend ultra-leveraging, ultra-leveraged speculation, and insurance fraud perpetrated with naked swaps?)! Presently, Krugman supports the mother of all "free trade" agreements, the Trans-Pacific Partnership - - Krugman a liberal? Try ultra-neocon for Wall Street! Krugman either refuses to state, or will never comprehend, that the American economy has been dismantled over the past 35 years! (The hallmark of Keynesian economics is using the government to tweak the economy, not basing everything on the government?) To prove Krugman is a complete idiot, or farce, he believes that banks do not create credit - - need I say anything more?

What to say about Paul Krugman's "End this Depression Now"?
Krugman has an excellent track record as resident economic pundit at the New York Times, explaining the complex and easily mangled economic analysis of modern finance accurately and in clear language. Punditry has deteriorated over the last few years into shouting matches between so called "free market supporters" aka Tea Party advocates, and liberals. Paul Krugman, whose blog at the Times is called "the conscience of a liberal" is a balanced, strongly pragmatic voice that happens to know his stuff, and seeks the truth above all else. This book is proof undeniable of his expertise and his ability to explain complex matters in everyday language. A good read for an economics text, which in most cases tend to be dry and boring. I particularly like the case Krugman makes about economics not being a morality play, but rather a scientific process, even if it cannot be at a par with the hard sciences ( economists don't have the privilege of testing theory in controlled lab conditions as other scientists do ). The science of economics is not simply preoccupied with establishing correlations to " prove" whatever ideas are in vogue; and economists should always be vigilant about jumping the gun and making any correlated events into cause- and- effect relationships. As a science economics will never come up with natural laws, or if it does their origin is questionable. 
A final endorsement, this book is worth reading, but should one be in a hurry Krugman has recently given a terrific synopsis of this material in an article in the New York Book Review of June 6, 2013: " How the Case for Austerity Has Crumbled."

Sep 11, 2012
  • voisjoe1 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Anybody with the ability to understand simple graphs, calculations about percentages, and the difference between millions, billions, and trillions should be able to reap a better understanding of the world economics of the last twenty to thirty years. Krugman writes in a step-by-step manner to keep the reader engaged and following the plot. If you do not learn something with this book, perhaps you were not meant to be one of those that read.

When he argues against economists on the right, he often gives two sides to his arguments. One is, perhaps the conservative economists don't understand certain facts which he then elucidates. The other argument is that some on the right are just being deceptive on purpose.

Krugman gives prescriptions, both government spending programs and monetary prescriptions that could decrease the unemployment rate by several percent right now. One would be that if Obama wins the election, he should fire the guy who refuses to let the federal government reduce mortgage principals and monthly payments for people that are on the verge of defaulting or are underwater in their mortgages.

Aug 21, 2012
  • arleennomura rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

Krugman's personable style makes a dry and complex subject clear and understandable. Everyone should read this before the next presidential election.

Jul 12, 2012
  • cshahriari rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Paul Krugman makes a strong case for governments and central banks to change their current policies, namely an increase of the inflation targets from the current 2% to a slightly higher 4%. Combined with government stimulus, his suggested medicine for the world economy is meant to restore employment to an acceptable level while the private sector is slowly trying to recover. "So this is very much a time to step on the gas pedal, not take our foot off it" Page 222. I can only agree with his approach as the Austerian approach in Europe and other parts of the world don't deliver the expected results. People may not like his suggestions but history shows that this is the right way to deal with the "Depression" and I quote:

What can be done? One way is to find some way to reduce the real value of debt. Debt relief could do this; so could inflation, if you can get it, which would do two things: it would make it possible to have a negative real interest rate, and it would in itself erode outstanding debt. Yes, that would be rewarding debtors for their past excesses, but economics is not a morality play. (Pg. 147)

Jun 08, 2012
  • mccal006 rated this: 2 stars out of 5.

A great overview of Keynesian economics, sure to reaffirm anyone who already believes in the system. But honestly, it's more than just a little depressing that Krugman's final conclusion is that all we need is the "intellectual clarity and political will to end this depression now."

Jun 07, 2012
  • jhwendland rated this: 2.5 stars out of 5.

In the Introduction to End This Depression Now, Krugman writes, "For the most part, the mushrooming literature on our economic disaster asks, 'How did this happen?' My question, instead, is 'What do we do now?'"

Of the 240 pages that follow, 200 are devoted to answering "How did this happen?". The book is a little elementary but offers a decent overview of recent economic occurrences.

May 27, 2012
  • DEWLine rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Seconded!

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Jun 15, 2012
  • cshahriari rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

cshahriari thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

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Jul 12, 2012
  • cshahriari rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Paul Krugman makes a strong case for governments and central banks to change their current policies, namely an increase of the inflation targets from the current 2% to a slightly higher 4%. Combined with government stimulus, his suggested medicine for the world economy is meant to restore employment to an acceptable level while the private sector is slowly trying to recover. "So this is very much a time to step on the gas pedal, not take our foot off it" Page 222. I can only agree with his approach as the Austerian approach in Europe and other parts of the world don't deliver the expected results. People may not like his suggestions but history shows that this is the right way to deal with the "Depression" and I quote: What can be done? One way is to find some way to reduce the real value of debt. Debt relief could do this; so could inflation, if you can get it, which would do two things: it would make it possible to have a negative real interest rate, and it would in itself erode outstanding debt. Yes, that would be rewarding debtors for their past excesses, but economics is not a morality play. (Pg. 147).

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Jun 15, 2012
  • cshahriari rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

We can end this depression - and we need to fight for policies that
will do the trick, starting right now." (Pg. 230)

Jun 15, 2012
  • cshahriari rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Even euroskeptics like me realize that breaking up the euro now that
it exists would have very serious costs. For one thing, any country
that seemed likely to exit the euro (e.g. Greece) would immediately
face a huge run on its banks, as depositors raced to move funds to
more solid euro nations (Pg. 184) Moreover, an about-face on the euro would be a dramatic political defeat for the broader European project of unity and democracy through economic integration - a project that, as I said at the beginning, is very important not just for Europe but for the world" (Pg. 185)

Jun 15, 2012
  • cshahriari rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

What this adds up to is a very expansionary monetary policy from the ECB plus fiscal stimulus in Germany and a few smaller countries (Pg. 185)

Jun 15, 2012
  • cshahriari rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

...the ECB's mandate calls on it to maintain price stability -
period. It's an open question how binding that mandate really is, and
I suspect the ECB could find a way to rationalize moderate inflation
despite what the charter says (Pg. 80)

Jun 15, 2012
  • cshahriari rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

But the Germans hate, hate, hate, the idea of inflation thanks to
memories of the great inflation of the early 1920s (Curiously, there
is much less memory of the deflationary policies of the early 1930s, which are what actually set the stage for the rise of you-know-who). (Pg. 180)

Jun 15, 2012
  • cshahriari rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Workers are much less willing to accept, say, a 5 percent cut in the
number of their paycheck than they are to accept an unchanged paycheck whose purchasing power is eroded by inflation (Pg. 164)

Jun 15, 2012
  • cshahriari rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

What can be done? One way is to find some way to reduce the real
value of debt. Debt relief could do this; so could inflation, if you
can get it, which would do two things: it would make it possible to
have a negative real interest rate, and it would in itself erode
outstanding debt. Yes, that would be rewarding debtors for their past
excesses, but economics is not a morality play. (Pg. 147)

Jun 15, 2012
  • cshahriari rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

First things first: the Fed doesn't actually print money, although
its actions can lead to the Treasury's printing money. What the Fed does, when it chooses, is buy assets - normally Treasury bills, aka short-term US government debt, but lately a much wider range of stuff. It also makes direct loans to banks, but that's effectively the same thing; think of it as buying those loans. The crucial thing is where the Fed gets the funds with which it purchases assets. And the answer is that it creates them out of thin air. (Pg. 153)

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Jul 12, 2012
  • cshahriari rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

"End This Depression Now!" Paul Krugman

In this authoritative call-to-action, the 2008 Nobel laureate in economic sciences says that while the ongoing economic crisis qualifies as a depression, many nations have the talent and resources to turn things around

Find it at NYPL

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