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The Gods That Failed: How the Financial Elite Have Gambled Away Our Futures [Paperback]

Larry Elliott

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Book Description

Aug. 31 2009
A devastating assault on the delusional, faith-based thinking that markets can, unaided, create heaven on earth.

Since the late Sixties, control of our economy has passed into the hands of a new elite of super-rich free-market operatives and their colleagues in national and international institutions. These New Olympians, so named because of their remoteness from everyday life and their lack of accountability, are unconcerned with — in fact, hostile to — job security, social tranquility and the traditional middle-class aspiration for both the good life and the quiet life.
This group has sought to insulate itself from democratic challenge and to make “irreversible” the legal changes from which it has profited so enormously. Aside from the obnoxious principles involved, the rule of this financial elite has brought not prosperity but sluggish growth in living standards, a debt explosion, and now a major crisis of international proportions as a vast borrowing bubble starts to deflate.

Elliott and Atkinson argue that the coming crisis will shatter all remaining faith in the empty dogmas of “shareholder value” and “labour flexibility.”

Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage Books (Aug. 31 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 009952368X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099523680
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 19.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 259 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,101,270 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


“The most entertaining effort to identify those to blame for the credit crunch.”

“Agree or disagree, you should read this book. As the crunch intensifies, these critics are out in force and the most influential of their books will undoubtedly turn out to be this readable yet controversial tome.”
City A.M.

About the Author

Larry Elliott and Dan Atkinson are Economics Editors of the Guardian and the Daily Mail respectively. They are the co-authors of Fantasy Island and The Age of Insecurity.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 5.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
5.0 out of 5 stars Accurate diagnosis Feb. 2 2009
By Dr. Nicholas P. G. Davies - Published on
This is an important book. It's a follow on from Fantasy Island but this time it's a fantasy world.

The book begins slowly with a forensic deconstruction of current problems. It's detailed, and not the easiest reading. However it summarises down to the fact that money has been created and lent beyond the worth of assets and incomes. The scale of this, and the hiding of it in obscure off balance sheet transactions, is a scandal, that will come home to roost. Inevitably there will be a devaluation from such financial recklessness. The USA and UK are particularly vulnerable to this "correction." We will be paying for the problems created for many years to come.

The authors suggested remedies are at the back of the book (last 15 pages out of 310)

I found this book's argument convincing. I liked the author's set of suggested remedies. I recommend this important book to other readers. And may it send shivers down Mr Brown and Mr Darling's spines.

I originally wrote this review in July 2008 on Since then the catastrophe described by Atkinson and Elliott has unfolded in USA and UK. Our Prime Minister insists that the problem is global and entirely due to American incompetence. Most in UK do not believe him on this.

This book remains a good description of the current problems Wall Street and Main Street, or in UK terms the City and the country, are facing.

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