Money – Myths, Truths And Alternatives by Mary Mellor

The Blurb On The Back:

What does money mean?  Where does it come from and how does it work?

In this highly topical book, Mary Mellor, an expert on money, examines money’s social, political and commercial histories to debunk longstanding myths such as money being in short supply and needing to come from somewhere.

Arguing that money’s immense social value means that its creation and circulation should be a matter of democratic choice, she sets out a new finance system, based on green and feminist concerns, to bring radical change for social good.  

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Winners Take All by Anand Giridharadas

The Blurb On The Back:

What explains the spreading backlash against the global elite?  In this revelatory investigation Anand Giridharadas takes us into the inner sanctums of a new gilded age, showing how the elite follow a ‘win-win’ logic, fighting for equality and justice any way they can – except ways that threaten their position at the top.

But why should our gravest problems be solved by consultancies, technology companies and corporate-sponsored charities instead of public institutions and elected officials?  Why should we rely on scraps from the winners?  Trenchant and gripping, this is an indispensable guide and call to action for elites and citizens alike. 

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Do Central Banks Serve The People? By Peter Dietsch, François Claveau and Clément Fontan

The Blurb On The Back:

In the wake of the 2007 financial crisis, central banks injected trillions of dollars of liquidity – through quantitative easing – to prevent financial meltdown and stimulate the economy.  The untold story behind these measures is that they have come at a considerable cost.

Central bankers argue we had no choice.  Using examples from Europe and the US, this book shows why this claim is false.  It outlines why we should worry about the role played by central banks since the crisis and what could be done about it.  Not only do central bank policies drive economic inequality, they have also become worryingly dependent on financial markets.  Far from applying neutral and scientific solutions, their expertise is often biased in predictable ways.

This book is a sobering and urgent wake-up call for policy makers and anyone interested in how our monetary and financial system really works. 

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The Case For A Maximum Wage by Sam Pizzigati

The Blurb On The Back:

Modern societies set limits, on everything from how fast motorists can drive to how much waste factory owners can dump in our rivers. But incomes in our deeply unequal world have no limits. Could capping top incomes tackle rising inequality more effectively than conventional approaches?

In this engaging book, leading analyst Sam Pizzigati details how egalitarians worldwide are demonstrating that a “maximum wage” could be both economically viable and politically practical. He shows how, building on local initiatives, governments could use their tax systems to enforce fair income ratios across the board.

The ultimate goal? That ought to be, Pizzigati argues, a world without a super rich. He explains why we need to create that world – and how we could speed its creation. 

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Small Money, Big Impact: Fighting Poverty With Microfinance by Peter Fanconi and Patrick Scheurle

The Blurb On The Back:

Small Money Big Impact brilliantly illustrates what microfinance is, how it works and all the ways microloans and impact investing can be a socially and financially rewarding asset class.

Impact investing is a global megatrend and is reshaping the way people invest as pension funds, insurance companies, foundations, family offices and private investors jump on board.

However, more than two billion people still lack access to basic financial services so opportunities abound.  This first-of-its-kind guide offers in-depth, yet accessible coverage to making a social and environmental impact, while benefitting from competitive, consistent and uncorrelated returns.  Returns that have proven themselves for well over a decade.

Gain expert-level understanding of both the processes and investment vehicles used in microfinance as well as an awareness of the power this asset class has to enrich the impoverished.

– Explore the global impact investing phenomenon.

– Learn how microloans work, and how they make a difference.

– Discover why investors are increasingly leaning into impact investing.

– Consider the factors that inform impact investing decisions.

Small Money Big Impact has your complete solution to using a small amount of capital to make the world a better place and sustain a robust portfolio. 

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The New Scramble For Africa by Pádraig Carmody

The Blurb On The Back:

Once marginalized in the world economy, Africa today is a major global supplier of crucial raw materials like oil, uranium and coltan.  China’s part in this story has loomed particularly large in recent years, and the American military footprint on the continent has also expanded.  But a new scramble for resources, markets and territory is now taking place in Africa, involving not just state, but non-state actors, including Islamic fundamentalist and other rebel groups.

The second edition of Pádraig Carmody’s popular book explores the duamics of the new scramble for African resources, markets and territory, and the impact of current investment and competition on people, the environment, and political and economic development on the continent.  Fully revised and updated throughout its chapters explore old and new economic power interest in Africa; oil, minerals, timber, biofuels, land, food and fisheries; and the nature and impacts of Asian and South African investment in manufacturing and other sectors.

The New Scramble For Africa will be essential reading for students of African studies, international relations and resource politics, as well as anyone interested in current affairs.

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The Ascendancy Of Finance by Joseph Vogl

The Blurb On The Back:

The global financial crisis of 2008 ushered in a system of informal decision-making in the grey zone between economics and politics.  Legitimised by a rhetoric of emergency, ad hoc bodies have usurped democratically elected governments.  In line with the neoliberal credo, the recent crisis has been used to re-align executive power with the interests of the finance industry.

In this important book, Joseph Vogl offers a longer perspective on these developments, showing how the dynamics of modern finance capitalism have always rested on a complex and constantly evolving relationship between private creditors and the state.  He argues that over the last three centuries, finance has become a ‘fourth power’, marked by the systematic interconnection of treasury and finance, of political and private economic interests.

The Ascendency Of Finance provides valuable and unsettling insight into the genesis of modern power and where it truly resides.

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What Everyone Needs To Know About Tax by James Hannam

The Blurb On The Back:

What the taxman hopes you won’t find out.

What Everyone Needs To Know About Tax is an entertaining and informative guide to the tax system in the United Kingdom.  This easy to understand explanation of tax and tax policy is written for the layman, with no accounting or legal background necessary.  It lifts the fog surrounding the latest political arguments and public controversies over taxation, including the effect of Brexit, whether multinational companies are unfairly avoiding their dues, the special privileges of the ultra-wealthy non-doms and more.

Tax expert and historian James Hannam gives insight on every aspect of the tax system, along with practical case studies illustrating how taxation functions in the real world.  He shows how taxes are kept as invisible as possible, why there are so many different taxes and how they almost all end up being paid by ordinary people.  Having read this book, you will:

–           Find out how much of your money goes in taxes without your noticing it

–           Understand the logic behind the wrinkles and foibles in the UK tax system

–           See through the cant of politicians and the media on the subject of tax

Above all, this book shows how, when it comes to tax, there are no easy answers.  May yourself a better-informed voter and taxpayer by reading What Everyone Needs To Know About Tax!

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Do We Need Economic Inequality? by Danny Dorling

The Blurb On The Back:

Although economic inequality provokes widespread disquiet, its supposed necessity is rarely questioned.  At best, a basic level of inequality is seen as a necessary evil.  At worst, it is seen as insufficient to encourage aspiration, hard work and investment – a refrain sometimes used to advocate ever greater inequality.

In this original new book, Danny Dorling critically analyses historical trends and contemporary assumptions in order to question the idea that inequality is an inevitability.  What if, he asks, widespread economic inequality is actually just a passing phase, a feature of the capitalist transition from a settled rural way of life to our next highly urban steady-state?  Is it really likely that we face a Blade Runner-style dystopian future divided between a tiny elite and an impoverished mass?

Dorling shows how, amongst much else, a stabilizing population, changing gender relations and rising access to education make a more egalitarian alternative to this nightmare vision not only preferable, but realistic. This bold contribution to one of the most significant debates of our time will be essential reading for anyone interested in our economic, social and political destiny. 

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