50 Economics Classics by Tom Butler-Bowdon
2000, Robert J. Schiller, Irrational Exuberance
Nutshell: "Market levels are in theory based on fundamental asset values,
but their unexpected surges, swings, and falls suggest human psychology as
"...The theme of Schiller's bestseller, now in its third (2015) edition,
is the psychological dimension to economies and markets, which after all do
not exist as objective realities but are the creation of millions of
2000, Hernando de Soto, The Mystery of Capital
Nutshell: "Assets do not become capital until their value can be fixed nad
made transparent to a wide market. To really advance and fulfill their
potential, nations need integrated property systems."
Quote: "The 'mystery' of capital is that it is not mere savings or money,
but an outcome of law and institutions."
(Comment: I recall folks working in less-developed / developing countries
talking about the problem middle-size companies experienced. A big company
often had the political connections to protect itself from corruption and
small operations, a few people, could fly under the radar. But middle sized
companies were too big to hide and too small to have influence.
Consequently, they took the most hits from corrupt officials.)
2005, Steven D. Levitt & Stephen J. Dubner, Freakonomics
Nutshell: "We want a world based on morality; we have a world based on
2007, Paul Krugman, The Conscience of a Liberal
Nutshell: "Growing inequality is not simply the result of technological
change or globalization, but is the product of political values and
decisions which can be reversed."
Quote: "Krugman goes to some length to remind the reader what America was
like before Roosevelt's New Deal, in the period from the 1870's to the
1930's. He describes it as 'a land of vast inequality in wealth and power,
in which a nominally democratic political system failed to represent the
economic interests of the majority."
(Comment: Krugman won the 2008 Nobel Prize for Economics for his work in
international economics. In the late 1990s he authored Pop
Internationalism, a collection of essays on the subject for laypeople,
Some of the essays take swipes at both Democrats and Republicans.)
2008, Niall Ferguson, The Ascent of Money
Nutshell: "Finance has been the crucial ladder in the making of the modern
world. All ladders are precarious , but without them it is hard to build
(Comment: Ferguson is a historian and one who has become both popular and
controversial, depending on one's views. Ferguson and Krugman have crossed
swords, both on stage and on broadsheet pages. If you look on Youtube, you
can probably find examples of the former.)
1 Some dialogue
Varys: ~ Chaos - a gaping pit ready to swallow us
Littlefinger: ~ Chaos is not a pit. Chaos is a ladder ...