In this incisive, clear-sighted portrait, award-winning journalist John Plender explores the paradoxes and pitfalls inherent in capitalism. Taking us from the Venetian merchants of the Renaissance to the gleaming temples of 21st-century commerce via the South Sea Bubble, Dutch tulip mania, and manic-depressive gambling addicts, Plender shows us capitalism through the eyes of philosophers, novelists, poets, artists, and the divines.
John Plender has been a senior editorial writer and columnist at the Financial Times since 1981. He has a weekly column on economics and business and also writes for the opinion pages.
Chapter One: The Root of All Evil (Or Not, as the Case May Be) 1
Chapter Two: Animal Spirits 33
Chapter Three: Hijacked by Bankers 55
Chapter Four: Industrial Shrinkage, Financial Excess 81
Chapter Five: Sophisters, Economists and Calculators 103
Chapter Six: Trade and the Fatal Embrace 133
Chapter Seven: Speculation – The Missing Shame Gene 163
Chapter Eight: The Dynamics of Debt 187
Chapter Nine: Gold: The 6,000-Year-Long Bubble 215
Chapter Ten: High-Minded about Art 235
Chapter Eleven: Tax and the Division of the Spoils 259
Chapter Twelve: Capitalism, Warts and All 277