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Fault Lines: How Hidden Fractures Still Threaten the World Economy

Raghuram G Rajan

Economist Rajan warned about the global financial crisis long before it hit, and now he exposes the continuing peril to the world. Rajan traces the deepening fault lines in a system overly dependent on American consumption to power the world economy and stave off a global downturn.

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Book Information

Publisher: Princeton University Press
Publish Date: 08/27/2011
Pages: 270
ISBN-13: 9780691152639
ISBN-10: 0691152632
Language: English

What We're Saying

August 19, 2011

Understandably (looking at the award sponsors), the FT/Goldman Sachs Book Award always tends more toward macroeconomics, high finance and big business. But they always seem to pick well, and I always find books I feel the need to revisit when they announce their list. Just in case you missed the announcement of the the award's longlist as I did, it is: Grand Pursuit: The Story of Economic Genius by Sylvia Nasar, Simon & Schuster No Angel: The Secret Life of Bernie Ecclestone by Tom Bower, Faber & Faber Poor Economics: A Radical Rethinking of the Way to Fight Global Poverty by Abhijit V. READ FULL DESCRIPTION

May 10, 2011

The call is on for submissions to the 2011 Financial Times and Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year Award. From the press release: Now in its seventh year, the award is firmly established as a feature of the business and publishing calendars. [. READ FULL DESCRIPTION

November 04, 2010

Amazon's Best of 2010

By 800-CEO-READ

Amazon has announced their Best of 2010 list, and a business book cracked the top 10 overall choices. Michael Lewis's The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine barely did so, coming in at number 10. (Two other books in the top ten that may appeal to nonfiction readers are The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot and The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration by Isabel Wilkerson, which came in at numbers one and five respectively. READ FULL DESCRIPTION

September 16, 2010

The shortlist for the Financial Times and Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year has been announced. As with the longlist for the award, it is dominated by books covering the recent financial turmoil. The only two covering other topics are: The Art of Choosing by Sheena Iyengar, Twelve The Facebook Effect: The Inside Story of the Company That Is Connecting the World by David Kirkpatrick, Simon & Schuster The books on the shortlist that cover the crisis are: The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine by Michael Lewis, W. READ FULL DESCRIPTION

November 24, 2010

strategy + business's "best of" list is always a special treat—in large part because it's never just a list, but a series of essays. The magazine gathers together a different team of experts each year, and each takes the task of writing on their chosen category and the books in it. I've listed their picks below, linking to the essays at the head of each category. READ FULL DESCRIPTION

October 28, 2010

The Financial Times and Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year was announced last night at The Pierre in New York City, and it was something of an upset. Raghuram Rajan's Fault Lines: How Hidden Fractures Still Threaten the World Economy, released by Princeton University Press in May, beat out more widely recognized and commercially successful books like Michael Lewis's The Big Short and Andrew Ross Sorkin's Too Big to Fail (which was the runner up last night, and which we named The 800-CEO-READ Business Book of the Year in 2009). The award was presented by Lionel Barber, FT editor and chair of the judging panel, and Lloyd Blankfein, the chief executive of Goldman Sachs who recused himself as a judge because of the number of books on the shortlist about the financial crisis—books he was a character in having been the head of a major Wall Street firm during the crisis. READ FULL DESCRIPTION

November 19, 2010

Bloomberg Picks 30

By 800-CEO-READ

Here's a list we missed late last month. Though the post is rather cryptically titled Hellhound Bites Citigroup, Schwarzman Finds Gold Mine: Top Business Books, Bloomberg's James Pressley explains exactly why they put the list together: With so many business books being published each month, we’re often asked for recommendations. Here are 30 of our favorite hardbacks published this year. READ FULL DESCRIPTION

August 09, 2010

The longlist for The Financial Times and Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year was announced this morning. And just as interesting as the list itself, which includes a novel this year, is the fact that Lloyd Blankfein is recusing himself as a judge. He is doing so because "a number of books on this year’s longlist address various aspects of the financial crisis," a crisis Blankfein was intimately involved in as CEO of Goldman Sachs. READ FULL DESCRIPTION

May 29, 2012

The search is now on for the 2012 Financial Times and Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year. From the official announcement: This annual Award, promoted by the Financial Times Limited and the Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. aims to identify the book that provides the most compelling and enjoyable insight into modern business issues, including management, finance and economics. READ FULL DESCRIPTION

Full Description

Raghuram Rajan was one of the few economists who warned of the global financial crisis before it hit. Now, as the world struggles to recover, it's tempting to blame what happened on just a few greedy bankers who took irrational risks and left the rest of us to foot the bill. In Fault Lines, Rajan argues that serious flaws in the economy are also to blame, and warns that a potentially more devastating crisis awaits us if they aren't fixed.

Rajan shows how the individual choices that collectively brought about the economic meltdown--made by bankers, government officials, and ordinary homeowners--were rational responses to a flawed global financial order in which the incentives to take on risk are incredibly out of step with the dangers those risks pose. He traces the deepening fault lines in a world overly dependent on the indebted American consumer to power global economic growth and stave off global downturns. He exposes a system where America's growing inequality and thin social safety net create tremendous political pressure to encourage easy credit and keep job creation robust, no matter what the consequences to the economy's long-term health; and where the U.S. financial sector, with its skewed incentives, is the critical but unstable link between an overstimulated America and an underconsuming world.

In Fault Lines, Rajan demonstrates how unequal access to education and health care in the United States puts us all in deeper financial peril, even as the economic choices of countries like Germany, Japan, and China place an undue burden on America to get its policies right. He outlines the hard choices we need to make to ensure a more stable world economy and restore lasting prosperity.

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