Robert Skidelsky is Emeritus Professor of Political Economy at Warwick University, England. His latest book is How Much Is Enough?: Money and the Good Life with Edward Skidelsky. He is the author of a three-volume biography of John Maynard Keynes.
 (April 2014)


The Programmed Prospect Before Us

Staff members at an Amazon warehouse preparing orders ahead of ‘Cyber Monday,’ the year’s busiest online shopping day, Peterborough, England, November 28, 2013

Mindless: Why Smarter Machines Are Making Dumber Humans

by Simon Head
Simon Head is a journalist turned academic who has specialized in writing about the social impact of technology. In The New Ruthless Economy, he analyzed the practice of call centers, showing how digitalized scripts required of their operators robot-like behavior. In his latest book he claims that computer programming is now applied to all the principal sectors of the manufacturing and service economy.

Inventing the World’s Money

Assistant US Treasury Secretary Harry Dexter White and John Maynard Keynes, adviser to the UK Treasury, at the inaugural meeting of the International Monetary Fund’s Board of Governors, Savannah, Georgia, March 1946. White and Keynes had clashed at the Bretton Woods Conference in July 1944, which conceived the IMF as part of a new postwar international monetary system.

The Battle of Bretton Woods: John Maynard Keynes, Harry Dexter White, and the Making of a New World Order

by Benn Steil
Do we need another book on Bretton Woods, the conference in 1944 in New Hampshire that established a new monetary system following World War II? The answer is yes. The two excellent existing histories of Bretton Woods, by Richard Gardner (1956) and Armand van Dormael (1978), are now dated.1 …

For a National Investment Bank

President Obama is in a bind. He knows that the economic recovery is fragile and dependent on continued fiscal stimulus—hence the bipartisan deal on further tax breaks he brokered in December. But he also knows that the tolerance in Washington for deficits of close to 10 percent of Gross Domestic …

The World Finance Crisis & the American Mission

Fixing Global Finance

by Martin Wolf
A. Ross By common consent, we have been living through the greatest economic downturn since World War II. It originated, as we all know, in a collapse of the banking system, and the first attempts to understand the resulting economic crisis focused on the reasons for bank failures.

Can You Spare a Dime?

The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of the World

by Niall Ferguson
The historian Alan Taylor used to say, mischievously, that the only point of history is history. The idea that one could use it to predict the future, still more to avoid past mistakes, was pure illusion. Niall Ferguson’s The Ascent of Money, a history of financial innovation written as a …

Gloomy About Globalization

Making Globalization Work

by Joseph E. Stiglitz
Making Globalization Work is the third of Joseph Stiglitz’s popular, and populist, books. Like Jeffrey Sachs, Stiglitz is an economist turned preacher, one of a new breed of secular evangelists produced by the fall of communism. Stiglitz wants to stop rich countries from exploiting poor countries without damaging the springs …

Winning a Gamble with Communism

By Force of Thought: Irregular Memoirs of an Intellectual Journey

by János Kornai
The Hungarian János Kornai is the most famous, and certainly the most influential, economist to have emerged from postwar Communist Europe. His reputation is based on three books, Overcentralization, Economics of Shortage, and The Socialist System, which knocked away the intellectual foundations of the publicly owned, bureaucratically planned economy. In …