London Meet-Up, New York Bookstore Event, and South China Morning Post Interview

Dear Patient Readers,

We are finally having some book events!

The first is informal, a meet-up in London. My local experts are still debating the options, but it will be in Mayfair or St. James’s at 6:30 PM next Wednesday, April 14. I will post details here before the weekend.

The second is in New York.

April 29, 7:00 PM at Book Culture, 536 W. 112th Street

The book is also getting good reviews, including this one from Kevin Rafferty at the South China Morning Post (free subscription):

Brutal truth about the biggest con game of all
An in-depth account of the moral morass on Wall Street

If you only read one book on the global financial crisis, it should be Econned by “Yves Smith”, an entertaining, thorough and damning indictment of the way that Western economists, bankers and politicians together messed up – and are still messing up – the global financial and economic system.
Smith relentlessly and remorselessly exposes the great con game that is called “free markets”, a potent brew of bad economics, self-serving ideology and plain old greed. The conclusion is grim: “‘Free markets’ ideology, with its libertarian idealism, has in fact produced Mussolini-style corporatism. And until we learn to call the resultant looting by its proper name, it is certain to continue.”

I put “Yves Smith” in quotation marks because the author is more of an Eve than an Yves, a vivacious blonde. But she is a Smith faithful to the much-maligned misquo ted guru of the market, Adam. She notes that Adam Smith’s faith in the “invisible hand” of the market was much less than the “simplistic ideology that now dominates university economics departments.

“[Adam] Smith also pointed out that self-interested actions frequently lead to injustice or even ruin. He fiercely criticised both how employers colluded … to keep wages low, as well as the ‘savage injustice’ that European mercantilist interests had ‘commit(ted) with impunity’ in colonies in Asia and the Americas.”

“Yves Smith” is gloomy about any easy exit from the mess, not least because of the size and complexity of the problem, and that key political players are part of the system. Her first prescription for change is blunt. “Get rid of Summers and Geithner,” she said in New York a few weeks ago, referring to White House economic supremo Larry Summers and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner.

The interview continues here.

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  1. Claire

    While I am (very) happy that your book is getting well-deserved good reviews, the author doesn’t give any indication that he actually read past chapter 1 or 2 (and I only know he read that far because of the Adam Smith
    quote). In fact, he samples your various blog posts more than he does your book, which is too bad–as good as nakedcapitalism is, your book is really in a class by itself (IMO, and only based on the first 150 or so pages I’ve managed to get through)

    So, while I hope that this review helps sell more of your books, I also fervently hope that other reviews will be a bit more thorough.

    Just another uninformed opinion from a non-financier…

  2. Mary

    Yves – looking forward to the meet-up in London! Always nice to have good company with a pint.

  3. Kevin de Bruxelles

    It looks like I’ve managed to successfully resolve the slight little problem that my passport expired two weeks ago — so I am looking forward to meeting everyone next week.

  4. leeanne

    Yves, thank you for good news and a good review -enjoyed reading it and look forward to many more. Something like ‘a must read if you want real changeHelicopter Ben.’

    Will miss London unfortunately but lucky me in the big apple just a few blocks away hope to see you Thursday night 4/29 at the Book Culture event.

    Here in the city sunny nice and cool right now going up to 80° today.

    Bad news on the economics front –St. Vincent’s announced they’re beginning to shut down some in-patient services with nary a peep from TPTB like Mayor Bloomberg. Hard to believe. $700,000,000 debt load. Makes one wonder how much New York University rapacious real estate operators factors into the silence on the subject of rescue.

  5. DellaTerious

    Yves, Liked the reviewer that mentioned the moral aspect of the debacle. During the last generation the only morality that is ever mentioned is sexual morality, because it offers a soapbox to purveyors of self-righteous indignation while dripping with salacious content. Witness Hitchens and Maher trying to out “oh-I’m-so-appalled” each other over the priests’ diddling of boys, while the murder of children, as in the case of the recent helicopter barrage that resulted in the death of Reuters journalists and 2 children, is dismissed as being the parents’ fault (which, using the same logic, would mean that it’s the parents’ fault for putting their kids under the jurisdiction of celibate priests).
    I was molested as a child, and guess what? I’m still alive and as happy as most. Yet for more than a generation we’ve been (margaret albright’s “I think it’s worth it” when asked if the cost of the death of thousands upon thousands of Iraqi children was worth it, in regards to the sanctions) the USA has been destroying the lives and hopes of Iraqi’s and never once do I see any moral outrage or even questioning of it.

    In that same timeframe, all questioning of the morality of Wall St’s legerdemain has been suspended, as the mantra that “greed is good” took over, and sex used as a diversion from addressing the complete degeneracy of the political and financial spheres, as we’ve turned into a nation of bickering children.

    I can’t wait to start reading your book,(it’s supposed to be here by Friday)because you seem to feel that morality does indeed have a role when one’s dealing with people’s savings and income and future.

    Thank you for all the work you do and for having a moral compass when all around you people scoffed at such a thing. I thought of you as I finished Isak Dinesen’s “Heroine” from her “Winter’s Tales”, because you are one to me.

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