Review: The End of Alchemy: Money, Banking, and the Future of the Global Economy

The End of Alchemy: Money, Banking, and the Future of the Global Economy
The End of Alchemy: Money, Banking, and the Future of the Global Economy by Mervyn King
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Very thoughtful and clear-sighted analysis of the late-2000 financial crisis and Great Recession. Although King was a key figure at the time, this is not a blow-by-blow account of the events nor a search for immediate blame. King is looking for the deeper causes of what happened and how to prevent such crises in the future. He also presents one of the most lucid accounts of the underlying structural problems that led to the crisis and subsequent recession that I have read. I’m not enough of an expert to know whether his prescriptions make sense, or even go far enough, but this book is a valuable and timely addition to the debate on how to move forward.

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Review: Defending Science-Within Reason: Between Scientism and Cynicism

Defending Science-Within Reason: Between Scientism and Cynicism
Defending Science-Within Reason: Between Scientism and Cynicism by Susan Haack
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A wonderfully clear-sighted account of science, what it is, how it is distinguished (but not separate) from other sorts of inquiry, and why it can (but isn’t guaranteed to) produce real knowledge of the world.

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