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Theories of Financial Disturbance
An Examination of Critical Theories of Finance from Adam Smith to the Present Day
Theories of Financial Disturbance examines how the operations of market-driven finance may initiate and transmit disturbances to the economy at large, by looking in detail at how various economists envisaged such disturbances occurring. This book is more than just a study in the history of economic thought - it illustrates how economic debate focuses upon financial disturbance at times of financial instability, and then conveniently discards critical views when such instability recedes. Jan Toporowski looks at the development of critical theories from the views of Adam Smith and Francois Quesnay, and their reflection in recent new Keynesian ideas of Joseph Stiglitz and Ben Bernanke, through credit cycles in Alfred Marshall and Ralph Hawtrey, to the financial theories of Thorstein Veblen and Irving Fisher. Also studied are the theories of John Kenneth Galbraith, Michal Kalecki, John Maynard Keynes, Charles Kindleberger, Rosa Luxemburg, Hyman P. Minsky, Robert Shiller and Josef Steindl.
Not least among the original features of this book are a discussion of Quesnay's attitude towards interest, and a chapter devoted to the work of the Polish monetary economist Marek Breit, whose work inspired Kalecki. Jan Toporowski's fascinating work will find its audience in academics of finance and financial economics, bankers, financiers and policy makers concerned with financial stability as well as anyone looking for arguments on the imperfect functioning of finance.
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What Reviewers Are Saying
'This book will be of interest to advanced students looking for an even-handed overview of alternative theories of financial disturbances; academics who need a reference on the historical interrelationships of the literature in the field; and professionals who want to understand how the tools and concepts they use daily have emerged through time - and whether there are forgotten lessons to be heeded.' -- Susan K. Schroeder, Review of Political Economy 'Financial markets have an aura of disturbing instability. In this history of the thought of earlier economists who have studied the processes of finance, Jan Toporowski takes us on a fascinating journey to explore how they saw the impact of finance on the real economy. Not one for formal models, nor for rational expectations, Jan [Toporowski] values historical experience and the insights and experience of earlier great thinkers.' -- Charles A.E. Goodhart, CBE, London School of Economics and Political Science, UK 'Jan Toporowski's Theories of Financial Disturbance is a tour de force. With his substantial knowledge of financial markets, his deep conceptual understanding of relevant concepts and his exhaustive reading of the essential literature, he is ideally placed to tell an absorbing narrative of, as he writes, critical theories of finance from Adam Smith to the present days - and he has. In a world in which finance and industrial and commercial capital are so out of kilter with one another, Toporowski's lucid wisdom is required reading.' -- G.C. Harcourt, University of New South Wales, Australia