The Unfair Trade is a riveting exposé of the global financial system, whose flaws are the source of our economic malaise. More than ever before, our livelihoods are beholden to its imbalances and inequities, which have already taken down the economies of Iceland, Ireland, Spain, and Greece.
With a combination of financial acumen and narrative-driven reporting, veteran Australian journalist Michael Casey brings a unique human angle to this worldwide phenomenon. He shows, for example, how high-wage ‘fly in, fly out’ workers and a real-estate bubble are both part of the two-speed Australian economy being distorted by its reliance on Chinese demand for its mineral resources. He illustrates how an American homeowner’s life is shaped by the same economic and social policies that determine the working conditions of migrant workers in China. And he explains how the collapse of the factory system in northern Mexico has enabled drug cartels to recruit thousands of young men into their gangs.
Casey shows that our economic problems are largely caused by political agendas that prevent the free market from encouraging fair competition. Until governments work together to make this trillion-dollar system more efficient — until China removes incentives for its citizens to save excessively, for example, or the US ends the de facto subsidies enjoyed by politically powerful banks — the global playing field will remain lopsided, job creation will lag, and our economies will be vulnerable to new crises.
‘A compelling indictment of our global financial system. If you think the size, structure, and incentives of our biggest banks are not a cause for concern, you have not been paying attention. Michael Casey will set you straight.’
Simon Johnson, Professor of Entrepreneurship at MIT Sloan School of Management and co-author of 13 Bankers and White House Burning
‘The financial crisis is more than a story of complex securities and big banks. It is a global crisis and, for all too many, a personal tragedy. Michael Casey succeeds in making these connections like few others.’
Barry Eichengreen, George C. Pardee and Helen N. Pardee Professor of Economics and Political Science, University of California, Berkeley, and author of Exorbitant Privilege.