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The Finance Curse: How Oversized Financial Sectors Attack Democracy and Corrupt Economics


Nicholas Shaxson, John Christensen



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See 'The Finance Curse: How global finance is making us all poorer (Penguin Random House).



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For many years economists have noted how countries rich in natural resources often fail to benefit from their unearned wealth. Indeed, sometimes the discovery of oil and gas can seem more like a curse than a blessing. The Finance Curse shows how countries with oversized financial sectors can suffer a similar fate. The easy money that comes from finance carries hidden costs, in form of steepening inequality, political and intellectual corruption, industrial stagnation and periodic crisis and collapse. Nicholas Shaxson, the author of Treasure Islands, and John Christensen, the director of the Tax Justice Network, explore this new paradox of plenty, and show once and for all that there’s no such thing as a free lunch, and that those who believe the stories told by bankers are liable to end up on the menu.


“This is a wonderful piece of work which, inter alia, critiques in great detail the various claims made about the significance of the financial services sector to the British economy and examines the negative effects for the rest of us of having what is essentially an unregulated global casino in our midst.” - Robin Ramsay


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