Any books about 'non mainstream' economics ?

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occulti's picture
occulti
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Any books about 'non mainstream' economics ?

Hello,

I have discovered this website/forum via the Crash Course, and I found it really appealing. I have taken a look at the Books list of PeakProsperity, but what I didn't find is a book that describes the (real) economics of today : a Crash-Course Book, more detailed.

The Crash Course is interesting and gives a general overview of many mechanisms of the current monetary and banking system, but what I need is a book or a detailed series of article that re-informs about economics, since 99% of the (des)information we find on internet, or that is taught at universities and schools is just nonesense, and is just BS.

So, please, could you suggest me any books about real economics ?

I want to understand what the interest rate, debt, unemployment rate, bonds, etc.. are. My goal is to reach a level of understanding of the scam we are living today, and to be able to interpret the theater played by the FED, the Big Four, the IMF, and the bunch of their international allies whenever they make statements, change rates, etc.

P.S : I am a software engineer, so all my knowledge in economics and finance is self-taught.

reflector's picture
reflector
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Posts: 229
a few suggestions

occulti wrote:

Hello,

I have discovered this website/forum via the Crash Course, and I found it really appealing. I have taken a look at the Books list of PeakProsperity, but what I didn't find is a book that describes the (real) economics of today : a Crash-Course Book, more detailed.

The Crash Course is interesting and gives a general overview of many mechanisms of the current monetary and banking system, but what I need is a book or a detailed series of article that re-informs about economics, since 99% of the (des)information we find on internet, or that is taught at universities and schools is just nonesense, and is just BS.

So, please, could you suggest me any books about real economics ?

I want to understand what the interest rate, debt, unemployment rate, bonds, etc.. are. My goal is to reach a level of understanding of the scam we are living today, and to be able to interpret the theater played by the FED, the Big Four, the IMF, and the bunch of their international allies whenever they make statements, change rates, etc.

P.S : I am a software engineer, so all my knowledge in economics and finance is self-taught.

great question.

i've found that the mises institute publications, based on austrian economics and sound-money principles, provides a good solid basis for interpreting much of what goes on in the so-called world of finance these days.

austrian economics is in contrast to the scam (as you correctly put it) of keynesian money printing and fractional reserve banking, which we currently suffer under.

some of the best works on austrian economics can be found here:
https://mises.org/library/required-reading-mises-university

mike maloney (of goldsilver.com) has put out an excellent series on youtube called hidden secrets of money which discusses our current monetary system, how we got here, and where we are likely going; the list of episodes can be found here:

https://goldsilver.com/hidden-secrets/

the FED is a central part of our monetary problem in the usa, 2 excellent works for understanding the monstrosity called the fed are:

corbett report - Century of Enslavement: The History of The Federal Reserve :

https://www.corbettreport.com/federalreserve/

g edward griffin - creature from jekyll island :

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/creature-from-jekyll-island-g-edward-gri...

(you can also read creature from jekyll island for free at archive.org if you want to save a tree!)

the exchange stabilization fund (ESF) by eric decarbonnel:

http://www.marketskeptics.com/2011/06/the-esf-and-its-history.html

"It is impossible to understand the world today without knowing what the ESF is and what it has been doing. Officially in charge of defending the dollar, the ESF is the government agency which controls the New York Fed, runs the CIA's black budget, and is the architect of the world's monetary system (IMF, World Bank, etc). ESF financing (through the OSS and then the CIA) built up the worldwide propaganda network which has so badly distorted history today (including erasing awareness of its existence from popular consciousness)."

i hope you find some value in some of these works as i have.

ezlxq1949's picture
ezlxq1949
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Joined: Apr 29 2009
Posts: 131
Books on non-mainstream economics

Maybe some video material first may help.

The Korean economist Ha-Joon Chang has published an excellent video called Economics is for Everyone! In it he tells us that there are 9 major schools of economics. Watch it in high-definition. There is a table of the schools at about 02:53 which you'll need to absorb.

Steve Keen has been debunking mainstream economics for decades: http://www.debtdeflation.com/blogs/

Especially watch his latest interview at the Room for Discussion forum. Very useful criticims of the fallacies and inadequacies of mainstream economics.

Books.

A huge problem with modern economics is the role of the corporation.

Try Marjorie Kelly, The Divine Right of Capital. You can find reviews on Amazon (but if you buy it, please buy it from, say, Abebooks, stop making Amazon bigger). Among her arguments:

1. we may have political democracy (shrinking as it is) but we do not have economic democracy.

2. the economic system empowers corporations which see rising share values as the only measure of success. This metric means that to them people are irrelevant to development, the environment is irrelevant to development.

3. the economic system does precisely what it is designed to do, i.e. enrich the already wealthy.

Milton Friedman said that the only function of a corporation is to maximise shareholder value. Forbes magazine recently published an article describing this as "the dumbest idea in the world":

http://www.forbes.com/sites/stevedenning/2011/11/28/maximizing-sharehold...

Another book along these lines is Joel Bakan, The Corporation, the pathological pursuit of profit and power.

Finally, you must read a classic, Small is Beautiful, Economics as if People Mattered, by E. F. Schumacher. Also a recent fresh look at it, Small is Still Beautiful by Joseph Pearce.

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Time2help
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Reflector covered it

Recommend you read this (h/t Reflector)

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/creature-from-jekyll-island-g-edward-gri...

An excellent summary of modern economics and central banking.

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Debunking Economics

I second ezlxq1949 nomination of Steve Keen. Chris has interviewed him a couple of times I think. Erik Townsend has also interviewed him a couple of times this year. The latest will give you a good taste of what he is about: https://www.macrovoices.com/219-steve-keen-3

His book "Debunking Economics" is now in its second edition I think. https://www.amazon.com/Debunking-Economics-Revised-Expanded-Dethroned/dp/1848139926

It might be exactly what you are looking for.

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Vital Book Recommendation

In addition to what's listed above, anybody interested in economics and how it got started and the woefully wrong assumptions it makes, I can recommend The Origin of Wealth by Eric Beinhocker very highly.

In there you will find the criticality of viewing an economic system as a open vs a closed system, and a fantastic exposition on complex systems.  

This book shifted my thinking.  Very good.

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occulti
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Posts: 5
Thank you all for you

Thank you all for you valuable comments.
I have started a few weeks ago reading "The Secrets of the Federal Reserve" by Eustace Mullins.

I have put all your books' recommendations in my must-read list. Though, I have a question :

Does an understanding of this big lie allow to interpret and hence - often - "well predict" (more or less) the financial markets ?

occulti's picture
occulti
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Thank you for these valuable

Thank you for these valuable references !

I watched the video, and you said "There is a table of the schools at about 02:53 which you'll need to absorb", where can I find a summary or some work about these theories ? Do I need to learn one by one in detail ? Or are there any works done to explain and synthesize these theories ?

reflector's picture
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careful

occulti wrote:

Thank you all for you valuable comments.
I have started a few weeks ago reading "The Secrets of the Federal Reserve" by Eustace Mullins.

I have put all your books' recommendations in my must-read list. Though, I have a question :

Does an understanding of this big lie allow to interpret and hence - often - "well predict" (more or less) the financial markets ?

if your intention is to use this general understanding to trade the markets, i'd be careful with that, and if you decide to do it, be sure to start small as a test run. we are also entering a time of extraordinary volatility and unexpected surprises.

you'll be able to make some general observations, example: interest rates will go higher, bonds will lose value, gold will go higher, etc, but not necessarily when those events will happen, you may be waiting for years.

additionally, the markets are not really markets, when someone like yellen can simply open their mouth and send markets substantially higher or lower based on what they happen to say at that moment.

additionally, the big money players (insiders), will frequently have this knowledge in advance and will have sucked up some of the gains from any such move before you can act, so be aware it's not an even playing field, not to mention the fact that HFT bots will skim a penny or two off of every stock order you make.

best bet in my opinion is not to try to time short term market fluctuations (day trade), but to put my money on long term general trends.

ezlxq1949's picture
ezlxq1949
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Another book, 2 URLs, & some responses

Another book, 2 URLs, & some responses

Book: Geoff Davies, Sack the Economists, and disband their departments (ISBN 978-0-9923603-6-8). Davies is a geophysicist who for the past 15 years has been bothered by the economic system and where it’s taking us. He’s writing somewhat outside his specialty but his reasoning and writings make sense. However, this book may cover a lot of the same ground that others on your list cover.
http://betternature.wordpress.com/

URL 1: this one may seem off-topic but it’s not really. Week before last I went to a seminar at the Australian National University Climate Change Institute entitled “Can Humans Survive Human Nature? The political psychology of climate change.” The presenter was one John Rolls, a chemist working in solid state chemistry, now engaged in the social sciences.  His lecture notes are here:
http://climate.anu.edu.au/files/John-Rolls-Political-Psychology-of-Clima...
(10.22Mb). One thing he said struck me with great force: the elites in Australia (at least) highly value inter alia loyalty, security, tradition and, of all things, sanctity. This chimes in with Marjorie Kelly’s analysis of the corporate system as being an extension of the old monarchical / feudal system, where those at the top reckon they have the divine right to rule, i.e. they are sanctified (set apart) to do so. In the feudal system the common people have little or no standing. In the corporate system, ditto.

URL 2: try the Institute for New Economic Thinking, subtitle: economics must serve humanity.
https://www.ineteconomics.org/
Joseph Stiglitz is one prominent economist there who has changed his thinking.

Observations:
1. Steve Keen is of the Minsky school of economics. I follow Keen because his theories and explanations make good sense to me, someone who has always found economics to be a cure for insomnia. (I’m starting to get over that and economics is starting to make sense and become interesting. Will miracles never cease!) One of Keen’s findings from his mathematical & econometric modelling: to keep the system alive, it needs capital to be fed into it at an accelerating rate. Now, how long can that go on for?

2. Re Ha-Joon Chang’s table, I confess that I've not done any follow-up research into his table of 9 economic theories, mainly for lack of time. I doubt that you need to understand all 9 in detail. But which one might you prefer? Steve Keen says that the current mainstream theory is the Friedmanite or Chicago School of Economics. For the time being I follow Keen so I suppose that I’m a Minskyite. A lot of people adhere to the Austrian school; I cannot say why.

3. Re predicting the behaviour of the markets, I agree with reflector that markets aren’t markets any more. It appears to be a game rigged for the benefit of the elites; the playing field is very tilted indeed. I've sold my miniscule shareholdings and do not intend to re-enter the market. That’s me. Other people continue to engage with the market. Get good advice. PP should be able to direct you to sources.

Time2help's picture
Time2help
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More on Jekyll Island

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