This timely book utilizes the tools of politics, economics and public policy to explore the causes of the recent global financial crisis, which, the author argues, can be explained as the absence of a public interest perspective in policy making.
Maurice Mullard points out that recessions are not collective shared experiences. Recessions create winners and losers. Furthermore, recessions are not an external event but reflect the outcomes of the policy process. The author looks beyond economic explanations for the economic crisis, and instead points towards a structural explanation. He explores the concept of social structures, the effects of the relationships between power and influence, and the role of ideology and income inequalities as contributory factors. The commitment to deregulated financial markets created an over the counter derivatives market worth some $640 trillion dollars compared to a global GDP worth $65 trillion dollars. The growth of derivatives markets, the role of credit rating agencies, major shifts in policy making and growing income inequalities are described as major factors explaining the present economic recession. The absence of a public interest perspective, the breakdown of trust in institutions, policy makers’ dependence on financial contributions, the housing bubble, and the increased concentration of income have distorted the democratic process.
Thought provoking and stimulating, this book will provide a fascinating study for students and academics with an interest in politics, economics, political economy and public policy.