Print page

Theories of Financial Disturbance

An Examination of Critical Theories of Finance from Adam Smith to the Present Day Jan Toporowski, Professor of Economics and Finance and Chair, Economics Department, the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, UK
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.
Extent: 208 pp
Hardback Price: $127.00 Web: $114.30
Publication Date: 2005
ISBN: 978 1 84376 477 9
Availability: In Stock
Paperback Price: $46.00 Web: $36.80
Publication Date: 2006
ISBN: 978 1 84542 763 4
Availability: In Stock
$0.00

Buy the E-Book @ paperback price

Join our mailing list

  • Economics and Finance
  • Financial Economics and Regulation
  • Post-Keynesian Economics
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 François 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.
‘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
Contents:
Introduction
Part I: A Premonition of Financial Fragility
1. Adam Smith’s Economic Case Against Usury
2. The Vindication of Finance
Part II: Critical Theories of Finance in the Twentieth Century: Unstable Money and Finance
3. Thorstein Veblen and Those ‘Captains of Finance’
4. Rosa Luxemburg and the Marxist Subordination of Finance
5. Ralph Hawtrey and the Monetary Business Cycle
6. Irving Fisher and Debt Deflation
7. John Maynard Keynes’s Financial Theory of Under-Investment I: Towards Doubt
8. John Maynard Keynes’s Financial Theory of Under-Investment II: Towards Uncertainty
Part III: Critical Theories of Finance in the Twentieth Century: In the Shadow of Keynes
9. The Principle of Increasing Risk I: Marek Breit
10. The Principle of Increasing Risk II: Michal Kalecki
11. The Principle of Increasing Risk III: Michal Kalecki and Josef Steindl on Profits and Finance
12. A Brief Digression on Later Developments in Economics and Finance
13. The East Coast Historians: John Kenneth Galbraith, Charles P. Kindleberger and Robert Shiller
14. Hyman P. Minsky’s Financial Instability Hypothesis
15. Conclusion: The Disturbance of Economists by Finance Bibliography
Index