The Boom and the Bubble: The US in the World Economy
A sustained period of significant growth in the US, however, seemed to save the day against all the odds. So impressive was the surface appearance of this rescue mission that all manner of commentators proclaimed—once again—that a 'new economy' or 'new paradigm' of unlimited and harmonious growth had been forged.
Today, as recession looms, the babble about Internet start-ups is exposed as vapid. Yet the pundits are no nearer an understanding of how or why the boom turned into a bubble, or why the bubble has burst. In this crisp and forensic book, Robert Brenner demonstrates that the boom was always a fragile phenomenon—buoyed up by absurd levels of debt and stock-market overvaluation—which never broke free from the fundamental malady of overcapacity and overproduction which continues to afflict the global economy.
Carefully dismantling the myths and hype that surround the US boom in terms of profitability, investment, and productivity, Brenner restores the properly international context to the process. He portrays the 'zero-sum' character of the American success, which presupposed the relative weakness of its main German and Japanese competitors: a strategy that has laid huge obstacles in the path of a 'soft landing' to end the current phase of growth.
A substantial new Postscript provides and up-to-date analysis of the Bush economic debacle—the crisis of manufacturing, the telecom bust, the record twin deficits, plummeting employment, and the real estate bubble.
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accelerated advanced capitalist economies Alan Greenspan Asian assets average annual rate banks billion boom borrowing capital accumulation capital stock consumption corporate equities corporate manufacturing corporate profits crisis current account deficits debt decade decline demand domestic East Asia Economic Survey especially exchange rate expenditures export growth fall Fed's Federal Reserve fell Figure firms Germany growth of real household huge increase industry inflation investment growth investors Japan Japanese economy Japanese manufacturing labour productivity long downturn major manufacturing profit rate manufacturing sector mergers and acquisitions non-farm non-financial corporate sector non-manufacturing sector OECD output over-capacity and over-production overseas period plant and equipment Plaza Accord post-war epoch productivity growth purchases rapid rate of profit ratio real interest rates real wages recession recovery reduced result share prices sharply stagnation stock market bubble sustained Table telecommunications unit labour costs unprecedented venture capital wage growth wealth effect world economy