Cover: Masters of the Universe, Slaves of the Market, from Harvard University PressCover: Masters of the Universe, Slaves of the Market in HARDCOVER

Masters of the Universe, Slaves of the Market

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$53.00 • £46.95 • €48.95

ISBN 9780674743885

Publication Date: 03/09/2015


400 pages

6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

29 graphs, 1 table


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For those interested in understanding the [global financial] crisis in general and from an academic standpoint there is much to enjoy in this excellent book. By setting up a rigorously formed picture of how bankers thought, why they did and in which context they acted, the authors are able to offer an account of the crisis which is able to stand out from the plethora of existing literature.—Nicholas Thomason, LSE Review of Books

In this account of the financial crisis of 2008–2009, two distinguished professors of politics, Bell and Hindmoor, compare banking systems in the U.S. and UK to those of Canada and Australia. Two important contributions lead this reviewer to recommend the book over the numerous volumes about the global financial crisis that have already surfaced. First, the authors elaborate on and attempt to explain the contrast between the unstable financial institutional systems in the U.S. and UK versus the far more stable banking environments in Canada and Australia. Second, the authors document and try to clarify why some financial institutions, even in the U.S. and the UK, managed to survive reasonably well, while a few in Canada and Australia ran into trouble. The authors attribute the relative success of some financial institutions to their superior management culture and differences in bankers’ beliefs and incentives. This reviewer would suggest that luck also played an inordinate role. A welcome addition to the literature.—J. Prager, Choice

This book is a welcome contribution. On the theory side, I especially like the way it sets up the interaction among structure, institutional context, and agency. I also admire the two dimensions of comparison: within country among banks in the United Kingdom and the United States, and across countries, with the cases of Canada and Australia providing important comparative leverage to the project. This will add to a renaissance of attention in political science to the question of how business exercises influence in and over politics.—Pepper D. Culpepper, European University Institute, Florence

An outstanding book. I am sure it will not only make a considerable immediate impact but will be a standard account of the crash and its aftermath for years to come.—Michael Moran, University of Manchester

An extraordinarily good book that combines a superb command of the material, with real and vivid detail, and a very clear and thoughtful conceptual apparatus, lightly delivered.—Tony Payne, University of Sheffield

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