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How Do We Fix This Mess? The Economic Price of Having it all, and the Route to Lasting Prosperity

On sale

27th September 2012

Price: £10.99

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Selected: ebook / ISBN-13: 9781444757118

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‘Robert Peston’s compelling account of global financial meltdown is a must-read.’ Observer

What can we learn from the 2008 recession? ITV’s political editor explains the global economic mess and how to escape it – in his characteristically straightforward way.

‘How do we fix this mess? I don’t know. But don’t stop reading now. Perhaps if we have a clearer understanding of what went wrong, we’ll have a better idea of what needs to be done. This book is a map of what needs to be fixed.’

The record-breaking unbroken growth between 1992 and 2008 wasn’t the economic miracle that it seemed. It was based on a number of dangerous illusions – most notably that it didn’t matter that the UK and US year after year consumed more than they earned.

But we couldn’t go on increasing our indebtedness forever. The financial crash of 2007/8 and the subsequent economic slump in much of the west was the moment when we realised we had borrowed more than we could afford to repay.

So who got it wrong? Bankers, investors and regulators? And were they greedy, stupid or asleep? What was the role of government? And what part did we, as consumers, play in all this? How do we get through this difficult period of transition to a more sustainable economy, one based on investment and exports, rather than on borrowing and consumption?

With the same probing lucidity he brought to Who Runs Britain? and WTF?, Robert Peston takes us step-by-step towards a common sense way to fix this mess.

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Robert Peston's compelling account of global financial meltdown is a must-read... His discursive, conversational but entrancingly fact-studded trip around the disaster zone ought to be mandatory reading for anyone who wants to have a voice in where we go from here.
<i>Financial Times</i>
HOW DO WE FIX THIS MESS? is the book of the film and more... brought to life by war stories from the BBC, simple analogies and colourful language... he does know how to elucidate apparently impenetrable issues, and he guides us intelligently and entertainingly... readable and thought-provoking.
<i>New Statesman</i>
Robert Peston is not so much a journalist as a phenomenon... And now he has managed to fit in a book... that displays his gargantuan appetite for facts, numbers and economic and financial history... Peston's range is dazzling.
Reads like a wildly implausible financial thriller.
<i>Evening Standard</i>
Lucid explanations... stark analysis of what the financial meltdown means for us... Peston's book is actually scarier than most descriptions I've read of the crisis. It goes way beyond Wall Street and City greed in its scope.
<i>Sunday Times</i>
He is good on the follies of the bankers... He is also good on the detail. Anybody who wants to know what a collateralised debt obligation or a credit default swap is will find it here.
<i>Sunday Telegraph</i>
Essential reading... an excellent expose of the financial crisis.
Peston ... has many strengths. Chief among these are his sources and a terrier-like determination to get the story. Mr Peston passionately articulates why everyone should be frustrated with the banking sector--and financial globalisation more generally. For a tale of how the British banks blew up, readers will find juicy details.
<i>Irish Independent</i>
Robert Peston's great book on the world financial crash... 400 information-packed pages... If Mr Peston has a lesson for us, it is that until we fix the banking system, we will have achieved nothing.
Giles Coren
Brilliant. I now understand everything.
Robert Peston was the voice of the financial crisis, just as Terry Wogan will forever be the voice of the Eurovision Song Contest. Vocal tics and all, he's now an official national treasure.