French economist Thomas Piketty took the world by storm a few years ago with book, Capital In The 21st Century. The book explained wage growth in several countries over decades. It also explained how returns on capital by the investor class outpaced wage growth and led to inequality. Given the euphoria in the media one would have thought Piketty had discovered the cure for world peace. Even Piketty’s colleagues in France were shocked by how much attention a little French economist was receivin
Economist Paul Krugman raved about Piketty’s book in the New York Times months before it came out. The former winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics was a professor at Princeton at the time; Krugman had credibility within the economics community and had a large platform Princeton and the New York Times. That said, Piketty mania and Capital’s popularity were predetermined. This is the review Krugman gave Capital:
“It seems safe to say that Capital in the Twenty-First Century, the magnum opus of the French economist Thomas Piketty, will be the most important economics book of the year―and maybe of the decade. Piketty, arguably the world’s leading expert on income and wealth inequality, does more than document the growing concentration of income in the hands of a small economic elite. He also makes a powerful case that we’re on the way back to ‘patrimonial capitalism,’ in which the commanding heights of the economy are dominated not just by wealth, but also by inherited wealth, in which birth matters more than effort and talent.”―Paul Krugman, New York Times
Robert Reich, Lawrence Summers and Joel Stiglitz also raved about Capital. How could Piketty’s book not have been a best seller?
Shock Exchange Is The Greatest Economics Book Ever Written
Piketty explained inequality due to the alphabets. However, Ralph Baker’s Shock Exchange: How Inner-City Kids From Brooklyn Predicted the Great Recession and the Pain Ahead dissented. Shock Exchange said it was caused by President Barack Obama and Federal Reserve heads Ben Bernanke Janet Yellen.
When the Fed printed tens of trillions of dollars and gave it to Wall Street, the investor class, Obama’s donors or somebody he wanted to sleep with then it was bound to create inequality and social unrest. It happened just as Shock Exchange predicted. Below is the verdict from Library Journal, the country’s preeminent pre-publication book reviewer:
Baker, who has had a successful career in corporate finance, presents an innovative look into the Great Recession of 2008. His interest in the Stock Exchange started when he was a fifth grader and his father taught him how to read the Wall Street Journal. In 2006, he started the mentorship program New York Shock Exchange, designed to share his passion for investing and basketball with his 11-year-old son and other boys his age. The group began identifying key elements that signaled a downturn in the economy, like housing starts and auto sales. Considering the turn of events in 2008, their insight proved spot-on. His discussion of the recession covers aspects of mortgage defaults, government bailout programs, the fall of Lehman Bros. and AIG, and suggestions for how to avoid the same mistakes. (Copious notes and bibliography provide further reference.) Baker also explores the African American experience from an economic perspective by telling the story of his early life in Farmville, VA. VERDICT An intriguing work meant for those seeking an introduction to the causes of recessions and problems of the economy today. Also recommended for those who teach and study business. –Library Journal – Lucy Heckman, St. John’s Univ. Lib., NY –Library Journal, March 1, 2013
Shock Exchange has since been plagiarized by Obama, the Senate Finance Committee, House Ways & Means Committee, and the Bank of International Settlements. President Donald Trump has followed the books recommendations on China and the opioid crisis verbatim. Despite the fact Shock Exchange‘s findings have been adopted by lawmakers, the book remained ignored by the fake news. Below comedian Chris Rock explains why the fake news champions Piketty over Shock Exchange.