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In the 1980s America won the cold war. In 1989 the Berlin Wall fell. The decade that followed proved to be one of the most extraordinary periods in economic history. The American business model - the unrestrained pursuit of self-interest, market fundamentalism, the minimal state and low taxation - offered its followers the same certainties that Marxism had given its own adherents over the previous century. There was a New Economy. But it was all to end in a frenzy of speculation, followed by recrimination and self-doubt. Corporations that had never earned a cent of profit, and never would, were sold to investors for billions of dollars. Corporate executives would fill their pockets and invent revenues and profits to support their accounts of their own genius. And every international economic meeting would be besieged by demonstrators.
In this ambitious and wide-ranging book, John Kay unravels the truth about markets.
John Kay is one of Britain's leading economists. He was the first (controversial) head of the Oxford Said Business School and for many years headed Europe's largest private firm, providing economic advice to companies and governments. He has a regular column in the Financial Times.