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Publisher's Summary

After the global financial panic and recession of 2007–2009, you don’t have to be president or a hedge fund manager to know that “It’s the economy, stupid.” Yet while the economy dominates the headlines, how it works and who influences it remain a mystery to most people. In The Little Book of Economics, Greg Ip, an award-winning journalist renowned for making complex economics easy to understand, walks you through how the economy really works.

You’ll learn:

    How psychology and the Federal Reserve drive business cycles
  • How a financial crisis can transform a recession into a depression
  • The surprising effects of fertility rates, lawyers, and ideas on economic growth
  • Whether the United States faces a lost decade like Japan did in the 1990s
  • The causes of inflation, how it destabilizes society, and why deflation is even worse
  • How government debt can sometimes help end a recession but, other times, bring on disaster—and how to tell the difference
  • The symptoms of financial crises and why they often occur in election years
  • What goes on inside the Federal Reserve, what it does when interest rates are zero, and why its power to print money has made it the world’s financial fireman

You can’t understand the American economy without recognizing the growing influence of the rest of the world. So The Little Book of Economics digs into globalization, how it made America’s mortgage crisis possible, how it’s exploited by China to spur growth, and how it makes the United States richer even as it widens the gap between winners and losers. One side effect of the deepest economic downturn since the Great Depression is that it has ignited a fresh desire among citizens and investors to better understand the economy.

©2010 Greg Ip (P)2010 Gildan Media Corp

Critic Reviews

“Finally, an economics book that is neither dull nor inscrutable and that won’t put you to sleep. Greg Ip gives us a lucid and entertaining understanding of ‘the dismal science’ and reveals how economic concepts and institutions affect our daily lives. This little gem can turn all of us into sophisticated and educated citizens.” (Burton G. Malkiel, Professor of Economics, Princeton University; author of A Random Walk Down Wall Street and The Elements of Investing)

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  • Cori
  • Texas, United States
  • 04-15-12

Great as an audiobook!

Where does The Little Book of Economics rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

This book is required as part of my MBA and being able to listen while working out instead of reading it was exception.

What about Sean Pratt’s performance did you like?

The narrator did a great job of seeming interested in what could have been a really dry topic.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Read like he wrote it

I got exactly what I was hoping for out of this book: a well rounded, non-partisan summary of the various engines, institutions and policies that drive our economy. It's not too long, but moves at a pretty good pace, so at times I found myself repeating sections or whole chapters to help it soak in better. Expected considering the topic.

I need to give huge props to the narrator for reading through this material in a natural and convincing way. This is one of the best examples of a narration that's so natural, I would believe it if I was told he was the author. Sean Pratt takes some potentially dry content by its nature and reads it like he's chatting with you in your living room over coffee. A lot of non-fiction audio books can come across rather dry and stilted, unnatural, or just downright bad. I thought the narration in this case was top notch. A pleasant listen, which is no easy feat for this kind of content.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Who knew economics could be entertaining?

Excellent naration. Well written. Breaks down complicated economic theory into well organized easy to understand chunks.

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A two handed economist walks into a bar ...

Considering this us an audiobook on Economics, not a bad primer.

Long enough to be informative. Short enough to not fall asleep.

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Somewhat disappointing

Any additional comments?

While this book was an interesting overview of the way the economy works, it was a considerable disappointment to hear the author extole the virtues of an increasing population. This poor world has more than enough people and what we need is planning that will enable us to accommodate a stable or even decreasing population. Anyone who thinks, at this point in the earth's history, that we need more humans on the planet hasn't been paying attention.

1 of 5 people found this review helpful