Mad Money

With an introduction by Benjamin J. Cohen

Author: Susan Strange

This book begins with a recapitulation of the main themes of Strange's earlier Casino Capitalism, stressing the major policy decisions and non-decisions that, in her opinion, had first allowed financial markets seemingly to outgrow governmental control. It adds a number of newer systemic developments that had emerged in the years after Casino Capitalism was published. Following this opening tour d'horizon, the book evaluates many of these developments in greater detail, covering the revolution in information technology interstate politics, contagion risks, global debt, money laundering and the roles of both national governments and multilateral agencies such as the International Monetary Fund and Bank for International Settlements. Great emphasis is placed on the relationship between the United States and Japan, the 'US-Japan axis', which is considered crucial to the effective management of financial crises. All the strings of Strange's discussion are pulled together where she turns her eyes to the future. Most financial research at the time seemed biased toward midlevel theory building, focusing primarily on key relationships within a broader structure whose characteristics were assumed, normally, to be given and stable. The book discusses hypotheses about the most important changes that have affected the global financial system and the international political economy. Key decisions, or non-decisions in the case of failures to act when positive action would have been possible, are also discussed.

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