x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 January 2018

Book review: Robert Petson's take on the economy is compelling

In How Do We Fix This Mess, the BBC business editor Robert Preston examines the causes of the 2008 economic meltdown and explains what the world must do to fully recover.

How Do We Fix This Mess?
Robert Peston
Hodder & Stoughton
How Do We Fix This Mess? Robert Peston Hodder & Stoughton

How Do We Fix This Mess?

Robert Peston

Hodder & Stoughton

As the BBC business editor, Robert Peston had one of the best seats for the horror show known as the global financial crisis. Of the vantage point, he said "there had been no greater privilege than to be the narrator of the end of the great boom, the subsequent years of bust and stagnation, and the accompanying reconstruction of the global financial economy".

In this easy to read, richly detailed book, Peston uses that access to spare few for the blame for putting much of the world economy on the brink of collapse in 2007-2008.

Unlike some writers who have danced around the essential issue, Peston nails it on the head, telling readers that too many lived beyond their means for too long. Greed and lack of regulatory oversight are the essence of this tale.

"You may become furious … with yourself, for your own collusion in the mother of all borrowing binges," Peston writes.

His suggestion on how to fix the mess: the banks need to start working for the people again and the populace needs to be better educated and more responsible regarding financial issues.

* Richard Pretorius