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The Little Book of Economics: How the Economy Works in the Real World

The Little Book of Economics: How the Economy Works in the Real World

Greg Ip, Mohamed El-Erian (Foreword by)

ISBN: 978-0-470-92940-7 August 2010 256 Pages




One positive side-effect of the recent financial market meltdown that toppled giant, century-old institutions and cost millions their jobs is that it created a strong desire among many Americans to better understand how the U.S. economy functions. In The Little Book of Economics, Greg, Ip, one of the country’s most recognized and respected economics journalists, walks readers through how the economy really works.

Written for the inquisitive layman who doesn’t want to plow through academic jargon and Greek letters or pore over charts and tables, The Little Book of Economics offers indispensible insight into how the American economy works – or, doesn’t. With engaging and accessible prose, the book

  • Provides a comprehensive understanding of each aspect of our economy from inflation and unemployment to international trade and finance
  • Serves as an insider’s guide to the people and institutions that control America’s economy such as the Federal Reserve and the federal budget
  • Explains the roots of America’s current economic crisis and the risks the country faces in its aftermath, such as stratospheric government debt, while offering advice on overcoming these threats
  • Walks readers through the basic concepts and terminology they need to understand economic news
  • Punctures myths and political spin from both the left and the right with candid and often surprising insight

A must read for anyone who wants a better grasp of the economy without taking a course in economics , The Little Book of Economics is a unique and engaging look at how the economy works in all its wonderful and treacherous ways.



Chapter One The Secrets of Success.

How People, Capital, and Ideas Make Countries Rich.

Chapter Two Economic Bungee Jumping.

Business Cycles, Recessions, and Depressions . . . Oh My!

Chapter Three In-Flight Monitor.

Tracking and Forecasting the Business Cycle from Takeoff to Landing.

Chapter Four Labor Pains.

Employment, Unemployment, and Wages.

Chapter Five Fire and Ice.

Warning: Inflation and Deflation Are Toxic to Your Economic Health.

Chapter Six Drop the Puck!

The Globalization Game Is Here Whether We're Ready or Not.

Chapter Seven All the World's an ATM.

Knitting Global Markets Together.

\Chapter Eight All the President's Men.

They Don't Control the Economy But They Sure Do Try.

Chapter Nine The Buck Starts Here.

The Federal Reserve's Amazing Power to Print and Destroy Money.

Chapter Ten White Smoke over the Washington Mall.

The Making of Monetary Policy and the Fine Art of Fed Watching.

Chapter Eleven When the World Needs a Fireman.

America's Lender of Last Resort and the World's Crisis Manager.

Chapter Twelve The Elephant in the Economy.

What the Government Giveth and Taketh Away.

Chapter Thirteen Good Debt, Bad Debt.

How Government Borrowing Can Save or Destroy an Economy.

Chapter Fourteen Love-Hate Relationship.

The Bipolar Financial System—Essential for Economic Growth But Sometimes It Goes Nuts.

Chapter Fifteen A Species of Neuralgia.

The Multiple, Recurring Causes of Financial Crises.


About the Author.


"A guide to understanding 'the dismal science' and how economic concepts and institutions affect our daily lives" (The Economist, December 2010)

"...a must read in economic literacy." (USA Today, November 29, 2010)

"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

"Greg Ip is one of the world's best economic journalists. The Little Book of Economics will teach you much more than a little about the forces that shape all of our lives."
N. Gregory Mankiw, Professor of Economics, Harvard University; author of Principles of Economics

"Here's the perfect way to understand the economy without breaking a sweat. Clearly written and easy to understand, The Little Book of Economics guides you through what you need to know. Ip's bright light illuminates places previously darkened by insider jargon and arcane formulae."
Robert B. Reich, Professor of Public Policy, University of California, Berkeley; former U.S. Secretary of Labor

"The book is an excellent introduction to basic economic concepts and ideas explained in clear and thoughtful ways. A must read in economic literacy." "
Nouriel Roubini, Professor of Economics, New York University; Co-founder and Chairman of Roubini Global Economics

"Greg Ip has the rare talent of making even the toughest topics easy to understand. In The Little of Book of Economics, he tells you what you need to know with superb clarity and memorable examples. I recommend this book to anyone who wants a clear explanation of how the forces of economics shape the world."
Michael J. Mauboussin, Chief Investment Strategist, Legg Mason Capital Management; Author of Think Twice