The Age of Insecurity by Dan Atkinson

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Synopsis

We live in an era in which the culture and values of big business are dominant. The riptides of capital swirl around the globe ruining entire economies overnight. Directors and chief executives cash in stock options for unimaginable fortunes while whole workforces are “downsized” as companies relocate at a whim. Environmental degradation escalates as the earth’s resources are looted. The dream of worldwide prosperity and peace is given the lie from Kosovo to the Congo, from the drug baronies of South America to the criminal empires of the former Soviet Union. Welcome to the Age of Insecurity.

In the face of this slow-motion global coup d’etat by untrammelled finance, traditionally left leaning parties now in power have abandoned their concern with regulating business for a compulsive and self-righteous moralism; the Blair government stands as a perfect exemplar in this trend. In the coruscating argument the authors make a plea for government to turn strictures concerning ethics away from the citizen and on to a financial system that is making our society ever more precarious.

Since the publication of the hardback of he Age of Insecurity in May 1998 events have conspired to validate the author’s argument. In a new preface and afterword Elliott and Atkinson draw out the lessons to be learned from the hedge-fund crisis, the disintegration of the rouble and the spreading of economic turmoil in Latin America.

The Age of Insecurity is, more than ever, a vital and radical tract for our times.
 

About Dan Atkinson

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Elliott is the Economics Editor for The Guardian Dan Atkinson has been economics editor of The Mail on Sunday since 2000, before which he was for 10 years a financial correspondent with The Guardian, in which he specialised in issues of regulation and fraud. Between 1985 and 1990 he was deputy City Editor of the Press Association, which he joined after an apprenticeship and a spell as business editor at the Reading Evening Post.
 
Published June 17, 1998 by Verso. 320 pages
Genres: Business & Economics, Political & Social Sciences, Education & Reference. Non-fiction

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Publishers Weekly

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Elliott, economics editor for the Guardian, and Atkinson, a Guardian reporter, forcefully document the extent to which the middle class has been ravaged by downsizing, vanishing career ladders, growing consolidation of economic power by large firms and low-paid, part-time or home-based work.

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