The Mystery of Capital by Hernando De Soto
Why Capitalism Triumphs in the West and Fails Everywhere Else

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"The hour of capitalism's greatest triumph," writes Hernando de Soto, "is, in the eyes of four-fifths of humanity, its hour of crisis." In The Mystery of Capital, the world-famous Peruvian economist takes up the question that, more than any other, is central to one of the most crucial problems the world faces today: Why do some countries succeed at capitalism while others fail?In strong opposition to the popular view that success is determined by cultural differences, de Soto finds that it actually has everything to do with the legal structure of property and property rights. Every developed nation in the world at one time went through the transformation from predominantly informal, extralegal ownership to a formal, unified legal property system. In the West we've forgotten that creating this system is also what allowed people everywhere to leverage property into wealth. This persuasive book will revolutionize our understanding of capital and point the way to a major transformation of the world economy.
 

About Hernando De Soto

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De Soto is President of the Institute for Liberty and Democracy in Lima, Peru.
 
Published January 1, 2000 by BANTAM PRESS. 243 pages
Genres: Business & Economics, Education & Reference. Non-fiction

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The author claims that property only becomes useful capital when it is legally recognized by a formal legal system, since it is only when it is formally titled that its potential can be harnessed for loans, taxes, and security.

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