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Brilliant Economics by Phil Thornton

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Economics has had a bad press in the wake of the financial crisis, and perhaps rightly so. But the criticism of the failure of all but a handful of economists to foresee the greatest economic disaster for generations feeds into a wider critique of economics with its focus on the ‘rational agents’ and the logic that led to Sir Thomas Carlyle branding it the ‘dismal science’ in response to the grim predictions by Malthus that we saw in Chapter 1. While there are many separate attacks made on mainstream economics it was perhaps best summarised more recently in the words of Gordon Gekko, the anti-hero of the 1987 film Wall Street, who declared: ...

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