Why Save the Bankers?: And Other Essays on Our Economic and Political Crisis

Thomas Piketty may be the most important economist of the era. His Capital in the 21st Century robustly argued for a return to progressive taxation across borders in the face of the ever-growing wealth of the very rich. Piketty is known for his lucid, effective writing, and delivers more of it in Why Save the Bankers?, a collection of essays he wrote for the French newspaper Libération.

The essays date from 2008 to 2015, and mainly focus on the increasingly chaotic dealings within the Eurozone. Anyone with an interest in politics, monetary policy or international diplomacy will get a kick out of Piketty's clear discussion of choices that figures like German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy made. Piketty also examines the United States' recovery from the Great Recession, the Syrian refugee crisis and the particular tax acrobatics that France's wealthiest perform to avoid paying hundreds of millions of dollars to the government.

While Why Save the Bankers? may be criticized by some as leftist, careful readers will easily see that Piketty is critical of all politicians (for example, he's ruthless toward both Sarkozy and François Hollande, his Socialist successor). Why Save the Bankers? is not a work of ideology, but a series of short, sometimes very funny, calls to common sense. --Noah Cruickshank, marketing manager, Open Books, Chicago, Ill.

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