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A wake-up call for middle class Americans who feel trapped in a post-crisis economic slump, The Unfair Trade is a riveting exposé of the vast global financial system whose flaws are the source of our economic malaise. Our livelihoods are now, more than ever, beholden to the workings of its imbalances and inequities.   The trillions of dollars that make up the flow of interna A wake-up call for middle class Americans who feel trapped in a post-crisis economic slump, The Unfair Trade is a riveting exposé of the vast global financial system whose flaws are the source of our economic malaise. Our livelihoods are now, more than ever, beholden to the workings of its imbalances and inequities.   The trillions of dollars that make up the flow of international finance—money that is often steered away from the people who deserve it the most—have not just undermined the lives of working and middle class Americans. It is a world-wide phenomenon that is changing the culture of Argentina; destroying the factory system in Northern Mexico, enabling drug cartels to recruit thousands of young men into their gangs; that has taken down the economies of Iceland, Ireland, Spain, Greece, and possibly Italy; and is driving American companies such as a 60-year-old family owned manufacturer of printed circuit boards to shutter all but one of its factories.   Veteran journalist Michael Casey has traveled the world—from China to Iceland, Spain to Argentina, Indonesia to Australia—recounting extraordinary stories about ordinary people from one continent to another whose lives are inextricably linked.  By tracing the flow of money and goods across the world, he illustrates how an American homeowner’s life is shaped by the same economic and social policies that determine those of a low wage migrant worker on an assembly line in China. This combination of financial acumen, narrative-driven reporting, and compelling story-telling gives The Unfair Trade a unique human angle.   Casey shows that our economic problems are largely caused by political agendas that prevent the free market from encouraging fair competition and impeding the allocation of resources. Until governments work together to make this global system more efficient—until China removes incentives for its citizens to save excessively, for example, or the U.S. ends the de facto subsidies enjoyed by politically powerful banks—the global playing field will remain lopsided, job creation will lag, and our economies will be vulnerable to new crises.


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A wake-up call for middle class Americans who feel trapped in a post-crisis economic slump, The Unfair Trade is a riveting exposé of the vast global financial system whose flaws are the source of our economic malaise. Our livelihoods are now, more than ever, beholden to the workings of its imbalances and inequities.   The trillions of dollars that make up the flow of interna A wake-up call for middle class Americans who feel trapped in a post-crisis economic slump, The Unfair Trade is a riveting exposé of the vast global financial system whose flaws are the source of our economic malaise. Our livelihoods are now, more than ever, beholden to the workings of its imbalances and inequities.   The trillions of dollars that make up the flow of international finance—money that is often steered away from the people who deserve it the most—have not just undermined the lives of working and middle class Americans. It is a world-wide phenomenon that is changing the culture of Argentina; destroying the factory system in Northern Mexico, enabling drug cartels to recruit thousands of young men into their gangs; that has taken down the economies of Iceland, Ireland, Spain, Greece, and possibly Italy; and is driving American companies such as a 60-year-old family owned manufacturer of printed circuit boards to shutter all but one of its factories.   Veteran journalist Michael Casey has traveled the world—from China to Iceland, Spain to Argentina, Indonesia to Australia—recounting extraordinary stories about ordinary people from one continent to another whose lives are inextricably linked.  By tracing the flow of money and goods across the world, he illustrates how an American homeowner’s life is shaped by the same economic and social policies that determine those of a low wage migrant worker on an assembly line in China. This combination of financial acumen, narrative-driven reporting, and compelling story-telling gives The Unfair Trade a unique human angle.   Casey shows that our economic problems are largely caused by political agendas that prevent the free market from encouraging fair competition and impeding the allocation of resources. Until governments work together to make this global system more efficient—until China removes incentives for its citizens to save excessively, for example, or the U.S. ends the de facto subsidies enjoyed by politically powerful banks—the global playing field will remain lopsided, job creation will lag, and our economies will be vulnerable to new crises.

30 review for The Unfair Trade: How Our Broken Global Financial System Destroys the Middle Class

  1. 5 out of 5

    Ahmed Salem

    This is just another book about how much it is very corrupted and corruptible our monetary system and how much this would affect the normal guy like you and me.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Ray

    Books dealing with economic issues always challenge me. To me, they tend to be dry, academic, mundane. Yet economic issues affect us all, so having an understanding of the issues is important. So I continue to try reading various books on the economy in an attempt to better understand today's economic issues, e.g., the economic collapse of Wall Street and the U.S. economy in 2008, why the Bush Administration authorized the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) to bail out Wall Street and Chrysler Books dealing with economic issues always challenge me. To me, they tend to be dry, academic, mundane. Yet economic issues affect us all, so having an understanding of the issues is important. So I continue to try reading various books on the economy in an attempt to better understand today's economic issues, e.g., the economic collapse of Wall Street and the U.S. economy in 2008, why the Bush Administration authorized the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) to bail out Wall Street and Chrysler & General Motors, how the U.S. debt affects our economic future, the impact of the European economic crisis affects us, etc., as well as to better understand what Government actions are likely to prove most effective in preventing future situations. So I had hoped Casey's book, "The Unfair Trade" would prove informative. However, as has happened with certain other books about the economy, my mind tended to drift, it just wasn't working for me, and I almost quit on this one. But I persevered, and I'm glad I stayed with it. I became much more interested toward the middle to latter sections of the book, which gave me a better appreciation of the true global-nature of our financial system, as well as a better understanding of the current (e.g., 2011 - 2013) European economic crisis, the dangers to both Europe as well as the U.S. should the Euro collapse, and the backgrounds regarding the European bailouts of Iceland, Ireland, Spain, and Greece. Casey gives many examples of how the global economy is impacting ordinary people across the globe, and does provide good background to help understand the economic news of the day.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Michael Griswold

    Michael J. Casey does something few economists have endeavored to do by going beyond America to capture the truly global nature of the economy. Moving beyond America's shores, Casey travels to such diverse locales as Juarez Mexico, Iceland, the mines of Southern Australia and Peru, and the cattle ranches of Argentina to illustrate how the inequality of the global financial system with its' inequalities enriches one group of people in one location, wealthy, while making localized populations impov Michael J. Casey does something few economists have endeavored to do by going beyond America to capture the truly global nature of the economy. Moving beyond America's shores, Casey travels to such diverse locales as Juarez Mexico, Iceland, the mines of Southern Australia and Peru, and the cattle ranches of Argentina to illustrate how the inequality of the global financial system with its' inequalities enriches one group of people in one location, wealthy, while making localized populations impoverished. These sections usually end with a lens turned on China. But its far from a China bash-fest. China is just one very large actor in a system that spreads inequality throughout the world. The people Casey profiles throughout the book include those who benefited from the unbalanced global financial system and whose lives came crashing down when the bubble went burst. Casey is sympathetic with these people, yet does not pardon them from their questionable misdeeds. I thought the case study approach was interesting because it allows the reader to put a human face on the global inequalities of the financial system. It is also perhaps the only way Casey could've pursued such a wide-reaching project. Producing a complicated statistical study would not have achieved the same purpose. The disadvantage is that the case study approach doesn't exactly lend itself to a conventional, testable, thesis. Casey's evidence is subjective and your view is likely predicated on your view of the global financial crisis. Casey has produced a really readable and engaging book that truly puts the global into global financial crisis. I highly recommend you snag a copy.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Chris

    I listened to the audio book and it's spot on and accurate. If you want to truly understand how and why we experienced the 2008 economic class and why our politicians have done nothing about it then please read this book. Globalism isn't the solution to America's economic problems. Look at Europe and the labor laws they have that prevent their jobs from being shipped overseas as an example. I highly recommend this book.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Katie

    Incredibly educational - I learned an immense amount even after devouring all of Michael Lewis' recent novels (The Big Short, Boomerang, Flash Boys). This is a must read to understand the current instability creeping into our society.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Ryan

    A little tough to get through but his stories of people he interviewed around the world was interesting.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Diane Kistner

    Anyone, especially those in the middle class, anywhere in the world will gain important insights from this book. For those of us who are accustomed to good vs. evil, black and white thinking—the way most members of the American middle class have been conditioned to think by the mega-monied .001%—this book will be quite a challenge to read. In the first chapters of this book, I had my eyes opened to decisions that were made going as far back as the Nixon administration that have had a deleterious Anyone, especially those in the middle class, anywhere in the world will gain important insights from this book. For those of us who are accustomed to good vs. evil, black and white thinking—the way most members of the American middle class have been conditioned to think by the mega-monied .001%—this book will be quite a challenge to read. In the first chapters of this book, I had my eyes opened to decisions that were made going as far back as the Nixon administration that have had a deleterious effect on the world economy. It began with the decoupling of the U.S. dollar from gold and allowing the dollar to float against other currencies. Some on the far right of the American political spectrum have been saying we need to return to the gold standard, but this book explains why it's too late for that. Nor will a xenophobic nationalism solve our ills. We truly are all in this together, inextricably bound by our global financial system; ignoring what's going on in countries other than our own will practically ensure we make decisions against our own self-interest at home. There is no one demon (and that includes China) responsible for the tanking and ongoing malaise of the global economy, and this is not something that happened or can be fixed overnight. Like it or not, a global course correction is in the process of occurring, and every country and business and bank on the face of the planet is going to be trying to adjust and turn it to their own advantage. The mega-monied .001% is better at this than anyone, so watch out middle class. The more we the little people understand what is happening to us and why, the better we will be able to make our voices and votes really count—at least to the degree that we don't allow our minds to be made up by the billions in undisclosed Super Pac donations from who knows where in the world. As I said before, this book is not an easy read, but it does go a long way toward helping readers understand "how our broken global financial system destroys the middle class." Those who are already intimately familiar with the big casino of high finance should be chastened by reading this book. So much suffering.... If we are to find a way to fix our broken system and stabilize the world economy, it's going to take more than a few people trying to understand how we got into the mess we're in, that and not being content with simplistic political posturing. I recommend that my fellow Americans read this book before deciding how they will cast their votes for president and their representatives this November. I didn't grasp it all the first time through, so I'm reading it again.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Crown Publishing

    A wake-up call for middle class Americans who feel trapped in a post-crisis economic slump, The Unfair Trade is a riveting exposé of the vast global financial system whose flaws are the source of our economic malaise. Our livelihoods are now, more than ever, beholden to the workings of its imbalances and inequities. The trillions of dollars that make up the flow of international finance—money that is often steered away from the people who deserve it the most—have not just undermined the lives of A wake-up call for middle class Americans who feel trapped in a post-crisis economic slump, The Unfair Trade is a riveting exposé of the vast global financial system whose flaws are the source of our economic malaise. Our livelihoods are now, more than ever, beholden to the workings of its imbalances and inequities. The trillions of dollars that make up the flow of international finance—money that is often steered away from the people who deserve it the most—have not just undermined the lives of working and middle class Americans. It is a world-wide phenomenon that is changing the culture of Argentina; destroying the factory system in Northern Mexico, enabling drug cartels to recruit thousands of young men into their gangs; that has taken down the economies of Iceland, Ireland, Spain, Greece, and possibly Italy; and is driving American companies such as a 60-year-old family owned manufacturer of printed circuit boards to shutter all but one of its factories. Veteran journalist Michael Casey has traveled the world—from China to Iceland, Spain to Argentina, Indonesia to Australia—recounting extraordinary stories about ordinary people from one continent to another whose lives are inextricably linked. By tracing the flow of money and goods across the world, he illustrates how an American homeowner’s life is shaped by the same economic and social policies that determine those of a low wage migrant worker on an assembly line in China. This combination of financial acumen, narrative-driven reporting, and compelling story-telling gives The Unfair Trade a unique human angle. Casey shows that our economic problems are largely caused by political agendas that prevent the free market from encouraging fair competition and impeding the allocation of resources. Until governments work together to make this global system more efficient—until China removes incentives for its citizens to save excessively, for example, or the U.S. ends the de facto subsidies enjoyed by politically powerful banks—the global playing field will remain lopsided, job creation will lag, and our economies will be vulnerable to new crises.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Vivek Agarwal

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. An amazing perspective and analysis on the present broken and dysfunctional global trade and financial systems This author has captured the facts and somehow linked them with actual events and turns in economies which took place to show that his theory and his hypothesis is true There is a lot of China here in this book, rightfully so because they have been one of the main drivers of growth in the last decade Additionally US based economy and financial systems which have allowed for growth This An amazing perspective and analysis on the present broken and dysfunctional global trade and financial systems This author has captured the facts and somehow linked them with actual events and turns in economies which took place to show that his theory and his hypothesis is true There is a lot of China here in this book, rightfully so because they have been one of the main drivers of growth in the last decade Additionally US based economy and financial systems which have allowed for growth This book takes a very good socio-macro economic-slightly political look at our global systems of trade, debt, finance and banking Links all the patterns which have emerged to make some statements of fact Banks are too big, We are not spending money on growth The US is taking on unsustainable amounts of debt The Euro is going to be taking a long austerity way back to stable growth China is going the way of consumer and no longer infrastructure based growth And there is so much more to learn from this book Sorry for all the spoilers... Hope you get to read this book

  10. 5 out of 5

    Daniel

    This is quite a good book looking at the global effect of "unfair trade". Quite a lot of China-bashing. It appears as though that everything is China's fault. From the huge loads of debt of America, to the uncompetitiveness of Indonesia, to the Dutch disease affecting the mining areas near Perth, it is ALL China's fault. Still it is comprehensive in its view. Problem is, China will do what it will do- to develop its economy, even if they have to build empty condominiums just to tear them down la This is quite a good book looking at the global effect of "unfair trade". Quite a lot of China-bashing. It appears as though that everything is China's fault. From the huge loads of debt of America, to the uncompetitiveness of Indonesia, to the Dutch disease affecting the mining areas near Perth, it is ALL China's fault. Still it is comprehensive in its view. Problem is, China will do what it will do- to develop its economy, even if they have to build empty condominiums just to tear them down later. Decades of being poor with absolutely no international power gives it only one goal - to become rich. Therefore China will never change the exchange rate to too high a level. All of us would probably need to live with that, at least until China is really modernized.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Randy

    Unsubstantiated theories. I expected much better of Casey. His theories are attractive to the One World crowd... and perhaps he's right. But there is no evidence he is, as he never really considers any alternatives... no deep thought on what causes our current financial problems, and no consideration of options to get out of it. Instead we are treated to a sequence of tragic figures who were hurt by the mortgage crisis, or enslaved by the Chinese government etc. Followed by Casey's views on global Unsubstantiated theories. I expected much better of Casey. His theories are attractive to the One World crowd... and perhaps he's right. But there is no evidence he is, as he never really considers any alternatives... no deep thought on what causes our current financial problems, and no consideration of options to get out of it. Instead we are treated to a sequence of tragic figures who were hurt by the mortgage crisis, or enslaved by the Chinese government etc. Followed by Casey's views on globalization and regulatory control of markets. Pish posh.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Steven

    A must-read book for those who want to understand why the US and European middle classes were destroyed by our 2-speed bifurcated economy and some possible solutions for the future. If Donald Trump read books, this would be a good book for him to read to see what will work to help American workers (increased infrastructure spending, reducing social security to reduce burden on younger generation) and what will be a disaster to the economy (tax cuts, trade war with China, deregulation, reducing im A must-read book for those who want to understand why the US and European middle classes were destroyed by our 2-speed bifurcated economy and some possible solutions for the future. If Donald Trump read books, this would be a good book for him to read to see what will work to help American workers (increased infrastructure spending, reducing social security to reduce burden on younger generation) and what will be a disaster to the economy (tax cuts, trade war with China, deregulation, reducing immigration).

  13. 5 out of 5

    Meghan

    A fairly broad, but still thorough, look at the effect of recent years on the global 'middle class'. I liked the view of other countries, and their current economic status, and how that changes what happens (or what could happen) in the US. A great first book for me to read with 'global economic primer' as the goal.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Timothy Stegall

    Casey explains China's role in the global financial crisis but neglects to mention the Federal Reserves corrupt policies almost to the point of being apologetic to the big banks. The author will come very close at times to condemning the monetary policy of the United States but then quickly offer reasons why corruption is necessary.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Eugene

    Interesting and somewhat relevant but only the author's theory/beliefs.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Llew

  17. 5 out of 5

    Salman Kalmati

  18. 5 out of 5

    John

  19. 5 out of 5

    Wendy Altenhof

  20. 4 out of 5

    Roberto

  21. 5 out of 5

    Heather

  22. 4 out of 5

    Michael Yang

  23. 4 out of 5

    Barry

  24. 5 out of 5

    Samantha

  25. 5 out of 5

    Matthew

  26. 5 out of 5

    Marie Broz

    I'm very interested to learn what the author has to write

  27. 4 out of 5

    Nathan

  28. 4 out of 5

    Sean Dempsey

  29. 4 out of 5

    Trace

  30. 5 out of 5

    David Kaimann

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