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How Markets Fail 'avoids geeky study of recession'

7th December 2009

John Cassidy's latest book is an 'excellent analysis' of how the economic crisis was not the sole fault of investment bankers, according to Jeff Randall.

Writing in the Daily Telegraph, the former BBC business editor said How Markets Fail: The Logic of Economic Calamities lays the blame for the global recession at the feet of many groups, including banks, governments, financial regulators and borrowers who took out loans they could not afford.

The author also criticises economists, saying they have become too reliant on computer programmes and mathematical theories and ignore the influence of human greed and fear - which are the main causes of market volatility.

Randall added: 'Cassidy is blessed with a rare combination of writing skills and intellectual hinterland and has produced a fresh and engaging explanation of the calamity that wrecked financial markets and drove economies into recession.'

The reviewer also pointed out that the book avoids being a 'geeky analysis' of the problems found in the financial markets and instead studies the human shortcomings that failed to identify the crisis in its early stages.

Last month, former investment banker David Charters wrote in the Guardian that Tom Wolfe's The Bonfire of the Vanities, Liar's Poker by Michael Lewis and Michael Ridpath's Free to Trade are the best books for people wanting to understand the inner workings of the financial world.

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