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  1. Wealth
February 23, 2010

Countdown to Catastrophe

By Spear's

Stephen’s new book is out now and available through the Spear’s website.

Stephen’s new book, Countdown to Catastrophe, about the origins of the financial crisis, its future direction and how we can avoid the titular catastrophe, is out now and available through the Spear’s website. To order a copy (priced £20, including postage), email

The book, written in Stephen’s customarily vivid and witty style, which he has been applying to Spear’s leaders since we launched, opens by mocking professional economists and those in high places who did not see the global crunch coming over the horizon. Stephen posed the questions six months before the collapse of Bear Stearns and Northern Rock: ‘Have the central bankers lost control?’

The man-made seeds of the global crunch were sown back in the 1970s, were nourished throughout the 1980s and were actively encouraged in the 1990s until the banking system and its shadow sizzles in 2007 and then exploded in 2008.

The second half explores the regulatory failure and what should be done to restore economic order in the future, with proposals that go far beyond the current debates concerning law, banking and the limits of modern regulation.

Then, in an exclusive interview with the great Adam Smith himself, the latter points to the potential natural fault-line in modern capitalism that was the real cause of the global crunch around the world, as he quotes some oft-forgotten principles from The Wealth of Nations.

This edition will appeal as much to professional economists as to members of the general public seeking some explanation of what the hell is going on and what is likely to happen next.

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