Now with a substantial new postscript on the financialcrisis
This book provides a basic introduction to the 'nuts and bolts'of capitalism. It starts by examining the classic accounts ofcapitalism found in the works of Adam Smith, Karl Marx, Max Weber,Joseph Schumpeter, and John Maynard Keynes. Each placed emphasis ondifferent institutional elements of capitalism - Smith on themarket's 'invisible hand'; Marx on capital's exploitation oflabour; Weber on the foundations of economic rationality; andSchumpeter and Keynes on the instability that results fromcapitalism's essentially monetary and financial character.
Drawing on these classic accounts, Ingham then offers a succinctanalysis of capitalism's basic institutions and theirinterconnections. Market exchange, the monetary system, theenterprise, capital and financial markets, and the role of thestate are dealt with in separate chapters which make use ofcontemporary material on the recent history of the capitalistsystem - including the great inflation of the 1970s and theneo-liberal backlash; the 'dot.com' bubble of the late 1990s; andthe collapse of Enron and other US corporations. This revisedversion includes a substantial new postscript on the financialcrisis of 2007-8 and its aftermath. The result is a concise,masterly and up-to-date account of the world's most powerfuleconomic system, written in a way that is accessible to studentsand general readers alike.