THE MIDAS TOUCH: Understanding the New Global Money Societies Around Us by Anthony Sampson

THE MIDAS TOUCH: Understanding the New Global Money Societies Around Us

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In this caustic but commonplace report, Britisher Sampson (Black and Gold, 1987, etc.) traces the financial successes and excesses of the 80's, chronicling both the spectacular rise of the Pacific Rim economies and the spiral of deepening debt that many developing countries are now unable to repay. Sampson rather uncritically adopts the sour conventional wisdom and clichÉs about the Roaring Eighties. For example, he accepts the notion that Japan's economic ascendancy is somehow permanent, despite evidence that the recent steep decline in the Tokyo stock exchange and the explosive growth in Japanese consumerism may presage a shift to a less mercantilist form of capitalism. He also glibly identifies the vibrant entrepreneurism unleashed by Reagan and Thatcher with the slogan ""Greed is good,"" uttered by evil Financier Gekko in the movie Wall Street But despite these flaws, his analysis of the commercial successes of immigrant minority groups is insightful. When removed from the often anticommercial strictures of their native cultures, immigrants turn to enterprise, he demonstrates, as the only way to advance and protect themselves and their families in strange countries. Finally, though, so as to leave no fashionable issue untouched, Sampson blames the ""money culture"" for environmental devastation--blithely ignoring the fact that the severest environmental damage has occurred in the erstwhile socialist world and the mercantilist Third World, places where there are no market values to encourage the conservation and protection of resources. Sampson is a deft writer who, for the most part, simply repackages antibusiness cliches of the 1980's. Look elsewhere for original analysis and insight.

Pub Date: Aug. 6th, 1990
Publisher: Dutton