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Who will be spending at the new Brent Cross?: "Capital in the Twenty-first Century by Thomas Piketty – review"

"There has been an intense debate about this surprise bestseller. What is the upshot?"

Link to The Guardian

"This is a VIB – very important book. Nearly everyone agrees about that. But the reasons for its importance have changed in the months since it was published. At first it was important because it was a big book on a big subject: a book of grand ambition about inequality, written not by the latest "thinker" but a respected academic economist with real numbers to go with his theory. We hadn't had anything like that in ages.

"This was the 'Piketty as rockstar' phase, when the book was an 'improbable hit' and people wrote breathless articles about the modern successor to Marx who could crunch the numbers but also quote Balzac, The Simpsons and The West Wing.

"Writing a bestselling economics book is usually a good way to make other economists hate you. But at first even they heaped praise on Thomas Piketty for casting fresh light on inequality – an area where the official statistics are notoriously weak. Say what you like about the theory, the argument went, you had to thank him for the numbers.


"... Piketty deserves huge credit for kickstarting a debate about inequality and illuminating the distribution of income and wealth. But when it comes to the forces driving growth and wealth accumulation in our modern economy, what he has probably done most to bring out into the open is our collective ignorance and confusion."

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