viernes, 22 de agosto de 2014

"Capital in the Twenty-First Century", by Thomas Piketty

Capital in the Twenty-First CenturyCapital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The books on Economics are usually hard to read. Either they are quite theorical or require previous knowledge on the matter. One of the bigger appeals of the book written by Picketty is that is both practical and does not require any special knowledge. On one hand, all the book is continuous reference to data from the past and the present and the theories of the author are validated against this data from the real world. On the other hand, all the concepts needed to understand the book are introduced in its due time at the same time you advance in its reading.

The main topic of the book is inequality. The author provides us with the evidence of a growing inequality in our XXI century society and at the same time try to find the reason for this phenomena and proposes solutions. His main source of wisdom is the past, the history of inequality since the XVIII century. The avalaibility of data since this period for some countries, mainly UK and France, is the linchpin of the book. As a consequence, it is not a surprise that the author defends the need for more transparency and data in order to fight inequality, in particular, and to have a better knowledge of the financial world and its flows, in general.

But besides inequality in our society, many other topics are put on the table by the author. Due to my personal interests, I find quite interesting the pages dedicated to explain the gaps in the Financial European System and its possible solutions. Other topics raised in examples to ilustrate the theories of the author, as the estimation of capital in tax havens or the funding of the Universities in USA, worth also a second reading.

To sum up, a must-read to understand our world and its economics.

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