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Book review: The Crisis of Global Capitalism: Open Society Endangered – George Soros (1998)



The Crisis of Global Capitalism looks at economic theory and the financial crisis that was occurring in the 1990s and aims to show how theoretical assumptions and human behaviour led to it.

Author George Soros, a billionaire financial speculator, argues that unless international regulations are established, capitalism will collapse due to a variety of reasons. Some of the reasons given include, weakening values, increasing competition leaving less room for social and environmental considerations and financial markets being amoral and unstable without global regulation.

As an alternative he advocates an “open society”, in which common interest is prioritised over self-interest. Soros adds this needs free markets, democratic rule, law and enough freedom in the market so it can constantly improve and remake itself.

The book is split into two sections, the first looks at theory and the second examines the situation at the time of publication – 1998 – and the future. Soros’s obvious experience in the industry means the book is interesting, thought-provoking and offers a unique insight and perspective.

The Crisis of Global Capitalism shows how unquestioning faith and instabilities within markets can causes a chain reaction and lead to bigger consequences. Although the book was published over a decade ago, and in places is outdated, the theories and suggestions remain relevant today, particularly as the world continues to recover from the 2008 financial crisis.