Agenda for a New Economy

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  • Format: Trade Paper
  • Copyright: 2009-02-16
  • Publisher: Berrett-Koehler Publishers
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Today's economic crisis is the worst since the Great Depression. However, as David Korten shows, the steps being taken to address it -- including pouring trillions of dollars into bailouts for the Wall Street institutions that created the mess -- do nothing to deal with the reality of a failed economic system. It's like treating cancer with Band-Aids. And the financial collapse now in the public spotlight is only the tip of the iceberg. The system's social and environmental failures may ultimately be even more destructive.Korten identifies the deeper sources of the failure: Wall Street institutions that have perfected the art of creating "wealth" without producing anything of real value: phantom wealth. Its major players engage in speculative trading, buy into asset bubbles, create debt pyramids, and engage in predatory lending practices. Their seeming success created an economic mirage that led us to believe the economy was expanding exponentially, even as our economic, social, and natural capital eroded and most people struggled ever harder to make ends meet.Our hope lies not with Wall Street, Korten argues, but with Main Street, which creates real wealth from real resources to meet real needs. He outlines an agenda to liberate the latent entrepreneurial energies of Main Street from Wall Street's deadly grip and bring into being a new economy -- locally based, community oriented, and devoted to creating a better life for all. It will require courageous and imaginative changes to how we measure economic success, organize our financial system, even the very way we create money. Korten outlines a challenging but practical agenda, summarized at the end of the book in his version of the economic address to the nation he wishes Barack Obama were able to deliver.Korten's intention is not to offer final answers but rather to provoke discussion of options that powerful interests prefer not be mentioned. These interests devised the system that has brought us to the brink of ruin. It?s time to turn away from the Wall Street system of phantom wealth and return to an economy firmly rooted in the long-term health of people and the planet."At last, a book by one of our most brilliant economic thinkers that outlines the realcauses of -- and solutions to -- the current economic crisis. David Korten inspires usto take actions to create a more just and sustainable world for ourselves and futuregenerations." (John Perkins, New York Times bestselling author of Confessions of an Economic Hit Man)

Author Biography

David Korten is president and founder of the People-Centered Development Forum, chair of the board of YES! magazine, and a board member of the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies. He is the author of The Great Turning. The Post-Corporate World, and When Corporations Rule the World.

Table of Contents

Prefacep. vii
The Case for a New Economyp. 1
Looking Upstreamp. 3
Modern Alchemists and the Sport of Moneymakingp. 12
A Real-Market Alternativep. 25
More Than Tinkering at the Marginsp. 35
The Case for Eliminating Wall Streetp. 45
What Wall Street Really Wantsp. 47
Buccaneers and Privateersp. 57
The High Cost of Phantom Wealthp. 65
The End of Empirep. 77
Agenda for a Real-Wealth Economyp. 89
What People Really Wantp. 91
Essential Prioritiesp. 102
Liberating Main Streetp. 117
Real-Wealth Financial Servicesp. 137
Life in a Real-Wealth Economyp. 149
Change the Story, Change the Futurep. 157
An Address I Hope President Obama Will One Day Deliver to the Nationp. 159
When The People Lead, the Leaders Will Followp. 170
Notesp. 188
About the Authorp. 194
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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