Money, Markets and Society

Geoffrey Hosking


4.25 x 7 inches, 92pp. December 2010

ISBN : 9781906497750

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Evidence of waning levels of social trust in the UK and USA in the 1990s exploded into a major crisis of economic distrust in 2007–09, taking the form of a ‘credit crunch’. The crisis built up as a bubble of misplaced trust exercised by all of us as we sought security for ourselves and our families through financial markets and state welfare systems. The roots of this crisis go back three centuries or more, but its symptoms greatly intensified as governments deregulated financial markets in the 1980s. It has been inadequately appreciated that mutual trust is the essential cement of any society and of the globalized economy in which we all live. Unless we study its characteristics and consciously seek both to strengthen it where it is well placed and to discover where it is misplaced, we risk further and deeper crises in future. A market economy without trust will lead us all to disaster. 

Geoffrey Hosking was professor of Russian history in the School of Slavonic & East European Studies, University of London, from 1984 to 2007. He has written many books and articles on the history of Russia and the Soviet Union, and gave the BBC Reith Lectures on the crisis of the Soviet Union in 1988. He was on the Council of Index on Censorship from 1986 to 2007. In 2006/07, he was a Member of the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, working on the history of trust, and co-directed a series of seminars on the subject at the European Forum Alpbach in 2009.


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