Friday, November 30, 2012

Lawless Capitalism

Professor Steven Ramirez
As teased earlier this week, the NYU Press has just announced the release of blog contributor Professor Steven Ramirez's new book "Lawless Capitalism."  This book offers an insightful and surgical examination of the subprime crisis of 2008, and more than simply identifying causes, offers a new economic rule of law suggesting a fairer and more economically just way forward.

From the Back Cover:  "Professor Steven Ramirez's Lawless Capitalism is a tour de force. The pages are virtually crackling with urgency and deeply considered alternatives to the wayward capitalism currently practiced in the United States. Ramirez, in his critical contribution to the ongoing debate in connection with free markets and governmental regulation, envisions a new and different kind of capitalism. Ramirez's capitalism  respects individual potential and human capital, considers equality and fairness, and promotes the abilities of all people, rather than focusing on deeper entrenchment of the elite. Lawless Capitalism meticulously weaves the best thinking of dozens of economists, law professors, sociologists and philosophers into a new conceptualization of an economic rule of law, one that Ramirez fully develops, that offers a better economic way for our nation and the world. Lawless Capitalism is an important book, representing a powerful new voice that literally demands to be heard."
-andré douglas pond cummings, Indiana Tech Law School

"Capitalism and the profit motive can stimulate human productivity and innovation.  But they can also lead to corruption, shady politics, and self-dealing. This brilliant book shows how intelligently designed laws and lawsuits can facilitate the former and discourage the latter. . . . Steven Ramirez is the new Andrew Hacker.  He wields statistics, numbers, and concepts like a scalpel."
-Richard Delgado, co-author of Critical Race Theory

"Ramirez catalogues the many ills and failures in the American economic system, casting a broad net that implicates governing institutions, political and corporate elites, and their policy agendas. He provides a valuable contribution to discussions on reforming capitalism and restoring the foundations of middle class prosperity through a renewed commitment to transparency, economic democracy, and the rule of law."
-Timothy A. Canova, Nova Southeastern University

From the NYU Press abstract: "The subprime mortgage crisis has been blamed on many: the Bush Administration, Bernie Madoff, the financial industry, overzealous housing developers.  Yet little scrutiny has been placed on the American legal system as a whole, even though parts of that system, such as the laws that regulate high-risk lending, have been dissected to bits and pieces.  In this innovative and exhaustive study, Steven A. Ramirez posits that the subprime mortgage crisis, as well as the global macroeconomic catastrophe it spawned, is traceable to a gross failure of law.


The rule of law must appropriately channel and constrain the exercise of economic and political power.  Used effectively, it ensures that economic opportunity isn't limited to a small group of elites that enjoy growth at the expense of many, particularly those in vulnerable economic situations.  In Lawless Capitalism, Ramirez calls for the rule of law to displace crony capitalism.  Only through the rule of law, he argues, can capitalism be reconstructed."

Available here:  Lawless Capitalism: The Subprime Crisis and the Case for an Economic Rule of Law

1 comment:

  1. Sounds excellent. Just purchased a copy.

    ReplyDelete