‘Extreme Economies is a revelation – and a must-read.’ Andy Haldane, Chief Economist at the Bank of England
To understand how humans react and adapt to economic change we need to study people who live in harsh environments. From death-row prisoners trading in institutions where money is banned to flourishing entrepreneurs in the world’s largest refugee camp, from the unrealised potential of cities like Kinshasa to the hyper-modern economy of Estonia, every life in this book has been hit by a seismic shock, violently broken or changed in some way.
In his quest for a purer view of how economies succeed and fail, Richard Davies takes the reader off the beaten path to places where part of the economy has been repressed, removed, destroyed or turbocharged. He tells the personal stories of humans living in these extreme situations, and of the financial infrastructure they create. Far from the familiar stock reports, housing crises, or banking scandals of the financial pages, Extreme Economies reveals the importance of human and social capital, and in so doing tells small stories that shed light on today’s biggest economic questions.
‘A highly original approach to understanding what really makes economies tick.’ Mervyn King, former Governor of the Bank of England