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Thousands trapped in negative equity

Bankers’ bedtime stories lead to Nanny Boom

Housing market in jeopardy as first-time buyers vanish

Larry: addressing inequality will benefit us all

Larry: why is everyone still spending?

Pawn shops thrive as credit tightens

No housing for Olympians now the Gods have failed

Dan: Inflation - ‘a year of going backwards’

Pets feel the crunch!

Dan: Housebuilders hit by ‘gazundering’


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    Welcome to The Gods That Failed blog.

    Our new book was published on 5 June by The Bodley Head, and we've set this up to give ourselves, and the public, the chance to learn about and discuss the economic crisis that we're currently all facing.

    It's high time people realised how and why we've reached the state we're now in. The Gods that Failed argues that we need a new system: instead of an increasingly risk-prone, privatised, profit-driven economic model overseen by a largely unaccountable and speculation-obsessed elite, we need an economy that is run and regulated in the interests of ordinary people.

    Pets feel the crunch!

    Posted by Editors on June 18, 2008 at 4:11 pm

    One of the themes of The Gods that Failed is that the disastrous consequences of the actions of a reckless, largely unaccountable elite are being felt by ordinary people and everyday life. Today the Independent ran an article demonstrating that the chain reaction does not end with people, parents and families – their pets are affected too.

    Dan Atkinson - The conception of The Gods that Failed

    Posted by Editors on June 12, 2008 at 2:12 pm

    Read Dan Atkinson’s latest blog entry on the conception of The Gods that Failed.

    Poverty up for pensioners and children

    Posted by Editors on June 11, 2008 at 12:33 pm

    ‘Voters had supported the increase in spending; they had been unhappy at the shabby state of the public realm in 1997 and wanted to see extra investment in the services they needed and used. Understandably they wanted to know what had happened to all the money.’ (The Gods that Failed, p.150)

    On the front page of today’s Guardian, Larry reports on the growing inequality in Britain - while the rich have been getting richer, the poor have been getting poorer. The Labour government’s high-profile bid to end child poverty seems to have come off the rails. Read the article here.

    The Perfect Storm

    Posted by Editors on June 11, 2008 at 11:34 am

    In Chapter 9 of The Gods that Failed, Larry and Dan point out the strange frequency of the phrase ‘perfect storm’ in the media - no longer just a meteorological term, it is now the official tagline of crisis in general.

     ‘The state of the global economy in the first half of 2008 made it a prime candidate for the “perfect storm” thesis… As the chief economist of the International Monetary Fund, Simon Johnson is hardly one for apocalyptic visions of the future, but in November 2007 he popped up to warn of a “perfect storm” caused by the interaction of turmoil on the financial markets and the spiralling cost of energy.’

    Today, Larry Elliott and Ashley Seager report on Mervyn King’s admission that we will see more ‘turmoil in the markets,’ and his plan for improved regulation. And it seems the storm is spreading to the rest of the world. In South Africa, the national Times reports a ‘near perfect storm in housing.’

    The new winter of discontent

    Posted by Editors on June 9, 2008 at 12:46 pm

    Throughout the book, Larry and Dan look at the 1978/9 ‘winter of discontent,’ with a grim nod to the present climate. Recently ‘nine porters at Boston’s Logan airport had seen their incomes drop dramatically after the airline for which they worked decided to charge passengers for bag check-in. This diverted money previously paid direct to the porters in tips to the company instead.’

    Instances like these are becoming more common, even since the Telegraph drew similar parallels two weeks ago. The BBC have uploaded a video reporting on pay cuts for ground level workers, especially those closest to the City, and it seems likely that there will be pay cuts across the country.

    Northern Rock - just like a rolling stone

    Posted by Editors on June 6, 2008 at 4:04 pm

    The spectre of the Northern Rock crisis still hangs over the economy, and the bank itself is still under government protection. As Larry and Dan write in the book:

    ‘…European Union competition rules demanded that the competititive advantage enjoyed in the present by the receipt of state aid, had to be “given back” in the future to its competitors. In other words the firm [Northern Rock] would have to be hobbled in some way in its future activities.’

    And according to the New York Times, the European Commission is launching an inquiry into the legality of the ongoing government bailout.

    Out Today

    Posted by Larry on June 5, 2008 at 12:10 pm

    The Gods that Failed is now available in bookshops and Amazon, but don’t forget you can buy it from us with 30% off - the promotional code is FAILEDGODS.

    Extract - The fightback starts here

    Posted by Editors on June 4, 2008 at 2:52 pm

    ‘The excesses of banks, big business and the super-rich have shattered our economic system. In the final extract from their new book, Larry Elliott and Dan Atkinson put forward their principles for a fairer and more cohesive society.’

    Read the third and last of the Guardian extracts from The Gods that Failed here.

    Larry Elliott and Dan Atkinson - Podcasts

    Posted by Editors on June 4, 2008 at 12:06 pm

    Credit Crunch Explained

    What’s the book about?

    Why ‘The Gods that Failed’?

    About the Authors

    Posted by Editors on June 3, 2008 at 3:54 pm

    Larry Elliott and Dan Atkinson are Economics Editors of the Guardian and the Mail on Sunday respectively. They are the co-authors of Fantasy Island and The Age of Insecurity.

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    The Gods That Failed
    How Blind Faith in Markets Has Cost Us Our Future

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    The Credit Crunch - what's actually happening?
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