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How did this happen?

Jacques ATTALI

This book is attempting to provide a solution in order to prevent the crisis from veering into a worldwide one and in order that we never let ourselves be caught by it again.

It seems that without any warning, we have suddenly arrived at the dawn of a global depression that is the most severe since the last one 80 years ago. Between the two great economic crises many missed all the signs, aside from the fact that some American families were unable to pay off their mortgages. This book attempts to explain this mystery, using the simplest terms possible while touching on some of the most complex economic realities of our time.

How did this happen? The world seemed to be going very well; political liberty and individual initiative seemed capable of reaching the far corners of the earth; poverty had begun to diminish in Asia and Latin America; worldwide economic growth was the fastest ever in history and every sign indicated that this trend would continue for decades thanks to rapid demographic development and abundant savings, which were being redirected toward sustainable development thanks to extraordinary technical advances. And for what to most seemed to appear without any warning, we have suddenly arrived at the dawn of a global depression, the most severe of the last 80 years.


Jacques ATTALI is an eminent economic advisor and was recently nominated by French President Nicolas Sarkozy as the head of the Commission to promote French economic growth. From 1981 to 1991 he was special advisor to François Mitterrand and in 1990 he became the first president of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, EBRD. Currently he is chairman of A&A, an international consultancy company and the founder and president of PlaNet Finance, an international non-profit organization that uses the Internet to combat poverty concentrating on the microfinance sector.


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