The Mystery of Capital: Why Capitalism Triumphs in the West and Fails Everywhere Else

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9780552999236: The Mystery of Capital: Why Capitalism Triumphs in the West and Fails Everywhere Else

Why does capitalism triumph in the West but fail almost everywhere else? Elegantly, and with rare clarity, Hernando de Soto revolutionizes our understanding of what capital is and why it has failed to benefit four-fifths of mankind -- and explains the solution. 'A revolutionary book . . . may not be in the class of Das Kapital, Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations or Keynes's General Theory. But if the criteria for joining that exclusive club is a capacity not only to change permanently the way we look at the world, but also to change the world itself, then there are good grounds for thinking that this book is surely a contender.' Donald Macintyre, The Independent 'Few people in Britain have heard of Hernando de Soto . . . but The Mystery of Capital has already led the cognoscenti to put him in the pantheon of great progressive intellectuals of our age.' Mark Leonard, New Statesman 'A crucial contribution. A new proposal for change that is valid for the whole world' - Javier Perez de Cuellar (Former Secretary United Nations)

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Review:

It's become clear by now the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of communism in most places around the globe hasn't ushered in an unequivocal flowering of capitalism in the developing and postcommunist world. Western thinkers have blamed this on everything from these countries' lack of sellable assets to their inherently non-entrepreneurial "mindset." In this book, the renowned Peruvian economist and adviser to presidents and prime ministers Hernando de Soto proposes and argues another reason: it's not that poor, postcommunist countries don't have the assets to make capitalism flourish. As de Soto points out by way of example, in Egypt, the wealth the poor have accumulated is worth 55 times as much as the sum of all direct foreign investment ever recorded there, including that spent on building the Suez Canal and the Aswan Dam.

No, the real problem is that such countries have yet to establish and normalize the invisible network of laws that turns assets from "dead" into "liquid" capital. In the West, standardized laws allow us to mortgage a house to raise money for a new venture, permit the worth of a company to be broken up into so many publicly tradable stocks, and make it possible to govern and appraise property with agreed-upon rules that hold across neighborhoods, towns, or regions. This invisible infrastructure of "asset management"--so taken for granted in the West, even though it has only fully existed in the United States for the past 100 years--is the missing ingredient to success with capitalism, insists de Soto. But even though that link is primarily a legal one, he argues that the process of making it a normalized component of a society is more a political--or attitude-changing--challenge than anything else.

With a fleet of researchers, de Soto has sought out detailed evidence from struggling economies around the world to back up his claims. The result is a fascinating and solidly supported look at the one component that's holding much of the world back from developing healthy free markets. --Timothy Murphy

About the Author:

Hernando de Soto is the founder and President of the Institute of Liberty and Democracy (ILD) in Lima, Peru, regarded by The Economist as the second most important think-tank in the world. He has also been an economist for GATT (now WTO), CEO of one of Europe's largest engineering firms, and as a governor of Peru's Central Reserve Bank. As President Alberto Fujimori's Personal Representative and Principal Advisor, he initiated Peru's economic reforms and played a leading role in modernizing its economic and political system. In 1993 de Soto drew up and negotiated the strategic plan that reversed Fujimori's coup d'etat and returned the country to electoral democracy. He and ILD are currently working in Asia, the Middle East, and Latin America on the practical implementation of the measures for bringing the poor into the economic mainstream introduced in The Mystery of Capital. He was recently listed by Time magazine as one of the five leading Latin American innovators of the twentieth century. His previous book, The Other Path, was published in more than ten languages and was a number one bestseller throughout Latin America.

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Hernando de Soto
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Descrizione libro Transworld Publishers Ltd, United Kingdom, 2001. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Why does capitalism triumph in the West but fail almost everywhere else? Elegantly, and with rare clarity, Hernando de Soto revolutionizes our understanding of what capital is and why it has failed to benefit four-fifths of mankind -- and explains the solution. A revolutionary book .may not be in the class of Das Kapital, Adam Smith s Wealth of Nations or Keynes s General Theory. But if the criteria for joining that exclusive club is a capacity not only to change permanently the way we look at the world, but also to change the world itself, then there are good grounds for thinking that this book is surely a contender. Donald Macintyre, The Independent Few people in Britain have heard of Hernando de Soto .but The Mystery of Capital has already led the cognoscenti to put him in the pantheon of great progressive intellectuals of our age. Mark Leonard, New Statesman A crucial contribution. A new proposal for change that is valid for the whole world - Javier Perez de Cuellar (Former Secretary United Nations). Codice libro della libreria AAZ9780552999236

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Hernando de Soto
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Descrizione libro Transworld Publishers Ltd, United Kingdom, 2001. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Why does capitalism triumph in the West but fail almost everywhere else? Elegantly, and with rare clarity, Hernando de Soto revolutionizes our understanding of what capital is and why it has failed to benefit four-fifths of mankind -- and explains the solution. A revolutionary book .may not be in the class of Das Kapital, Adam Smith s Wealth of Nations or Keynes s General Theory. But if the criteria for joining that exclusive club is a capacity not only to change permanently the way we look at the world, but also to change the world itself, then there are good grounds for thinking that this book is surely a contender. Donald Macintyre, The Independent Few people in Britain have heard of Hernando de Soto .but The Mystery of Capital has already led the cognoscenti to put him in the pantheon of great progressive intellectuals of our age. Mark Leonard, New Statesman A crucial contribution. A new proposal for change that is valid for the whole world - Javier Perez de Cuellar (Former Secretary United Nations). Codice libro della libreria AAZ9780552999236

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Descrizione libro Transworld Publishers Ltd, 2001. Condizione libro: New. 2001. Paperback. Hernando de Soto offers radical and yet convincing arguments on the reasons why capitalism only seems to work in some nations, mainly the ones in the northern hemisphere, and fails consistently in the rest of the world. Num Pages: 288 pages, illustrations. BIC Classification: KCS; KCZ. Category: (U) Tertiary Education (US: College). Dimension: 199 x 128 x 19. Weight in Grams: 208. . . . . . . Codice libro della libreria V9780552999236

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Descrizione libro Transworld Publishers Ltd. Condizione libro: New. 2001. Paperback. Hernando de Soto offers radical and yet convincing arguments on the reasons why capitalism only seems to work in some nations, mainly the ones in the northern hemisphere, and fails consistently in the rest of the world. Num Pages: 288 pages, illustrations. BIC Classification: KCS; KCZ. Category: (U) Tertiary Education (US: College). Dimension: 199 x 128 x 19. Weight in Grams: 208. . . . . . Books ship from the US and Ireland. Codice libro della libreria V9780552999236

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Descrizione libro Transworld Publishers Ltd. Paperback. Condizione libro: new. BRAND NEW, The Mystery of Capital, Hernando De Soto, Why does capitalism triumph in the West but fail almost everywhere else? Elegantly, and with rare clarity, Hernando de Soto revolutionizes our understanding of what capital is and why it has failed to benefit four-fifths of mankind -- and explains the solution. 'A revolutionary book .may not be in the class of Das Kapital, Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations or Keynes's General Theory. But if the criteria for joining that exclusive club is a capacity not only to change permanently the way we look at the world, but also to change the world itself, then there are good grounds for thinking that this book is surely a contender.' Donald Macintyre, The Independent 'Few people in Britain have heard of Hernando de Soto .but The Mystery of Capital has already led the cognoscenti to put him in the pantheon of great progressive intellectuals of our age.' Mark Leonard, New Statesman 'A crucial contribution. A new proposal for change that is valid for the whole world' - Javier Perez de Cuellar (Former Secretary United Nations). Codice libro della libreria B9780552999236

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