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  • Hodder Paperbacks
  • Hodder & Stoughton

How Do We Fix This Mess? The Economic Price of Having it all, and the Route to Lasting Prosperity

Robert Peston

8 Reviews

Rated 0

Prose: non-fiction, Economic growth, Economic statistics, Economic & financial crises & disasters, Economic history, Banking, Banking & finance: study & revision guides, Business & management

In Robert Peston's new book he explains in his characteristically straightforward way how the world got itself into the current economic mess - and how we might get out of it.

'How do we fix this mess? I don't know. But don't stop reading now. Perhaps if we have a clearer understanding of what went wrong, we'll have a better idea of what needs to be done. This book is a map of what needs to be fixed.'

The record-breaking unbroken growth between 1992 and 2008 wasn't the economic miracle that it seemed. It was based on a number of dangerous illusions - most notably that it didn't matter that the UK and US year after year consumed more than they earned.

But we couldn't go on increasing our indebtedness forever. The financial crash of 2007/8 and the subsequent economic slump in much of the west was the moment when we realised we had borrowed more than we could afford to repay.

So who got it wrong? Banks, bankers, investors and regulators. And were those regulators stupid, or asleep? And what was the role of government? And what part did we, the consumers, play in all this?

How do we get through this difficult period of transition to a more sustainable economy, one based on investment and exports, rather than on borrowing and consumption? Robert Peston takes us step-by-step towards a common sense way to fix this mess.

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Praise for How Do We Fix This Mess? The Economic Price of Having it all, and the Route to Lasting Prosperity

  • Robert Peston's compelling account of global financial meltdown is a must-read... His discursive, conversational but entrancingly fact-studded trip around the disaster zone ought to be mandatory reading for anyone who wants to have a voice in where we go from here. - Observer

  • HOW DO WE FIX THIS MESS? is the book of the film and more... brought to life by war stories from the BBC, simple analogies and colourful language... he does know how to elucidate apparently impenetrable issues, and he guides us intelligently and entertainingly... readable and thought-provoking. - Financial Times

  • Robert Peston is not so much a journalist as a phenomenon... And now he has managed to fit in a book... that displays his gargantuan appetite for facts, numbers and economic and financial history... Peston's range is dazzling.... Peston is a BBC treasure - one of the journalists who justify the licence fee. If, every few years, he needs to breathe out and write a long book, we should encourage it. As they used to say in the pre-Twitter age, he knows his stuff. - New Statesman

  • 'compelling reading'. - The Observer - Chris Mullin

  • Reads like a wildly implausible financial thriller. - Independent

  • Lucid explanations... stark analysis of what the financial meltdown means for us... Peston's book is actually scarier than most descriptions I've read of the crisis. It goes way beyond Wall Street and City greed in its scope. - Evening Standard

  • He is good on the follies of the bankers... He is also good on the detail. Anybody who wants to know what a collateralised debt obligation or a credit default swap is will find it here. - Sunday Times

  • Essential reading... an excellent expose of the financial crisis. - Sunday Telegraph

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Robert Peston

Robert Peston is ITV's political editor, presenter of the politics show Peston on Sunday and founder of the education charity, Speakers for Schools ( He has written four books, How Do We Fix This Mess?, Who Runs Britain?, Brown's Britain and WTF?. For a decade until the end of 2015, he was at the BBC, as economics editor and business editor. Previously he was City editor at the Sunday Telegraph, political editor and financial editor at the FT, a columnist for the New Statesman, and at the Independent in various roles. Peston has won more than 30 awards for his journalism, including Journalist of the Year from the Royal Television Society. His blog is, on Facebook he is and he is @peston on Twitter.

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