Sunday 20 October 2019

Bringing you up to scratch in just 280 pages

What You Need To Know About Economics

Thomas Molloy

By George Buckley and Sumeet Desai

'WHAT You Need To Know About Economics' is an excellent and up-to-date primer on the dismal science which could be read by an intelligent 16-year-old and should be read by cabinet ministers.

Written by Deutsche Bank chief economist George Buckley and economics commentator Sumeet Desai, it is part of a series by publisher Capstone, which also includes a book on business and another on marketing.

In a world full of primers on economics and dummies' guides to this and that, it might seem strange to single out 'What You Need To Know About Economics' but this is an excellent guide that manages to presuppose almost no knowledge and yet bring the reader up to scratch in just 280 pages.

Chapters deal with the big issues, inflation, trade, unemployment, public finances, housing and the like but are broken up with discussions on economic theory and economists such as Alan Greenspan or Keynes.

The reader is very quickly invited to consider rational expectations, money supply or the Phillips curve but it is done so expertly that you would hardly notice that some reasonably complex issues are under discussion.

The big drawback to 'What You Need To Know About Economics' is that it is aimed at a British readership. Indeed, Ireland is not mentioned anywhere in the book despite our problems.

This is no fault of the author but it highlights once again a gap in the market for a decent primer on economics for an Irish audience which would help untangle many of the peculiarities of the Irish scene for readers here.

'What You Need To Know About Economics' also has an excellent list of suggested reading at the end of each chapter which includes a mixture of books and sources available on the internet.

The book has a strong business focus and many of the practical examples look at how economic forces shape business and how businesses in turn affect the economy as a whole.

This practical approach means that it is likely to be of particular interest to businesses and to Leaving Cert students of business studies or economics. A good stocking filler perhaps? Recommended.

The book is available with free P&P from Independent Bookshop. Phone 01 405 9100 or visit

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