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Lawless Capitalism

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Professor Steven Ramirez

As teased earlier this week, the NYU Press has just announced the release of blog contributor Professor Steven Ramirez’s new book “Lawless Capitalism.”  This book offers an insightful and surgical examination of the subprime crisis of 2008, and more than simply identifying causes, offers a new economic rule of law suggesting a fairer and more economically just way forward.

From the Back Cover:  “Professor Steven Ramirez’s Lawless Capitalism
is a tour de force. The pages are virtually crackling with urgency and
deeply considered alternatives to the wayward capitalism currently
practiced in the United States. Ramirez, in his critical contribution to
the ongoing debate in connection with free markets and governmental
regulation, envisions a new and different kind of capitalism. Ramirez’s
capitalism  respects individual potential and human capital, considers
equality and fairness, and promotes the abilities of all people, rather
than focusing on deeper entrenchment of the elite. Lawless Capitalism
meticulously weaves the best thinking of dozens of economists, law
professors, sociologists and philosophers into a new conceptualization
of an economic rule of law, one that Ramirez fully develops, that offers
a better economic way for our nation and the world. Lawless Capitalism is an important book, representing a powerful new voice that literally demands to be heard.”
-andré douglas pond cummings, Indiana Tech Law School

“Capitalism
and the profit motive can stimulate human productivity and innovation.
 But they can also lead to corruption, shady politics, and self-dealing.
This brilliant book shows how intelligently designed laws and lawsuits
can facilitate the former and discourage the latter. . . . Steven
Ramirez is the new Andrew Hacker.  He wields statistics, numbers, and
concepts like a scalpel.”
-Richard Delgado, co-author of Critical Race Theory

“Ramirez
catalogues the many ills and failures in the American economic system,
casting a broad net that implicates governing institutions, political
and corporate elites, and their policy agendas. He provides a valuable
contribution to discussions on reforming capitalism and restoring the
foundations of middle class prosperity through a renewed commitment to
transparency, economic democracy, and the rule of law.”
-Timothy A.
Canova, Nova Southeastern University

From the NYU Press abstract: “The subprime mortgage crisis has been
blamed on many: the Bush Administration, Bernie Madoff, the financial
industry, overzealous housing developers.  Yet little scrutiny has been
placed on the American legal system as a whole, even though parts of
that system, such as the laws that regulate high-risk lending, have been
dissected to bits and pieces.  In this innovative and exhaustive study,
Steven A. Ramirez posits that the subprime mortgage crisis, as well as
the global macroeconomic catastrophe it spawned, is traceable to a gross
failure of law.

The rule of law must appropriately channel and constrain the
exercise of economic and political power.  Used effectively, it ensures
that economic opportunity isn’t limited to a small group of elites that
enjoy growth at the expense of many, particularly those in vulnerable
economic situations.  In Lawless Capitalism, Ramirez calls for the rule
of law to displace crony capitalism.  Only through the rule of law, he
argues, can capitalism be reconstructed.”

Available here:  Lawless Capitalism: The Subprime Crisis and the Case for an Economic Rule of Law



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