Andrew Gamble's The Spectre At The Feast

1170 Words5 Pages
As a result of a long period of prosperity in the United States, the crisis in the financial market has created an old spectre, the spectre of capitalist crisis. The Spectre at the Feast, published in 2009 by Andrew Gamble is a writing on the 2008 financial crisis and its consequences. Gamble is a British academic author and professor of politics at the University of Cambridge who regards himself as a political economist, and has a historical, institutionalist and comparative approach in his writings. In Spectre at the Feast, the author demonstrates that crisis are essential to capitalism, and that for the past 100 years before August 2008, the world only experienced two crisis: the Great Depression of the 1930s and the 1970s “stagflation”…show more content…
The author mentions the Great Depression as “a capitalist crisis of a new type” as most of the rest of the world struggled with the US economy in its deflation: “The crash, when it finally came in 1929, was spectacular, the greatest collapse of share prices ever recorded” , and according to the class lecture, the unemployment rate was up to 60% with 13 to 15 million Americans were unemployed by 1933. When Roosevelt took office in 1933, he tried to stabilize the economy and started new projects and programs calling it the New Deal, a program that changed the U.S government’s relationship with the population. President Roosevelt promised Americans to face the crisis and gave people confidence during the situation. However, despite his effort, the Great Depression continued and the people were more miserable, therefore the president introduced a second New Deal that created more jobs. Furthermore, in August 1935, the Social Security Act was signed and guaranteed pensions to millions of Americans. The author states that the 1929 crash “precipitated a major recession, but instead of this recession lasting the normal two years, it became a slump and a severe deflation. Prices in the United States dropped by a third and unemployment rose to 25 per cent of the work force” and argues further that America only recovered from the Great Depression during the second War: “In Germany, output plunged and unemployment rose to six million. The American economy sunk into a depression from which it did not fully recover until the Second World War.” In chapter 4, the author mentions President Hoover who actually took office in 1929, the year of the great crash and describe how he handled the situation: “Doing nothing was the policy preference of

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