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Phishing for Phools: The Economics of Manipulation and Deception

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Phishing for Phools: The Economics of Manipulation and Deception

Ever since Adam Smith, the central teaching of economics has been that free markets provide us with subject material well-being, as if by an invisible hand. In Phishing for Phools, Nobel Prize-winning economists George Akerlof and Robert Shiller deliver a fundamental challenge to this insight, arguing that markets harm in addition to lend a hand us. So long as there may be profit to be made, sellers will systematically exploit our psychological weaknesses and our lack of knowledge through manipulation and deception. Moderately than being essentially benign and all the time creating the greater good, markets are inherently full of tricks and traps and will "phish" us as "phools."

Phishing for Phools subsequently strikes a radically new direction in economics, in accordance with the intuitive idea that markets both give and do away with. Akerlof and Shiller bring this concept to life through dozens of stories that show how phishing affects everyone, in almost each and every walk of life. We spend our money as much as the limit, after which worry about pay the following month's bills. The financial system soars, then crashes. We are attracted, more than we all know, by advertising. Our political system is distorted by money. We pay an excessive amount of for gym memberships, cars, houses, and bank cards. Drug companies ingeniously market pharmaceuticals that do us little good, and now and again are downright dangerous.

Phishing for Phools explores the central role of manipulation and deception in fascinating detail in each and every of these areas and plenty of more. It thereby explains a paradox: why, at a time after we are at an advantage than ever before in history, all too many people are leading lives of quiet desperation. On the same time, the book tells stories of people who have stood against economic trickery--and how it may be reduced through greater knowledge, reform, and regulation.

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