Feature

Book of the week: How the West Was Lost by Dambisa Moyo

The Zambian-born economist takes the West to task for squandering its economic advantage and predicts a "savage" decline unless changes are made.

(Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $25)

Zambian-born economist Dambisa Moyo “made her money at Goldman Sachs and her name with Dead Aid,” a book about the unintended consequences of Western aid, said John Vidal in the London Guardian. Now she’s produced a “post-wreck treatise” about how the U.S. and other developed nations are squandering their economic advantage. The book is “more important than Dead Aid,” even if its “fawning admiration” for Chinese-style capitalism gets old. Moyo chides the West for pouring money into such “unproductive” sectors as housing, and warns that without drastic changes, we’re headed for a “savage” decline, said The Economist. “Much of this is both plausible and familiar.” Unfortunately, Moyo squanders her own credibility with some “jaw-dropping factual errors.” She tells us, for example, that Fiat’s acquisition of General Motors was “unimaginable” a few years ago. “Yes, and it still is,” given that Fiat bought a stake in Chrysler, not G.M.

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