FT Business Book of the Year

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Trade Wars Are Class  Wars by Matthew C. Klein, Michael Pettis

Trade Wars Are Class Wars

Matthew Klein and Michael Pettis argue that what has been happening to trade and finance can only be understood in the context of domestic pathologies in leading economies. The result has been severe global imbalances, unsustainable debt and monstrous financial crises. This story matters for everybody. — Read the complete FT review


Trade disputes are usually understood as conflicts between countries with competing national interests, but as Matthew C. Klein and Michael Pettis show, they are often the unexpected result of domestic political choices to serve the interests of the rich at the expense of workers and ordinary retirees. Klein and Pettis trace the origins of today’s trade wars to decisions made by politicians and business leaders in China, Europe, and the United States over the past thirty years.

Across the world, the rich have prospered while workers can no longer afford to buy what they produce, have lost their jobs, or have been forced into higher levels of debt. In this thought-provoking challenge to mainstream views, the authors provide a cohesive narrative that shows how the class wars of rising inequality are a threat to the global economy and international peaceâ – and what we can do about it.