A compilation of Charles Bukowski's underground articles from his column "Notes of a Dirty Old Man" appears here in book form. Bukowski's reasoning for self-describing himself as a 'dirty old man' rings true in this book.
"People come to my door--too many of them really--and knock to tell me Notes of a Dirty Old Man turns them on. A bum off the road brings in a gypsy and his wife and we talk . . . . drink half the night. A long distance operator from Newburgh, N.Y. sends me money. She wants me to give up drinking beer and to eat well. I hear from a madman who calls himself 'King Arthur' and lives on Vine Street in Hollywood and wants to help me write my column. A doctor comes to my door: 'I read your column and think I can help you. I used to be a psychiatrist.' I send him away . . ."
"Bukowski writes like a latter-day Celine, a wise fool talking straight from the gut about the futility and beauty of life . . ." --Publishers Weekly
"These disjointed stories gives us a glimpse into the brilliant and highly disturbed mind of a man who will drink anything, hump anything and say anything without the slightest tinge of embarassment, shame or remorse. It's actually pretty hard not to like the guy after reading a few of these semi-ranting short stories." --Greg Davidson, curiculummag.com
Charles Bukowski was born in Andernach, Germany on August 16, 1920, the only child of an American soldier and a German mother. Bukowski published his first story when he was twenty-four and began writing poetry at the age of thirty-five. His first book of poetry was published in 1959; he went on to publish more than forty-five books of poetry and prose, including Pulp (Black Sparrow, 1994), Screams from the Balcony: Selected Letters 1960-1970 (1993), and The Last Night of the Earth Poems (1992). Other Bukowski books published by City Lights Publishers include More Notes of a Dirty Old Man, The Most Beautiful Woman in Town, Tales of Ordinary Madness, Portions from a Wine-Stained Notebook, and Absence of the Hero. He died of leukemia in San Pedro on March 9, 1994.
A Street economist's strategy for managing market madness
"A punchy and relevant book on our present distress that has, at its core, one very big and useful idea."
"Heeding the lessons of the last few years, as documented in this book, may help both financiers and government policy makers find ways to reduce some future costs of capitalism without sacrificing all the potential rewards."
The New York Times
"[Barbera] challenges the blind faith in free markets."
"Barbera ... [is] one of the few commentators actually saying something interesting and innovative about the crisis."
"The Cost of Capitalism is a must-read and a thoroughly enjoyable one--for those who want to understand the Crisis of 2008 and hammer out a new framework for decision making."
Jared L. Cohon, President, Carnegie Mellon University
"Readers who absorb the lessons of this book will be armed with more than mere technique; they will acquire an attitude that will make them better investors for the rest of their lives."
Paul DeRosa, Principal, Mt. Lucas Management Corp.
"The Cost of Capitalism translates the economic diagnoses and theories of my father, Hyman Minsky. It captures the vivacity of a post dinner conversation not coincidentally my father's favorite forum for elaborating, educating, and entertaining."
Diana Minsky, Art Historian, Bard College
"Lucid, intriguing, brilliant! Barbera combines the uncertainty and speculation of Keynes with Schumpeter's "Creative Destruction" and Hy Minsky's "Deflationary Destruction" into a tasty stew."
James R. Schlesinger, former Director, Central Intelligence Agency
"Long ago, Bob taught me that if you don't know Minsky, you don't know nothing. This work shows the path out of nothingness."
Paul A. McCulley, Chief Investment Officer, Pacific Investment Management Company
"Barbera's recommendations are profound in their simplicity. Let us hope Wall Street, Main Street, Washington, and academia embrace them."
Jack Rivkin, former Chief Investment Officer, Neuberger Berman
"This is truly an extraordinary book that should be of great interest to an extremely wide audience from Wall Street practitioners to economics and finance scholars."
Louis Maccini, Professor of Economics, Johns Hopkins University
From the panic of 1987 to the tech-bubble burst of 2000, the past two decades have witnessed a series of financial crises, each more disruptive than the last. Unfortunately, they all seem like dress rehearsal for today's debacle.
In hindsight, the precipitating factors responsible for each crisis seem clear, yet, in every case, mainstream economists and policy makers were caught off guard.
Why didn't they see it coming? What should they have known but didn't? And, most critically, how must they adjust their thinking going forward?
In the Cost of Capitalism, Robert Barbera provides compelling answers to all these questions. In the process, he offers the most cogent analysis yet of today's crisis and explains how to manage the ever present potential for mayhem intrinsic to free market economies without stunting innovation and growth.
At the core of Barbera's thinking are three assumptions: first, boom and bust cycles have been stoked since 1985 by finance, not inflation; second, Main Street stability paradoxically invites excessive risk taking on Wall Street; and last, these things set the stage for small setbacks to deliver cataclysmic consequences.
Barbera applauds current efforts to unabashedly infuse public money into the global economy. It's the only way, he says, to prevent another Great Depression. And, looking beyond the crisis of the moment, Barbera contends that mainstream thinkers need to form a new economic par