Doing Capitalism in the Innovation Economy: Markets, Speculation, and the State

William H. Janeway. Cambridge Univ., $32.99 (320p) ISBN 978-1-107-03125-8
Consumers measure the economy's strength by the things that affect them most, including job security, prices for staples like food and gas, and home values. As the Warburg Pincus Technology Investment team's director, Janeway aims this economic treatise at financial professionals, like himself, who shape consumers' economic life while assessing the economy very differently. Drawing on 40 years of experience in venture capital, Janeway breaks the "Innovation Economy" down into three abstract components: the state, defined by its coercive power over the market; the market economy, comprised of "institutions that enable the production and exchange of goods and services"; and financial capitalism, dubbed "discontinuous opportunism." The book's first half relates the many changes he has witnessed on Wall Street, from the advent of the computer, to the resurgence of IPOs, to the explosion in venture capital. The second half advises investors on accessing opportunity. Seeking to promote understanding of how bubbles work in the economy, Janeway offers detailed accounts of several incidents from history, emphasizing the role of the state. This dense tome will find its ideal audience among the market-savvy. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 02/18/2013
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