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If you want a book on economics to take to the beach, you are spoiled for choice at the airport bookstall. What you will find falls into three categories: Thump books, microeconomics books with little economics and the macroeconomic story-teller.
If you want to understand how the City came to play such a central role in British economic and political life, why a crash was inevitable, and why the crisis is being resolved on terms which give so much and ask so little of the financial sector, this is the most important thing you need to understand: the influence of investment banks on modern politics and policy.
In practice, the only successful method of reducing public spending as a share of GDP has been to impose tight curbs while the economy is growing rapidly. We shall be lucky if such an opportunity appears.
Having seen off the taxman, you must see off the sharks of the financial services industry.