My new book has an odd intellectual provenance—it starts with me being wrong. Back in the fall of 2008, I was convinced that the open global economic order, centered on the unfettered cross-border exchange of goods, services, and ideas, was about to collapse as quickly as Lehman Brothers.
A half-decade later, the closer I looked at the performance of the system of global economic governance, the clearer it became that the meltdown I had expected had not come to pass. Though the advanced industrialized economies suffered prolonged economic slowdowns, at the global level there was no great surge in trade protectionism, no immediate clampdown on capital flows, and, most surprisingly, no real rejection of neoliberal economic principles. Given what has normally transpired after severe economic shocks, this outcome was damn near miraculous.
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