Price Wars

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Digital (deliver electronic) / ISBN-13: 9781474614009

Price: £10.99

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War in Ukraine, a global hunger crisis, the West’s cost of living crisis – the eruptions of 2022 were all too predictable. In Price Wars, Rupert Russell lays out just how these crises are connected and how many such events plunged the 2010s into a decade of turmoil.

Entering the eye of the storm – from the trenches of Russian separatist-controlled Donbas to bomb disposal squads in Mosul to cattle raiders in Kenya – Russell discovers a butterfly effect of chaos in the real world being driven by chaos in the commodities markets. The price of food and oil has the power to bankroll foreign invasions, plunge continents into poverty and spark revolutions, civil wars and refugee crises. And these prices, whistle-blowing hedge fund managers and Nobel Prize winners told him, have become irrational. In this thrilling exposé of the dark financial forces that rule our world, Russell takes us on adventure into the inner workings of global disorder unlike any other.

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Reviews

Price Wars is a totally original and stimulating read, part war zone reportage, part economic history and buzzing with ideas about the way markets work that will change your understanding of the world we live in
LIAQUAT AHAMED, author of LORDS OF FINANCE
If you're desperately searching for a single reason why Brexit, Trump or the war in Ukraine have caused such chaos, then sociologist and documentarian Rupert Russell might have the answer. [He] is a really engaging guide
OBSERVER
Price Wars reveals that hedge fund managers and commodities traders based in the financial hubs of New York and London have manipulated the prices of essentials to maintain their profits . . . Russell argues that this practice has had a butterfly effect in contributing to human suffering and exacerbating social and political unrest in countries around the world
ATTITUDE MAGAZINE
Rupert Russell's new book shows how the financialization of commodity prices worsens volatility and destabilizes geopolitics. It couldn't be more timely
AMERICAN PROSPECT
Provocative . . . Price Wars arrives at quite an appropriate moment, culturally speaking, with many people emerging from the depths of the pandemic wondering whether what was long billed as a core strength of globalisation, its flexibility, had been revealed through supply-chain shocks and other disruptions to be a bit of a broken promise or even an excuse for market fragility
DAVID WALLACE-WELLS, NEW YORK TIMES
Rupert Russell's adventures into a host of modern apocalypses are retold in this thrilling page-turner. The result is an incredible synthesis that places global finance at the heart of chaos across the world
POLLY TOYNBEE
Wry, objective, scary, funny: let's hope it's not all true, but that seems unlikely
GRIFF RHYS JONES
An illuminating, sobering and endlessly fascinating look at the root causes and hidden connections between financial markets and some of the developing world's most wrenching crises. Fearlessly reported from conflict zones from separatist Ukrainian provinces to the Middle East, Russell compellingly draws a line between commodity manipulation on Wall Street and the chaos that fuels extremism and violence
JOBY WARRICK, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of BLACK FLAGS
Rupert Russell guilefully searches for chaos and finds the butterfly effect of volatile prices operating everywhere. His stories are vivid and analysis airtight. In his hands, prices become quantum: we can know its present value or trend, but not both. Is our civilisation slowly boiling, or can we simplify our hyper-complexity and tame the chaos we have unleashed through integrated financial markets? This fine book provides compelling answers
DR PARAG KHANNA, author of CONNECTOGRAPHY and MOVE
Price Wars is a thorough and compelling account of political instability generated by the hyper-financialization of commodities. It could not be more timely
Zach D. Carter, author of THE PRICE OF PEACE: MONEY, DEMOCRACY, AND THE LIFE OF JOHN MAYNARD KEYNES
A skilfully conducted tour of the role of price, once unmoored from reality, in adding chaos to an already chaotic world. A fresh look at some of the mostly deeply held dogmas of economics, exploding many along the way
KIRKUS
Combining investigative courage with forensic analysis, Price Wars is a geopolitical masterpiece bursting with bite, originality and compassion
DAVID LAMMY MP
Deeply reported and thoroughly accessible, this investigation into the far-reaching consequences of economic speculation deserves a wide readership
PUBLISHERS WEEKLY (starred review)
One of the most important books of our time
THE INTERCEPT