Why Save the Bankers

Full Name
Why Save the Bankers?: And Other Essays on Our Economic and Political Crisis

In crystalline prose, Why Save the Bankers examines a wide range of topics and decodes the European Union’s economic troubles, weighs in on oligarchy in the United States, and wonders whether debts actually need to be paid back. It also uncovers surprising lessons about inequality by examining the career of Steve Jobs. Coursing with insight and flashes of wit, these brief essays offer a view of recent history through the eyes of one of the most influential economic thinkers of our time.

"Coming on the heels of his masterwork, Capital in the Twenty-First Century, one might expect this to be the lesser contribution. In fact, Piketty unleashed on real-time economics is a revelation: he is lucid and persuasive — all the more so for being proved right about most of the events he is responding to, even though the full facts only came out later ... Piketty draws on a vast and unusual store of honesty and emotional intelligence."

Paul Mason, Guardian

"How one economist tried to make sense of a rapidly changing world ... These columns are informed by Piketty's academic work, but the language he uses is both more accessible and more direct ... Universally applicable ... Delicious."

— New Statesman

"The perfect accouterment for a Bernie Sanders rally."

Bloomberg Businessweek

"Piketty fans will be fascinated ... He explains economic concepts to the lay reader with the kind of clarity that comes from a deep understanding of the topic."


"Piketty is back ... As with Capital, Piketty remains quietly optimistic."

Evening Standard

"Piketty is known for his lucid, effective writing, and delivers more of it in Why Save the Bankers? ... Anyone with an interest in politics, monetary policy or international diplomacy will get a kick out of [it]... A series of short, sometimes very funny, calls to common sense."

Shelf Awareness

"Part of Piketty's charm lies in the fact that he doesn't mince words ... But his blunt statements are tempered with smart, analytical arguments ... Lessons and warnings [that] the entire world needs to hear."

—  Popmatters

"Easy to follow for readers without much knowledge of economics, especially when [Piketty] picks apart topics that defy classical economic logic; in this he resembles Paul Krugman, who similarly writes clearly on complex topics ... Helps make sense of recent financial history."

—  Kirkus Reviews

"Piketty, the French Paul Krugman, has an extraordinary knack for translating the complexities of central bank finance, tax policy, regulation, and macroeconomics into lucid, down-to-earth language enriched by shrewd historical and cultural insights. This is a compelling challenge to economic orthodoxy."

Publishers Weekly

"Remember when everyone was obliged to pretend to have read Piketty's 700-page tome Capital in the Twenty-First Century? Now [comes] a Piketty for the proletariat, compiling eight years of the economist’s columns written for the French magazine Libération. The book begins in September 2008 just after the collapse of Lehman Brothers and takes readers through the aftermath of the crisis that followed, offering Pikettian analysis of the Obama presidency and the European Union’s debt woes."

The Millions, 2016 Most Anticipated Nonfiction

"The questions explored in these brilliant essays cut to the heart of our failing economic and democratic systems. If you have been influenced by Piketty's landmark work on inequality, make sure to read this next."

Naomi Klein, author of The Shock Doctrine and This Changes Everything