Phishing for Phools The Economics of Manipulation and Deception Publication date : March 16, 2016
Deceit, cheating, manipulation ¬— they exist not only on the margins of the free market economy, they are intrinsic to it. Why? Quite simply because the rational and selfish individual imagined by Adam Smith, and popularized by economics textbooks, is led by his desires and his emotions. So the famous balance between supply and demand, far from being an ideal, often turns into a fool's bargain.
In an often savage irony, the book dissects the mechanisms that predispose us towards dysfunctional decisions, be it through psychological bias (need for reciprocity, conformity, etc) or imbalanced information — especially in the financial field. It shows how these flaws are inevitably exploited, calling upon corresponding tactics in innovation, sales, marketing.
But the authors are not content merely to catalogue this information, as accurate and comprehensive as it may be. By lifting the veil on the extent and the consequences for the community of the damage produced by economics, they call for more effective regulatory policies and a major revision of the way we look at the markets.
For two Nobel Prize in Economics! Multiple examples of fools’ markets drawn from everyday life: from gym clubs to fake bonds credits, via dangerous drugs and junk food. Published in September in the US, this book is poised to become a bestseller. "A most thought-provoking message" (The Economist); "A valuable guide for consumers who refuse to be ripped off" (Fortune Audience)