Rättsekonomiens poster boy Richard Posner, alltid på språng, har snabbt skrivit en bok om den ekonomiska krisen. Boken heter A Failure of Capitalism. Jag har inte läst den än och kommer inte att göra det heller. Posners ekonomiska skrifter är inte längre min kopp té.

Men för det fall någon annan intresserar sig för Posners analys av krisen på Wall Street så vill jag passa på att tipsa om den elaka recension boken ägnas i senaste numret av Modern Law Review (här om ni har tillgång till Wileys tidskrifter). Under rubriken The End of Posnerian Law and Economics sågar David Campbell Posners bok. Följande mening i inledningen är indikativ: ”It is a short (315 pages), hastily written, feebly researched book on an issue about which Posner has no particular knowledge and into which he has no particular insight.”

Men det är sammanfattningen som tar priset.

”The Thoughts of Chairman Mao is a trite, often even childish, book, but this does not mean its contents are without interest. In a similar way, though judged as a contribution to the analysis of the crash, A Failure of Capitalism is a more or less worthless, perhaps, indeed, unworthy book, it should be read for what it tells us about Posnerian law and economics, a subject of greater contemporary importance than Mao Zedong thought, which has long been emptied of what specific content it ever had and now plays an almost entirely symbolic role. A Failure of Capitalism’s significance is as a symptom of the end of the neo-liberal hegemony of the past forty years. The props of portfolio management and derivatives trading in economic theory are currently regarded with a suspicion proportionate to the reverence in which they formerly were held, and their contumely extends to much else: the agency theory of the corporation, and so the general plausibility of shareholder sovereignty, particularly over remuneration; the ‘Washington consensus’ over development, and so the general plausibility of laissez faire market order; and, overall, the American neo-liberal imperium in theory and practice. This surely is one of history’s shortest lived imperia, for it has lasted merely the twenty years between the fall of the Wall and the fall of Wall Street.”

Är Johan Norberg informerad?