Summary of Misadventures of the Most Favored Nations

Clashing Egos, Inflated Ambitions, and the Great Shambles of the World Trade System

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Misadventures of the Most Favored Nations book summary
A provocative account of the underlying battles in world trade that shape nations’ economic fate.


8 Overall

8 Applicability

9 Innovation

8 Style


Veteran journalist Paul Blustein blames half the 2008 economic meltdown – the non-Wall Street half – on dysfunctional global trade policies, and then he explains why. World trade is an arcane topic, complete with mysterious acronyms, complex rules, and negotiators with huge egos and serpentine negotiating positions pushed by antagonistic nations. In an increasingly global economy, trade negotiations are never simple. Even so, Blustein manages to tell this provocative, complex, depressing story as engagingly as possible. At times the book bogs down in negotiating points that only trade technocrats will appreciate, but Blustein fleshes out the story by capturing the quirky, sometimes volatile, personalities involved. Accordingly, getAbstract recommends his book to those who can’t get enough about world trade. If you want all the ins and outs, you’ll be very happy here.

In this summary, you will learn

  • Why the World Trade Organization exists;
  • How competing agendas create disagreement, bickering and, sometimes, good trade policies; and
  • Why the many trade summits conducted since 2001 have taken only incremental steps toward free trade.


“Most Favored Nations”
The World Trade Organization (WTO), composed of 153 member nations, sets international trade rules with the goal of promoting global economic stability. Unlike the 10,000-employee World Bank or the International Monetary Fund (IMF), with its 2,600-member workforce...
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About the Author

Paul Blustein is an award-winning business journalist who has written for The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal.

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