Summary of The Butterfly Defect

How Globalization Creates Systemic Risk and What to Do About It

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The Butterfly Defect book summary
What risks threaten the overall, interconnected global economy?


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Former World Bank vice president Ian Goldin and assistant professor Mike Mariathasan argue that today’s globalized, interconnected, complex world faces new risks and new opportunities. Their title derives from Edward Lorenz’s illustration of how causality works in complex systems: A butterfly flapping its wings on one continent causes a hurricane on another. The threats people face in a globalized world are not primarily local or isolated, but systemic, as evidenced when the effects of crises ripple around the world in nonlinear, unpredictable patterns. The authors’ prose is clear, their examples are accessible and their complicated topic proves historically fresh. getAbstract recommends their thesis to entrepreneurs, investors, CEOs and anyone interested in complexity, change, globalization, systemic thinking, or surviving in an interconnected world.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How globalization makes the world more dangerous
  • How interconnectivity changes the nature of risk
  • What actions could make the world safer


Globalization and Its Adverse Effects
Today’s increasingly interconnected and complicated globalized world faces new threats. Now, action in one country affects many other nations. The challenges citizens face transcend their countries’ boundaries. Situations are increasingly fluid and...
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About the Authors

Ian Goldin, author of more than 50 articles and 19 books, including Globalization for Development, was vice president of the World Bank from 2003 to 2006. Mike Mariathasan is an assistant professor of finance at the University of Vienna.

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