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STM & Professional

Brookings Institution Press


Truths, Myths, and Lies About Public Debt

Carlo Cottarelli

Jun 2017 180pp

9780815730675 Hardback US$21.99

Famed international economist Carlo Cottarelli

explains public debt—the IOUs governments issue

to keep the machinery of government running.

Where does public debt originate? Why is it so

difficult to reduce? Why is it so important for a

nation’s economy? Can nations live with debt, and

how? Is it possible to eliminate public debt?

Drawing on his roles as director of fiscal affairs and

executive director for Italy at the International

Monetary Fund, and as commissioner of public

spending reform in Italy, Cottarelli brings a wealth of

direct experience, especially of the crises generated

by public debt, including in Italy and Greece, and

their solutions: from the orthodox (austerity) to

the more combative (“I won’t pay you”), to more

realistic, long term, growth-focused solutions.

Cottarelli provides an essential, bias-free guide to

public debt. He describes the different forms of debt

in countries across the globe and illustrates what

experts know and do not know about it, its perils

and its solutions. A must-read to understand one or

the main issues in today’s global economy

SPIE Press



From Certainty to Uncertainty

Edward R. Dougherty

Feb 2017 152pp

9781510607354 Paperback US$18.00

This book aims to provide scientists and engineers,

and those interested in scientific issues, with a

concise account of how the nature of scientific

knowledge evolved from antiquity to a seemingly

final form in the Twentieth Century that now

strongly limits the knowledge that people would

like to gain in the Twenty-first Century. Some

might think that such issues are only of interest

to specialists in epistemology (the theory of

knowledge); however, today’s major scientific

and engineering problems—in biology, medicine,

environmental science, etc.— involve enormous

complexity, and it is precisely this complexity that

runs up against the limits of what is scientifically

knowable. To understand the issue, one must

appreciate the radical break with antiquity that

occurred with the birth of modern science in the

Seventeenth Century, the problems of knowledge

and truth engendered by modern science, and

the evolution of scientific thinking through the

Twentieth Century.