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Book to mark fifth anniversary of US invasion

MEDIA RELEASE: Tuesday 18 March

New book to mark fifth anniversary of US invasion into Iraq

Wednesday 19 March 2008 will mark the fifth anniversary of the US invasion into Iraq.

Nobel prize winner Joseph Stiglitz (with Linda J. Bilmes) has just released The Three Trillion Dollar War: The True Cost of Iraq. The Three Trillion Dollar War is a devastating reckoning of the true cost of the Iraq war. Quite apart from its tragic human toll, which the Bush administration has estimated at $50 billion, a sum that Joseph Stiglitz and Linda J. Bilmes now show underestimates the real figure by approximately sixty times.

The authors expose the gigantic expenses which have so far not been officially accounted for, including not only big ticket items like replacing military equipment (being used up at six times the peacetime rate) but also the cost of caring for thousands of wounded veterans – for the rest of their lives.

The authors investigate the cost in lives and damage within Iraq and the Middle East generally, often written off as impossible to calculate; and they specifically tally the cost to the UK, the main US ally. They then calculate what the money spent on the war would have produced had it been further invested in the growth of the economy and in infrastructure building in the US and around the world.

This book will change forever the way we think about the Iraq war – and about the cost of war generally.

Joseph Stiglitz is currently in Auckland and available for interview.

Biographical notes:

Joseph E. Stiglitz was born in Gary, Indiana in 1943. A graduate of Amherst College, he received his PhD from MIT in 1967, became a full professor at Yale in 1970, and in 1979 was awarded the John Bates Clark Award, given biennially by the American Economic Association to the economist under 40 who has made the most significant contribution to the field. He has taught at Princeton, Stanford, MIT and was the Drummond Professor and a fellow of All Souls College, Oxford. He is now University Professor at Columbia University in New York and Chair of Columbia University's Committee on Global Thought. He is also the co-founder and Executive Director of the Initiative for Policy Dialogue at Columbia. In 2001, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in economics for his analyses of markets with asymmetric information.

Stigltiz’s book Globalization and Its Discontents (2001) has been translated into 35 languages and has sold more than one million copies worldwide. Other recent books include The Roaring Nineties (2004), Towards a New Paradigm in Monetary Economics (2003) with Bruce Greenwald, Fair Trade for All (2005), with Andrew Charlton, and Making Globalization Work (2006).

NOTE: Joseph Stiglitz was brought to the Wellington & Auckland by the New Zealand International Arts Festival as part of New Zealand Post Writers and Readers Week.


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