How A Decade of Financial Crises Changed the WorldeBook - 2018
ONE OF THE ECONOMIST'S BOOKS OF THE YEAR
A NEW YORK TIMES CRITICS' TOP BOOK
"An intelligent explanation of the mechanisms that produced the crisis and the response to it...One of the great strengths of Tooze's book is to demonstrate the deeply intertwined nature of the European and American financial systems." --The New York Times Book Review
From a prizewinning economic historian, an eye-opening reinterpretation of the 2008 economic crisis (and its ten-year aftermath) as a global event that directly led to the shockwaves being felt around the world today.
In September 2008 President George Bush could still describe the financial crisis as an incident local to Wall Street. In fact it was a dramatic caesura of global significance that spiraled around the world, from the financial markets of the UK and Europe to the factories and dockyards of Asia, the Middle East, and Latin America, forcing a rearrangement of global governance. In the United States and Europe, it caused a fundamental reconsideration of capitalist democracy, eventually leading to the war in the Ukraine, the chaos of Greece, Brexit, and Trump.
It was the greatest crisis to have struck Western societies since the end of the Cold War, but was it inevitable? And is it over? Crashed is a dramatic new narrative resting on original themes: the haphazard nature of economic development and the erratic path of debt around the world; the unseen way individual countries and regions are linked together in deeply unequal relationships through financial interdependence, investment, politics, and force; the ways the financial crisis interacted with the spectacular rise of social media, the crisis of middle-class America, the rise of China, and global struggles over fossil fuels.
Finally, Tooze asks, given this history, what now are the prospects for a liberal, stable, and coherent world order?
From the critics
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the lessons of 1914 seem particularly pertinent. . .for thinking about the kind of historical problem that the financial crisis of 2008 represents.
Of course, we can peer only dimly into the future. So what might we learn by looking into the past?
Chapter 24 "Trump"
On July 21, 2016, a burly figure strode across a stage dressed seemingly to inspire memories of Captain America, Citizen Kane or a 1930s fascist rally.
The paradoxical effect of the European Central Bank's 'liberating' move to QE was that it allowed [European creditors' Greek] extend-and-pretend and its concomitant, relentless austerity, to continue.
"The system isn't broken, it's rigged." . . . It was precisely the conversion of commentators of [the liberal center] to a more radical view that marked how serious the sense of crisis had become.
.. .Dodd-Frank [contained] sensible and worthwhile measures . . . .but in general they had little to do with the implosion of the wholesale-funded shadow banking system that actually brought down the house in 2008.
The stress tests. . .placed a seal of official approval on profit-driven private business activity. . . .For the largest eighteen US banks, this implied an ANNUAL subsidy of at least $34 billion.
in the spring of 2009. . .the historical memory that was most alive in the Obama administration was NOT that of FDR or JFK, but that of the last "Democratic" administration, under Bill Clinton in the 1990s. . . .
In the face of the crisis, the "Democrats" would prove themselves not as 'bold' or 'imaginative,' but as sound MANAGERS of the economy whose task it was to put right another era of Republican misrule.
As the G20 leaders assembled that afternoon [April 1, 2009] in Buckingham Palace, it was a freak show of outsized personalities.
when the Chinese looked to the United States, what they saw was not capitalist democracy, but "socialism with American characteristics."
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