- Paperback: 240 pages
- Publisher: PublicAffairs; Revised, Updated ed. edition (10 February 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1586486918
- ISBN-13: 978-1586486914
- Product Dimensions: 14.2 x 1.4 x 21.1 cm
- Average Customer Review: 1 customer review
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,63,592 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Two Trillion Dollar Meltdown Paperback – 10 Feb 2009
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"[The Trillion Dollar Meltdown] is an absolutely excellent narrative of the horror that we have in the credit markets right now.... It's a wonderful explanation of how it happened and why it's so rotten, and why it will take a long time to unwind."—Paul Steiger, former Mng Editor,
About the Author
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Recently, I completed reading Alan Greenspan's book "Age of Turbulence". It is interesting to see how this book from Greenspan's book, since Greenspan is a strong cheerleader for Unregulated Free Markets. This book takes a more balanced look, acknowledging that Free Market principles contributed to the economic booms of 1980s and 1990s while asserting now the pendulum has swung too far and it is time to have more regulation for financial markets.
Most of the book is interesting to read, except at some points where author goes into nitty-gritty details of things like Mortgage Backed Securities and Collateralized Debt Obligations. But, they are important for understanding the current Credit Crisis. One thing that makes this book more authentic and balanced may be, Author doesn't seem to come from any particular ideology like conservative or liberal.
One important take away after reading this book is, the current Credit crisis is much broader and deeper in its impact than any of the previous crises like 1987 Stock market crash or 1994 Savings and Loan crisis or 1998 Long term Capitol crisis. It is kind of scarier to see the depth of the current problem.
The Two Trillion Dollar Meltdown: Easy Money, High Rollers, and the Great Credit Crash. If you haven't purchased this book then it may be worthwhile to wait for another 5 days for the new book with its new post-crisis insights.
Morris is no anti-market zealot, and indeed he confirms that the free market policies of the Reagan Era are primarily responsible for the prosperity after the collapse of Keynesian liberalism in the 1970's. However, in his discussion how the massive credit crisis came upon us (or, in writing in 2007, *will* come upon us) Morris explains how financiers have manged to use the absence of regulation to devise ever more ingenious, and ever more shaky, credit instruments to increase their leverage and control more and more money.
Morris does an excellent job of explaining the origin and function of financial instruments that I had never heard of before, things like "credit default swaps" and "collateralized debt obligations." And more than describing how these instruments work, Morris explains their origins in what reads like a history of the financial industry for the past 20 years. Extremely informative and interesting.
The best recommendation for this book lies in its prescience. Morris finished writing this book in November 2007, after Bear-Sterns but before the meltdown. He predicts that sometime in 2008 there will be a massive credit bubble burst, the credit markets will seize up and the economy will grind to a halt - with trillions of dollars of wealth evaporating. Seems pretty spot on.