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The Return of Depression Economics and the Crisis of 2008

3.8 of 5 stars 3.80  ·  rating details  ·  5,779 ratings  ·  301 reviews

The New York Times bestseller: the Nobel Prize–winning economist shows how today’s crisis parallels the Great Depression—and explains how to avoid catastrophe. With a new foreword for this paperback edition.

In this major bestseller, Paul Krugman warns that, like diseases that have become resistant to antibiotics, the economic maladies that caused the Great Depression have
Kindle Edition, 205 pages
Published (first published December 1st 2008)
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Kristian Hermansen
I just finished reading "The Return of Depression Economics and the Crisis of 2008" by Paul Krugman, recipient of the 2008 Noble Prize in Economics. Great read. This book, given as a gift to me by my step-mother for xmas, turned out to be a real gem. Putting it all into perspective, I believe I have a better understanding of how complex economies of scale seemingly always return into major depressions for some time, even despite vast regulations meant to compensate for sharp short-term fluctuati ...more
This is an excellent review of the reasons why the American economy has turned into the debacle that is before us. Must read explanation at the end of Chapter 8 which dispels all the partisan B.S. and fingerpointing about the alleged causes behind the meltdown and focuses blame where it should properly reside.

Very interesting as well is the way that he deals with "moral hazard" not making judgments but allowing the reader to determine if this is a factor in causing fiscal chaos or not. How much
Arn Kawano
Reading this book reminded me of The Confessions of St. Augustine in which St. Augustine expounded on all the reasons that he should be an atheist yet he could never break from his faith in God and saw his questioning as a symptom of not having enough faith. In this book, Paul Krugman describes numerous recent financial crises that naturally arise from global capitalism yet he cannot break from his faith in capitalism (perhaps because professed socialists don't get Nobel Prizes in Economics nor ...more
Will Byrnes
This is a reworking of a book Krugman released in 1999, now new and improved. It is a popular-audience piece on the current economic debacle, focusing on the mechanics of banking. Krugman gets what is going on in the world of economics better than just about anyone. The Nobel committee would agree. He links the current downfall to several that have come before across the world and shows how we have arrived at a sort of financial perfect storm condition. It is readable and very incisive.
Hieu Cao
In how many ways can economic crises happen? Paul Krugman answers: “a lot!” In his book "The Return of Depression Economics," Krugman thrills us with the fact of how little we know about crises, how vulnerable our financial system is, and how dangerous globalization could be. In fact, he gives us three reasons to be obsessed about our economy: the breakdown of Japan, the vicious circle of financial crisis, and the haunting ghosts of non-bank banks.

From 1953 to 1973, Japan stunned the world wi
This isn’t nearly as good a book as it could have been – the book it could have been is Freefall: America, Free Markets, and the Sinking of the World Economy, which, if you were looking for a book to read on the GFC that is quick, easy and jaw-dropping, that is the one I would recommend.

This book was really looking at the Asian Financial Crisis, but has been updated to include information on the GFC of 2008.

The most interesting parts of the book relate to the need to re-regulate the financial s
First, I'm not a huge Krugman fan to begin with, so keep that in mind. I tried to be as objective as possible when reading his book, however.

Most of the book is just background of various financial crises of the past 100 years. Of course in hindsight, Krugman in all his wisdom can see how if the different parties in the crises had just done what he thinks they should have, everything would have turned out fine. I'm not an economist, so I can't really argue intelligently about his conclusions. M
Krishna Kumar
Krugman analyzes the many financial crises the world had in the 20th century and this decade. He derides the economists who say that the Depression is a thing of the past. The first edition of the book did not have anything to point out, but Krugman was proved right with the collapse of the financial markets in 2008.

Krugman uses the example of a baby-sitting co-op to illustrate how money supply and inflation play their part in financial booms and busts. He also provides solutions on how the simp
Good book. A little light on specifics, but only because the scope was so big. Krugman is thinking about some of the collapses in several non-us economies during the 1980'0 and 1990's. He makes a case that serious turn downs are not a thing of the past and wonders why these down turns are handled without regard to what is known about economies suffering from lack of consumption. He makes it quite clear that the global financial economy (he is writing in 2000) is a difficult and complicated affai ...more
Daniel Solera
Though I have a reasonable grasp of the current global financial crisis, I wanted to know a little more about its inner workings. After reading several articles by Paul Krugman, I decided to pick up his book, especially since it now has updates from the 2008 financial crisis.

Krugman strikes a fine balance between simplifying global investment banking and unloading the economist jargon. In order to explain the basic characteristics of a recession (and several other market fluctuations) he uses t
CLIFF-NOTES VERSION: Interesting and very readable, but left some questions unanswered.


This book was very readable. Paul Krugman does a great job providing simple, succinct, easy-to-understand explanations of economic ideas and also to-the-point, in-a-nutshell historical information. I haven't yet found anything of his a slog to read, which I do appreciate.

His main thesis seems to be that economists don't know as much as they thought they did, and the profession needs to ditch the fa
This is a tough book to "review" because it is downright painful to read yet necessary if you are trying to understand how liberals think. I don't mean it's painful because of the subject, but because it makes you want to bang your head against the wall.

Krugman, the mouthpiece for liberal inflationary economics, is often touted for his "Nobel Prize" which is actually specific to international trade. What stands out when you read his books is that his "solutions" always include examples that didn
My hope is that a) this book is on the nightstand, desk, bathroom book caddy, and coffee table of every economic policy wonk this side of the Potomac (and the other side, too!) & that b) these wonks read it. Krugman, who wrote this book in 1999 and updated it during the 4th quarter of 2008, clearly and succinctly presents the multiple case studies, warning signs and missteps that led to our current economic crisis. From Mexico and Argentina fiscal failures in the 1980s and early 90s to the J ...more
Jun 22, 2013 Brian rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone interested in their money
Paul Krugman, if you haven't been paying attention to economics for a while, writes a column for the New York Times. He has a reputation as a modern-day Cassandra, who repeatedly describes the state of modern economics and lays out policy goals for how to fix them, only to not be listened to by anyone in power. His columns have definitely become more annoyed over the past five years because of that, and he even has his own image macro:

...which is honestly pretty appropriate, considering the utte
Jesse Bacon
Paul Krugman, who was our old bugaboo back in my World Bank-protesting days, has morphed into one of the best liberal critics of Obama and his tepid response to the Meltdown. So it was a little weird to read his pre-meltdown book which he has gussied up with recent developments. But there is definitely Old Paul there, writing about the rising standard of living caused by globalization and the death of Socialism. He even gives the obligatory shout out to Pinochet, not mentioning the economic warf ...more
This book is a quick, thrown together update of the previous edition under basically the same title, which says basically the same shit but might, if the publishers are lucky, sell a few more copies due to the current crisis. I like Krugman and I read his column all the time, which made this book all the more disappointing. There's no super-close analysis here, nothing that might help a reader actually understand what's going on, mostly because Krugman continues to lump together and dismiss as o ...more
Jeanette  "Astute Crabbist"
Thanks, Julie. Not terribly comforting :( but nonetheless important information.
It really makes your brain spin to think about the complexities of our truly global financial system. Currency speculators, bank lenders, governments of nations large and small, flip-flopping exchange rates and seemingly arbitrary interest rates. WHEW!! This book is a good argument for living simply and not investing money you can't afford to lose.

It's unsettling to think of the relative "handful" of people who have
This book is brilliantly accessible. He first chastises economists for not expaining things clearly. Then, he uses the simple example of a babysitting coop to explain the business cycle. Without using the term Demurage, he cites the Keynesian and Gesellian idea of forced spending into the economy which increases circulation and ends the deflation cycle. But he expains it without using any of these terms. Brilliant. Too bad phd students are not allowed to do this in a thesis (Yes I saw one such ...more
This book seemed a little slapped together to capture the fame of Paul Krugman's 2008 Nobel Prize. Nonetheless, I think it offered a lot of insight.

I was struck by the following passage, in which Krugman wrote about the decline of mainstream socialist thought. Though "socialism" remains the right's favorite bugbear, Krugman captures the reality in American life pretty succinctly, for better or for worse.

"But who can now use the words of socialism with a straight face? As a member of the baby boo
Return of Depression Economics
Fighting a depression governments will: lower interest rates, lower taxes, increase government spending (Spend).
You can only have two of three following: Low interest rates, stable currency, freedom from interfering with private business.
Liquidity Trap=no one spending any money. Monetary policy could lower interests rates. But what to do when this doesn’t work? Expected inflation could also be used to encourage spending.
Supply side: Prices will fall enough to a poin
Beth Haynes
Informative background on the Asian economic crisis. Typical of Krugman's flawed analysis of the events---which would have been interesting if he had not been so superficial in his explanations. I want to understand the Keynesian arguments, but instead of providing a reasoned defense, Krugman just makes proclamations based on his Keynesian assumptions. So although it was interesting, it was not helpful in obtaining a better understanding of Keynesian economic arguments.
Informative for the most part. I was somewhat put off by his repeated reference to the babysitting coop as a way to discuss debt, but I suppose it works. I kept waiting for him to excoriate Greenspan, but he never did - this seems short-sighted in light of how wrong Greenspan was for so long, and how right Krugman always claims himself to be. He never really, to my satisfaction, explained why the bundling of credit packages for the housing market had the impact that they did. Of course, this is ...more
I had taken 10 minutes out of my day and crafted a beautiful review(well it was adequate at least) and what does Goodreads do? Lose it in the process of uploading it.
So now I have to start all over again.

Basically the gist of what I said was Krugman presents a decent argument here that regulation oversight and the lack of regulating risky off-balance sheet activities got us in the mess in the first place.
And that it has happened before in the form of bank runs and bank failures.

He is also pretty
Great, but not perfect. Can easily be read by non-economists, and it's a great read, but it's obvious (and Krugman does not deny it anyway) that it's written with hindsight which is, more often than not, 20/20. Some of his finer points are not too clear either, but in principle it's a great discussion on past and current crises.
يوسف زهدى
A very nice read by a Nobel winner and skilled writer economist!
The author takes readers through a hypothesis based analysis to reach a conclusion about return of depression economics, he analyze various economic crises around the world over the last half century, each crises with specific reasons and various outcomes - leading to the world's economic situation post 2008 financial crises, then delivering future outlook, its challenges as well as suggested methods to overcome predicted crises.
Krugman delivers an easy to read, somewhat logical, explanation of the 2008 crisis. His explanation of the way the events happened in each chapter were pretty much spot on. He seemed to have an objective view about most of the problems.

The solutions he presents, however, are anything but objective.

If he was able to look past his limited scope of his theories, he might see that the solutions he presents are merely band aids for a broken system. He even references this broken system argument near
Mar 29, 2014 Jayash rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Students interested in the economics of international finance
In this fascinating read, Paul Krugman uses powerful exposition and his command of history as a device to explain the causes and possible repercussions of recessions. He resorts to an intuitive approach in the treatment of the subject matter, and substantiates his opinions through ample historical evidence. He brings forth his ideas citing economic crises across Latin America, Asia and Russia and draws a parallel with the recent 2008 financial debacle. Among ten chapters, I thoroughly enjoyed tw ...more
Jim Fetzer
A really good primer on financial crisis and timely read these days. I just reread it.
Tom Schulte
Its depressing reading about depression ... economics. It all seems so avoidable and a bunch of pointless suffering from the worse elements of unstable human nature actualized by the global web of fractional banking... Not that better monetary schemes have been shown to be workable and Krugman does try to liven things up with wit. This is another book that erodes the Greenspan edifice; Alan presided over decades of healthy economic growth he did nothing to engender to then guide short-sighted po ...more
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Paul Robin Krugman is an American economist, liberal columnist and author. He is Professor of Economics and International Affairs at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University, Centenary Professor at the London School of Economics, and an op-ed columnist for The New York Times. In 2008, Krugman won the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics for his contributions ...more
More about Paul Krugman...
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