Eric_W's Reviews > Age of Greed: The Triumph of Finance and the Decline of America, 1970 to the Present

Age of Greed by Jeff Madrick
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Jul 01, 2011

bookshelves: to-read, economics

From a review in the NYRB July 14, 2011:

"Suppose we describe the following situation: major US financial institutions have badly overreached. They created and sold new financial instruments without understanding the risk. They poured money into dubious loans in pursuit of short-term profits, dismissing clear warnings that the borrowers might not be able to repay those loans. When things went bad, they turned to the government for help, relying on emergency aid and federal guarantees—thereby putting large amounts of taxpayer money at risk—in order to get by. And then, once the crisis was past, they went right back to denouncing big government, and resumed the very practices that created the crisis.Suppose we describe the following situation: major US financial institutions have badly overreached. They created and sold new financial instruments without understanding the risk. They poured money into dubious loans in pursuit of short-term profits, dismissing clear warnings that the borrowers might not be able to repay those loans. When things went bad, they turned to the government for help, relying on emergency aid and federal guarantees—thereby putting large amounts of taxpayer money at risk—in order to get by. And then, once the crisis was past, they went right back to denouncing big government, and resumed the very practices that created the crisis."

Krugman and Wells point out that this description of the 2008 collapse mirrors at least 4 other similar events of increasing severity since the vast repeal of banking regulations and the anti-government movement begun by Friedman and Reagan but continued by Carter and Clinton.

Sounds like a must read.
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message 2: by Brad (new)

Brad Does that opening quote repeat on purpose, Eric?


message 1: by Eric_W (last edited Jul 05, 2011 04:12AM) (new) - added it

Eric_W Brad wrote: "Does that opening quote repeat on purpose, Eric?"

Not sure how that happened. It certainly was not intentional. CTRL-V error perhaps. Thanks for pointing it out.


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