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Crashed: How a Decade of Financial Crises Changed the World

4.32  ·  Rating details ·  2,289 ratings  ·  312 reviews
"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
Hardcover, 720 pages
Published August 7th 2018 by Viking
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Aug 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Some writers know a little bit about a lot of things. Some know a lot about one thing. Foxes and hedgehogs I suppose. Rarely does an author know a lot about a lot. Adam Tooze is that author. This book is so comprehensive and so insightful. He seems to understand nuanced political thought and history in every country in the world. I know the most about the aftermath of the 2008 crisis in the US and his description hits the nail on the head. I didn't know much about the Eurozone crisis and the Chi ...more
Mar 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: world-history
Tooze digs deep into the 2008 financial crisis and its aftermath through 2017. He explains in great detail how the Fed, ECB, IMF, economic and political leaders dealt with a globally integrated financial system facing collapse. He ties in the political fallout which paved the way for the turmoil and nationalist movements we see today including the Ukraine crisis, Brexit and the election of Trump. It is a demanding but very worthwhile read best suited to those with an interest strong enough to wa ...more
Sep 15, 2018 rated it liked it
The more I read of Crashed the less I liked it. Not because it is a bad book per se. But because it wasn't the book I thought it was going to be. It wasn't the book it *could* have been.

The book is divided into three sections: a history of the 2008 crash with a focus on the US; a history of the 2010 Eurocrisis with a focus on Europe; and a third chapter that is a smattering of quasi-related "other stuff that has happened since 2010".

It was while reading this third section that my disappointment
Aug 18, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Adam Tooze is a historian of WWI and Nazi Germany. Recently, however, he’s spent the past few years focusing on the Global Financial Crises and its aftermath, with regular updates on his excellent blog at Crashed is the long-awaited product of that research, a globetrotting, expansive history of the GFC and its reverberations and aftershocks the world over.

And indeed, as a history of the crises it’s first rate. Tooze is particularly strong in unpicking the role of historical cont
Athan Tolis
Sep 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Crashed has been timed to coincide with the ten-year anniversary of the financial crisis of 2008.

Most books about the crisis have been written by

1. protagonists with a record to defend, such as Hank Paulson, Tim Geithner, Ben Bernanke, Neil Barofsky, Mervyn King, Adair Turner and Paul Tucker
2. economists who watched from the sidelines, such as Joseph Stiglitz, Paul Krugman, Bob Shiller, Atif Mian & Amir Sufi, Hans-Werner Sinn, John Kay, Bob Reich, Greta Krippner (genius!) and Simon Johnson
3. j
Gary  Beauregard Bottomley
Aug 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is not an easy book to follow but it is a necessary one in order to avoid being misled by bloviators of substance free self appointed spewers of financial misinformation. It deals intelligently with an incredibly complicated set of worldwide connections (financial, geo-political and sociological) and delves into one of the defining moments of our time period, the financial crisis and its aftermath.

If one reads a book about WW II, one should know the date September 1, 1939 as the date when
Jan 01, 2019 rated it liked it
This volume does a great job explaining the financial meltdown that began in 2007. I particularly found the author's discussion of liquidity, or rather the lack of liquidity, to be of interest. The first half of this book is strong and, I believe, sets the historical standard for the crisis from 2007-2012. The second half, however, reads as a general survey, presenting little insight to those who follow world affairs. For example, the author, it seems, dwells unrelentingly on that chain-smoking, ...more
Henri Tournyol du Clos
This book feels like being post-prandially cornered in your living room by a somewhat inebriated and chatty guest that goes on and on telling in no particular order unfocused anecdotes and grand ideas he gathered from other people or read about, throwing in some political commentary to boot. Although the author sometimes, out of the blue, makes some apt statement, he seems to lack the ability to discern between what is really important and what is not, and to order his thoughts. Having myself tr ...more
Jun 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is an undoubtedly brilliant account of the 2008 financial crises, both laying out the causes and the long term economic and political consequences of the events. But it's a highly technical account and a bit too dense for what I feel like consuming at this time. ...more
May 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book requires full reader's attention and is not an easy read. Author is very knowledgeable on the topic, he did very good research and in eloquent way presented facts related to 2008 financial crisis. The strength of this book lies in its global approach to the problem, not focusing only on the US (likely because autor is a Brit). The interconnections among different markets are well described. The political background to financial decisions was well presented. 

However, I have to admit tha
Tuncer Şengöz
Jun 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: economics
It took me four months to finish this book. But it is worth it. Excellent book on the period between 2007 and 2017.
Dec 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 4-stars, nonfiction
Financial crisis leads to sovereign debt crisis which leads to the rise of populism which paves the way for a Trump election.

There have been hundreds of books written about the financial crisis, but Tooze's new work is the first I have come across that illustrates the path that lead us to where we are today. In the age of global integration, financial markets and political policy walk hand-in-hand, and Tooze does a nice job of showing us how the markets have shaped the course of events for the
Crashed: How a Decade of Financial Crises Changed the World, by Adam Tooze is an epic look at the financial crisis of 2008 and its aftermath up to the present day. Tooze examines both the 2008 crisis in its origins within the sketchy Mortgage Baked Securities (MBS) trade, and the growth of Asset Backed Commercial Paper (ABCP) and the influence of the repo market in US securities trading. The trade in MBS had some inherent flaws, due to the creation of tranche's of bad debt that was mixed with so ...more
Julia Damphou
Apr 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: economic-history
This is a very impressive and exhaustive book, especially given the recentness of the events and relative lack of publicly available sources.Tooze offers a clear, materialist and mostly political history of the crisis, while also taking pains to explain financial and economic concepts. Provided you take the time in chapter two to understand the economic terminology, the book is not a particularly challenging read. The first part of the book deals with the pre-history of the crisis: mainly geopol ...more
Dec 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Honesty, a very good and scary book. Want to understand where we are today? Read this. Despite its length, it is not a slog. It will make you think.
Jun 02, 2019 rated it liked it
This is a good book but is suffering from author’s urge to include every single historical event in the book. As a result it’s bloated to become a long, never-ending read. Additionally the author insists on including current events that haven’t been unfolded fully. For example we really don’t know what the impact of Brexit is going to be. Or it is too early to judge the outcome of Trump’s presidency. A better book would have stayed away from including these events. I would have enjoyed this more ...more
Sina Mousavi
Oct 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Although I'm somewhat ashamed of myself for how long it took me to finish reading it, the same cannot be said for my decision to read Crashed in the first place. As its title might suggest, this is not just a wonky and technical account of the 2007-08 Global Financial Crisis and its aftershocks. Crashed is rather a much more ambitious project, tracing how the economic, political, and geostrategic implications of the financial crisis have shaped the history of every corner of this planet in the l ...more
Ben Edwards
Apr 23, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Was planning on finishing this but now it seems out of date.
Indumugi C
If there is one book you'd point out to, to learn about the global financial crisis of 2008 - the storm that gathered it, the decisions made to contain it and the aftershocks of the decisions it will definitely be Crashed. My decision to pick this book was timely, I was free during the pandemic and wanted to learn something important in a comprehensive way. People casually mention the GFC many times, but I never really understood the length and breadth of the crisis. This was my attempt to know ...more
Nov 30, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition

“Let’s hope we are all wealthy and retired by the time this house of cards falters :0)”

So said one ratings expert to another in an email back in December 2006. Of course he needn’t have worried, Obama and his buddies on Wall Street would ensure that he looked after all of the money men, way before he even gave a thought to the vast majority of the electorate who voted him in.
Tax, regulation, transparency and accountability are four words which terrify all members of the global financial system.
João Pena
Feb 16, 2021 rated it really liked it
For someone which was 12 years old at that time, the book provides a masterful account of the 2008 financial crisis. Back then, I wasn't much into "the economy, stupid", as one can imagine. After a very comprehensive walkthrough over the crash of the financial system, Tooze goes into very detail about what, in his opinion, were it's aftermath events. It includes the turbulent developing countries growth (mostly China's), the European banking and sovereign debt crisis and the appearance of anti-e ...more
Sep 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
There have been many books about Financial Crisis of 2008, and this is the most comprehensive.

1. Many factors caused the subprime crisis in America. Financial deregulation from faulty ideology, dividing of housing loans into small chunks to be packaged as an investment vehicle and then moving it out of the lending banks, China’s buying of Treasury notes, Bush senior’s push for house ownership, unscrupulous bankers who lies about borrower income, optimism about the Free Market’s ability to solve
Jan 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is an impressive, must-read account of how financial crisis spread from the US in 2007/2008 to become a worldwide crisis enveloping Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Latin America over the following decade. The world has become financially interdependent in a way that challenges our global institutions and indeed our imagination. The linkages of debt and monetary policy are worldwide in scope but the policy instruments to address problems are parochial and nationalistic.

Author Adam Tooze ha
Feb 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: politics, history
It takes courage to start reading this massive book. It takes more courage to continue in spite of the detailed descriptions of financial instruments en mechanisms, complex for reading lacking in depth financial knowledge as I do. But it is worthwhile: this book is tremendously insightful.

I have learned so many things through reading this book. It showed how little I understood before, of the financial crisis and the efforts to containment and stabilisation, on the euro crisis and the painful ro
Joe Bambridge
Aug 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Crashed is a truly monumental intellectual feat, and Tooze deserves great credit for producing what is to date one of the most comprehensive accounts of the financial crisis, it’s causes, and political fall out. It lacks certain aspects to its analysis, particularly in the second half of the book, to call it truly definitive - see here Durand’s review of Crashed in the NLR - but it certainly sets a marker for any future work on the crisis.

This is a narrative of a crisis of financial capitalism,
Nov 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book is extremely dense, but I never thought it was dry, as long as you know what you’re signing yourself up for because it really goes DEEP into the international implications of the recession. Having no library due date would have been helpful because I needed to look up quite a few things while reading to fully understand what was going on, and even then, I’m sure I still missed a lot. Still it was really good, if you’re into this sort of thing! The final questions the book leaves off on ...more
James Meanwell
Sep 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
An excellent work of modern political economy. Adam Tooze covers the antecedents, effects, and fallout of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC), through to the electoral turmoil troubling America and Europe in recent years.

There is an enormous amount covered in the book, including the US and European response to the crisis; the fallout on smaller countries incidentally exposed to the crises (e.g. Ireland, Greece, Hungary); the political responses sought and required; the centrality of finance to th
Oct 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is one of those rare books that genuinely deserves those breathless blurbs slapped onto bestsellers: "Stunning", "monumental", "insights on every page."
Most of us have the wrong idea about the financial crises of the past decade, and those responsible for the havoc are completely fine with that. The 2008 global crisis wasn't merely the outcome of Wall Street bankers (deeply irresponsible as they were) unloading American-style 'cowboy capitalism' on the rest of the world, but the product of
Mike Clarke
Euro bottom dollar: is globalisation beyond politics? Probably not, argues Adam Tooze in this bonkbuster for economists which is by turns, thrilling, terrifying and torrid. Trump, of course, is part of the answer but so too is Bretton-Woods and the great bail-out for which we are all still paying. Money is a political construct. Brexit? Even though he’s a Brit, it’s a sideshow - “the UK’s effort to ‘take back control’ does not mean everyone else has to fall into line” - although there’s a hair-r ...more
David Dayen
Oct 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I didn't think there was a lot more to say about the financial crisis, but Tooze fills his book with interesting and new insights on practically every page. The historical distance serves him well here. U.S. reviewers have harped on the one thing that makes domestic policymakers look good - the use of currency swap lines to save foreign countries from ruin - but that's a sliver of the book, and much of the rest is a long indictment against those who facilitated the crisis through deregulation, n ...more
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Adam Tooze (born 1967) is a British historian who is a professor at Columbia University. Previously, he was Reader in Modern European Economic History at the University of Cambridge and professor at Yale University.

After graduating with a B.A. degree in economics from King's College, Cambridge in 1989, Tooze studied at the Free University of Berlin before moving to the London School of Economics f

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