Why Everyone Owes Everyone and No One Can Pay

eBook - 2010
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Witty, gritty and wise, a brilliant novelist takes on the world's economic meltdown in a book that will define the crisis .

The wildest story in the world these days is not fiction, it's what's really happening all around us as the world's global economy has gone into freefall. How did we get here? What does it all mean? How could so many smart people be so dumb and believe their own hype? Accessibly, cleverly, and with mordant humour, Lanchester trots the globe in search of the answers to these questions -- to Iceland, the scene of catastrophic bank collapse, to Hong Kong, the city of his birth built at the altar of free-market capitalism, to the high-stakes leveraging of Wall Street and to the tragedy of lost homes in small-town America. And in his capable hands, we see and understand what went wrong and why. Lanchester believes that this crisis gives us an opportunity to bring about much-needed change and that a stonger and more compassionate system can emerge from the wreckage. This is the book that people will still be reading a generation from now, as we read Galbraith's brilliant analysis of the Great Depression.

From the Hardcover edition.
Publisher: New York : Simon & Schuster, 2010
ISBN: 9780771046131
Characteristics: 1 online resource

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Jan 05, 2017

I've read numerous books on the 2007/2008 financial crash, most of them fairly good, all of them well-intentioned as far as attempting to explain what actually happened, but none of them anywhere near as successful in that intent as I.O.U. Hands down the best book on the subject I've read and, as all of the other comments call out, just incredibly clear and understandable in its explanations of the conditions that led up to the crash, and the financial machinations that caused it. Despite the clarity and the simplicity of the approach, though, this is not a quick skim of the crash - it addresses pretty much every one of the points the other books I read address.

I've recommended this book to many of my friends, and I strongly recommend it to anyone and everyone who wants to understand this subject fully.

Mar 17, 2015

Great discussion of the economic disaster of 2007 (and more). Complexities are well explained. Villains are named; underlying behavior is examined. The author's witty writing puts something funny on every page so that a tough subject is never boring.

Mar 02, 2013

This is the most understandable account of what happened to put the world economy into such a downward spiral beginning in 2008. I was left with a very bad taste in my mouth and a desperation in my heart. What can we do, and who can do whatever it is, to get us on track to living within our means as nations when there doesn`t seem to be anyone in charge.

Aug 16, 2012

Unusually clear and well written (author is a novelist) account of the 2008 financial crisis. Closest I've come to understanding what a credit default swap is. Might be the one book to read on this fiasco.

Apr 12, 2012

A lucid explanation of the 2008 financial meltdown. Of the many books that have been written on this subject, this is the best introduction for the lay reader.

Aug 18, 2010

Good writer, can explain some complex financial concepts, seems to like Canadian banks, but I don't see why anything will change because of the 2008 credit crisis despite his view that is will

Jun 24, 2010

Excellent introduction to the debt crisis that plunged the world into chaos in 2008. This book is written by a novelist who has a keen understanding of finance and can explain it so lucidly that even I now know how a Collateralized Debt Obligation works. The book is alternately hilarious and horrifying, as Lanchester tours through the delusions, greed, and simple oversight that brought on this crisis. You will never again trust to the expertise of economists and bankers after you finish this book. We are going to spend years recovering from this particular party, and everyone should understand just how we got here and how we can avoid a recurrence. Reading this book would be a great first step.

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