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Lost decades: the making of America’s debt crisis and the long recovery | Bruegel

How did this happen? Read this lucid explanation of the origins and long-term effects of the recent financial crisis, drawn in historical and comparative perspective by two leading political economists. The proportion of foreign loans to the size of the economy put the United States in league with Mexico, Indonesia, and other third-world debtor nations.


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The massive inflow of foreign funds financed the booms in housing prices and consumer spending that fueled the economy until the collapse of late This was the most serious international economic crisis since the Great Depression of the s. Menzie Chinn and Jeffry Frieden explain the political and economic roots of this crisis as well as its long-term effects.

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They show that the crisis was foreseen by many and was avoidable through appropriate policy measures. They examine the continuing impact of our huge debt on the continuing slow recovery from the recession. Lost Decades will long be regarded as the standard account of the crisis and its aftermath. Intelligent yet accessible to non-experts, [it] fills a valuable niche in a debate often dominated by ideological talking heads who thrive on popular anger and drain the political system of sensible dialogue.

Of course, I recommend this book. It can be used as a resource guide, as well as one that offers immediate tools for working with clients. Buy the selected items together This item: Ships from and sold by Amazon. Customers who bought this item also bought. Page 1 of 1 Start over Page 1 of 1.

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Macroeconomics The Mcgraw-hill Series in Economics. The Mystery of Capital: Related Video Shorts 0 Upload your video. Try the Kindle edition and experience these great reading features: Share your thoughts with other customers. Write a customer review. Read reviews that mention tax cuts lost decades debt crises big to fail tax increases authors spending political future deficits economy market economics country economist finance focus investment agree americans.

There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later. Kindle Edition Verified Purchase. Menzie did an amazing job simplifying the debt crisis. I would totally recommend his book to people who would want to study the housing market crash with little to no knowledge. One person found this helpful.

Possibly the most important book you can read on the economic crisis and what our future may look like. This is an academic written book but written in a form that is very readable for the layman. It is a retrace of our economic system focusing on the borrowing that has been done overseas to finance our economy. It is not focused on our government borrowing but ALL borrowing. Frankly, it will make you sick to your stomach to see how we have wasted a decade financing our standard of living which was not sustainable financed as it was.

But unfortunately, as the authors lay out our course for the future in comparison with past examples, what begins to be explained is the future decades to be lost. The authors do plot a course out of this but it all comes to this question: I worry that our countrymen have grown soft and want an easy way out. I would be remiss to not mention politics and this book.

Unfortunately so many books start with a bias whereas these guys clinically analyzed it. However, they clinically talk about the problems with massive tax cuts and are fairly negative on what this did for our country. I agree although admittedly have enjoyed the fruits of the tax cuts. The 90s started the era with a tax increase.

Lost decades: the making of America’s debt crisis and the long recovery

The s with a tax reduction. The 90s ended with a surplus. The s, not so much. Now, does that mean tax cuts are bad and tax increases are good? People try to make the solution to simplistic. But one thing this book makes very clear: And the sooner the better. I thought this was a pretty clear, well articulated book by two academics [an economist and a political scientist] explaining broadly what caused America to go down a series of wrong turns. It reads quite well for a book written by academics and its easily possible to read it in one sitting if you have 8 or so hours lying around [like on a plane].

But there are a number of problems with the book, that if you have read other 'economic crisis porn', quickly jump at you. First, when discussing the 'shadow banking system' they lump in private equity funds like Blackstone with macro hedge funds like Bridgewater with investment banks. I think in a video symposium [very good by the way and found here [ Private equity funds may do a lot of fishy things but they generate their income by arbitraging US tax code's preferences of debt over equity and capital gains over income gains.

They do not loan out money. And macro hedge funds like Bridgewater may have been involved in some aspects of buying synthetic instruments but since they usually make big bets on broad economic movements its hard to imagine those types of hedge funds buying up a lot of SIV paper. The second and more glaring mistake was the total absence of 'repos' in the discussion. Bernake, and the book quotes him, has a historically terrible quote from when he says something like "Subprime is contained, its a tiny market, no big crisis is coming.


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Rather, I would argue that like other academic economists [like the writers of this book too] Bernake simply didnt care about the repo markets and did not understand how a relatively small, 30 billion dollar market in sub prime mortgages could destroy financial institutions like Lehman, Aig and Bear Sterns.

So again, if as Berry Eichengreen says on the back cover of the book "If have only time to read one book on the crisis" make it this one. But if you are a bit more curious you will need to search out other sources to get the full picture. And I mean sources that deal with the technical nature of the financial markets in the developed words, not books like "Too Big To Fail" or the "Big Short" both excellent by the way but are too much written like morality plays that focus on the really big characters that were in place in One person found this helpful 2 people found this helpful.

Arrived as mentioned on the time frame. Lost Decades is an account of how the world got to where it is today discussing both recent financial events as well as the larger trends that took us to the breaking point. It is quite comprehensive and covers the similarities of other debt crises, the market failures endured, the vested interests protected and the required steps for a sustainable future. Its primary focus is on US deficits, both federal and trade and on the unfortunate fact that deficits that fund consumption rather than productive investment make the adjustment much harder and the sacrifices much greater.

Lost decades first starts with economics and history discussing other debt crises including Argentina and showing how the differences in policy between Argentina and Brazil led to very different outcomes. It then discusses the microeconomics of boom bust cycles and how they are fed and sustained. It continues to examine the risky business practices engaged in by financial services and the misalignment of interests when financial transactions and services are not arms length.

The book then takes the reader into the financial crisis that we were engulfed by in and discusses precise events.