Bad Money and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Bad Money reckless finance failed politics and the global crisis of American capitalism 2008 hardback Unknown Binding – January 1, 2008

See all 12 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
"Please retry"
Unknown Binding
"Please retry"
$12.00 $5.00

Customers Who Viewed This Item Also Viewed


Best Books of the Month
Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.

Product Details

  • Unknown Binding
  • Publisher: Viking; 1St Edition edition (2008)
  • ASIN: B003VCGJI6
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (105 customer reviews)

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

Nevertheless, this is a must read book.
Peter H. Christiansen
If I had to make any negative criticism of the book it would be Mr. Phillips repeated references to his previous books to make a point.
Citizen X
As a result America has become debt-ridden, and a very unequal society where the rich just get richer.
Jiang Xueqin

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

382 of 387 people found the following review helpful By Izaak VanGaalen on May 5, 2008
Format: Hardcover
For those who have read Kevin Phillips' American Theocracy: The Peril and Politics of Radical Religion, Oil, and Borrowed Money in the 21stCentury, many of the themes in the current work will sound familiar. In this book, as well as American Theocracy, he reminds us that previous empires such a 17th century Spain, 18th century Holland, and the late 19th and early 20th century Britain all succumbed to financialization as their global power reached its peak. He argues the the United States is now in a similar position. In the last 30 years financial services have grown from 11% of GDP to 21%, and manufacturing has declined from 25% to 13%. A reversal of roles that Phillips sees as very unhealthy.

This huge growth of the financial sector was not without adverse consequences: in the last 20 years public and private debt has quadrupeled to $43 trillion. How this came about has been expertly explained in another book called The Trillion Dollar Meltdown: Easy Money, High Rollers, and the Great Credit Crash by Charles Morris. There was easy money as the Federal Reserve was lending money at less than the rate of inflation. Money was risk-free for the lender since they collected fees up front and sold the securitized loans to investors. When this process was repeated millions of times, one ends up with hard-to-value securitized debt throughout the global economy. Then when housing prices start to decline and homeowners start to default on their mortgages on a grand scale, you have a global crisis of American capitalism.
Read more ›
24 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
103 of 109 people found the following review helpful By leftyrite on April 19, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Kevin Phillips dedicates his latest insightful work of political and economic history to his grandson. It's a fitting tribute since, by the author's reckoning, the aforementioned young man might be well into his forties, and the U.S. deeply into its post-imperial senescence, by the time the mischief explained in the pages of Bad Money is fully digested by the earth's economic system.

Instead of reflecting upon and compensating for the turn to an unprecedented expansion of finance capitalism that today supersedes manufacturing in this nation by at least six percent of GDP, Wall Street, our empire's "coliseum," chose instead to gamble upon the promulgation of an unregulated class of investments known as derivatives, the size and scope of which, particularly in terms of their capacity to hedge against risk, could only be guessed at. So much for the efficacy of market deregulation.

In a similar context, it was sadly hilarious to hear former Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin state recently that no one could have guessed the present debacle. Or, to recall that Hillary Clinton had proposed a blue ribbon committee, presumably to be chaired or co-chaired by Allan Greenspan, to address the situation.

Warren Buffett has been on record for denouncing derivatives as "weapons of financial mass destruction" since at least 2003. Even so, to paraphrase Pete Seeger, "the big fool(s)" at Citibank and Bear Stearns, "said to push on." Privatize the profits and socialize the losses.

At present, these so-called derivative financial "instruments" are embedded deeply in every sphere of global economic activity, from domestic pension funds to the portfolios of credulous investors throughout the world who believed in the transparency of the U.S. market system.
Read more ›
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
132 of 145 people found the following review helpful By Loyd E. Eskildson HALL OF FAME on April 22, 2008
Format: Hardcover
"Bad Money" is about the insecurity of America's future given a debt-gorged financial sector, and vulnerability caused by expensive dependence on imported oil. The term refers not just to the depreciated dollar but also dangerous attitudes and flawed financial products.

Phillips points out that over the last 30 years, financial services have nearly doubled to a record 20% of GDP (and an even greater share of corporate profits - 54% in '04), while manufacturing's share has halved to 13% (10% of profits), greatly imperiling the economy. En route, Washington has provided government bailouts and/or liquidity when financial institutions or methodologies got themselves into trouble (eg. S&L crisis; Citibank forced into technical failure, but allowed to stay open; bailing out junk bond investors by lowering federal funds rate; etc.), encouraging bigger problems down the road.

The positive impact of borrowing has declined about 60-70% from the 1970s-80s when such monies would mostly be used for factory and highway construction, compared to today's increasingly likely use for increasing leverage for LBOs, M&A, and hedge funds. Meanwhile, the negative likelihood of families experiencing a 50% drop in income has increased dramatically from 1970 - resulting in a greater probability of default.

Cognizance of our problems has been somewhat covered up with revisions to the CPI (understating costs of home ownership) and unemployment measures (not counting those who gave up and quit looking). Thus, the 2-4%/year CPI increase 2005-2007 would have been 5-7%/year, and unemployment would have been 8%.
Read more ›
3 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews