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The Return of Depression Economics and the Crisis of 2008 Hardcover – December 1, 2008
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“Krugman’s facility with both arcane details and vast unified explanations boils down complexity so much that the reader often wonders: Why didn’t I see it that way myself?” — Boston Globe
Top Customer Reviews
This is a re-issue of a book written by Krugman in 1999 after multiple economic crises in the decade of the 1990s. Japan had just lost a decade's worth of growth for responding too timidly to the bursting of their stock and real estate bubbles. Krugman also analyzes the various currency crises of that decade: from Britain and Sweden in the early 90s, to Mexico and Argentina in the mid-90s, and finally to Brazil and East Asia in the late 90s. These crises occurred as globalization was doing its work in the currency markets.
In his analysis of Japan's lost decade, he argues that everything must be done to increase aggregate demand. The collapse of demand caused by loss of confidence and fear had severely depressed spending and investment. At that point only government spending can lessen the severity of the recession and perhaps even turn the economy around. In Krugman's view, the lackluster response was the reason it took Japan so long to recover. He believes that one should only worry about deficits and debt when the economy is on the rebound.Read more ›
Overall, this is a quick easy read, helpful as a concise, clearly written primer on what been going on recently.
For me, the biggest eye-opener offered by this book is Krugman's explanation of the unregulated shadow banking system that emerged in recent years and has been caving in prior to and during this financial crisis. What are auction-rate securities, and why did the market for them collapse? And why didn't this get more coverage in the media? Krugman explains this, in part by drawing upon an alarming speech made by Timothy Geithner, Obama's nominated Treasury secretary, in June 2008 in which Geithner described a "parallel financial system vulnerable to a classic type of run, but without the protections such as deposit insurance that the banking system has in place to reduce such risks."
This is a great book: readable, informative and timely. I recommend it to anyone who's eager to dig into a deeper examination of the underlying causes of the financial crisis.
Rating: Four-star (Highly Recommended)
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Krugman is always clear and convincing, unless you are ideologically opposed to reason.Published 9 days ago by Karl Hess
In 1998 Japan produced less than it did in 1991. Between 1953 and 1973, Japan in the space of two decades became the world’s largest exporter of steel and automobiles. Read morePublished 12 days ago by Golden Lion
Nobel prize winner shows why he won. If you want to know what's really going on start here.Published 1 month ago by Mike Carlson
This book had some very interested stories in it. The hard part for me reading it was seeing how liberally skewed it was. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Taylor Moore
Read this for a class, for the average college student this isn't the most interesting readPublished 6 months ago by Gerardo D
This is a good book that does great job of explaining why recessions occur, what central banks can and cannot do to avoid and ameliorate the effects of recessions. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Sameer