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on October 7, 2015
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. The author also provides some interesting information on the size of the shadow banking in the US at the time of 2008 crisis and the role it played. You will like this book if you're ideology agnostic. My guess is that you may not agree if you're substantially center right.
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on April 23, 2012
I read Prof. Krugman's blog and column regularly, and while I don't agree with him all the time, there is no denying that he is one very smart guy. I remember economics being a rather dry subject to study back in college, but Krugman has the gift of making the subject interesting, at least in writing for the general public, and this book surely does not disappoint. It gives a very good high level explanation of the few major economic crisis in the past few decades; on top of policy, he also explains the impact on economy from the interactions, or inter-workings, between government and financial institutions. I particularly like the discussion on the currency crisis in Southeast Asia in 1997; I finally understand how it spread to Hong Kong after reading the book. Overall a great book to read; the only thing I wish for are references for more in-depth discussion.
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on August 14, 2014
Outstanding- Read Krugman, Stiglitz, Bernanke, Geitner Warren, Lewis, Stockman,and Barofsky and you will have a good understating of the 2008 mess. The lesson from of these thoughtful writers is that markets will not protect the public from the excesses of greedy/smart people like the ones who inhabit Wall Street. It is a sad comment that Washington cannot summon the fortitude to bring this mess under control. I guess the money (what was stolen form the markets) is just too much for Washington to do the right thing. I would not vote for any politician in any party without them certifying that they had read at least 5 of the authors.
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on November 27, 2009
Paul managed to simplify complex economic problems in an easy way that a simple person like me can relate to it; truly amazing. Any how, this book gives you a deep look at the Asian crisis which rocketed southeast Asian countries between 1997 and 1998, and how we have missed the lessons from this problem. Mr. Krugman plays often the devils advocate; and for that me and many others love him. He has the courage to be critical and to hit where it hurts.

I would love to give five star to this book however I felt that would not be honest. I hope Paul is reading this comment so he can reply back at the NY Times. I loved the example about baby-sitting; that was brilliant; however; at the beginning and at the end of the book Paul stated that the solution was printing more coupons to solve the liquidity problem. I believe he avoided discussing the issue at length because he believes a modest inflation is good. I strongly disagree; I believe inflation will hit the roof to deflate the bubble we are in. I don't believe it would be a bad thing since everything has been inflated and that will encourage exports, however, I wish if he advocated this strongly in this book.
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on July 29, 2013
Paul Krugman is an Economist with a common sense view of how we got into this recession and how to work our way out.

This man is not a "Doomsday writer" about our economic troubles. He has a prospective which is not necessarily compatible with much of the economists in the headlines and economic pages of today.

He is not a "talking head" with a pessimistic view. We are on our way up and out.

I felt much better about the future after I had read this book. I liked it very much.

Leon Emerson
Judge, Ret.
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on June 11, 2017
Great book by Paul Krugman. Easy to understand why the economic crisis of the last 30 years occurred.
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on April 7, 2009
Although Mr. Krugman paints some very broad strokes, he explains our current financial crisis in an amazingly clear and concise manner, especially for an economist. I disagree with some other reviews that felt his analogy of the babysitting co-op was a poor illustration of the complex financial markets of the 1990's and today. I appreciate his attempt to paint the public a picture of the dynamic currency and financial markets in the information age, rather than cater his message to members of academia.

The chapter that I especially enjoyed reading was his commentary and analysis of the "shadow banking system". It, as much or more than anything else, contributed to the financial instability that we're seeing now and Mr. Krugman offers an explanation of why the Fed's traditional tools aren't having the affect they had in the past.

Overall, I enjoyed the read and would recommend this book based on its relevancy. I think you'll be surprised to see how foreshadowing this book will be in the new policies and regulations that will come from the government over the next decade.
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on October 20, 2017
The arguments are there and the information regarding other past economic downturns of other countries make the book eye catching.
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on June 2, 2009
Paul Krugman's book was very fun to read, educational, and has taught me more about macroeconomics than my ECON 101 course ever taught me. One thing that has always disturbed me is, why can government simply print money? And if they can simply print money, why are there ever recessions? While basic economics courses are supposed to explain that away, I was admittedly still very confused until I read Krugman's book. In a clear, concise manner, Krugman explains through histories of economic crises the role that governments and macroeconomic policies play, and what economists have learned through the decades about recessions.

I highly recommend this book if you have ever been confused about why an economy can suddenly go from "golden boy" status to "the mother of all" recession, or if you have ever wondered what in the world the national banks actually do.
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on July 2, 2010
I highly recommend 'The Return of Depression Economics and the Crisis of 2008' for the layman who wishes to understand the root and possible remedy for our current economic woes! Krugman has an uncanny ability to explain complex economic issues in an accessible, understandable manner. I particularly appreciate his explanations of some of the economic instruments or activities (hedge funds, currency trading, derivatives, etc.) that got us into this mess!

I plan to re-read the book in a few months!
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