I have read several books which attempt to explain the current economic situation in the U.S. and around the world. Robert Kuttner's book, Squandering of America is the best of the bunch. Published in 2007, before the crisis hit, the book is precient in it's analysis of the changes that have taken place in the U.S. economy over the past thirty years and how the changes have resulted in a shift in the economic balance of power. He believes that this shift has produced an economy controlled largely by so called free market economic elites who have used political power to diminish contravailing forces that traditionally kept them in check. The result according to Kuttner, is an atmosphere of deregualtion, deunionization, and increasing inequality of incomes and opportunity. Kuttner also offers an analysis of how these changes have affected the world and discusses what he thinks might be done to rectify the situation. If you are interested in an overall view of our eocnomic problems from a Keynesian point of view this is the book for you.