Named one of the 10 best books of 2013 by Michiko Kakutani and the New York Times Book Review
Alan S. Blinder - esteemed Princeton professor, Wall Street Journal columnist, and former vice chairman of the Federal Reserve Board under Alan Greenspan - is one of our wisest and most clear-eyed economic thinkers. In After the Music Stopped, he delivers a masterful narrative of how the worst economic crisis in postwar American history happened, what the government did to fight it, and what we must do to recover from it. With bracing clarity, Blinder chronicles the perfect storm of events beginning in 2007, from the bursting of the housing bubble to the implosion of the bond bubble, and how events in the U.S. spread throughout the interconnected global economy. Truly comprehensive and eminently listenable, After the Music Stopped is the essential book about the financial crisis.
©2013 Alan S. Blinder (P)2013 Audible Inc.
"Blinder is a master storyteller...one of the best books yet about the financial crisis." (The Wall Street Journal)
I've read (or listened to) many books on the financial crisis and this is one of the best. I have quite deliberately not read the memoirs of Geithner and Bernanke, however. Not only does Blinder (former vice chair of the Fed, among other prestigious positions) cover the crisis in broad strokes, but he also covers at some length policy prescriptions to head off or lessen the impacts of the next crisis (and there will certainly be another). I gained a better understanding of the various instruments that the Fed has used and a better understanding of the Dodd-Frank bill, which is bitterly opposed by those who do not wish to be closely regulated. Blinder writes in an easy-to-read (or listen to) style and explains complex problems in a clear way. Though an self-described Democrat, he does not spare his criticism of both the Bush and Obama administrations. Definitely recommended for those who wonder what happened, what the response to the crisis was and a way forward from this disaster.
The narrator was excellent. The book is written in a somewhat folksy style and Graham Vick captured the tone perfectly.
While I have read several books on the crisis and found the first few chapters familiar terrain, it summarizes it well and added the bond bubble to my understanding of the issues. What intrigued me more was the evaluation of the policy responses. This is a great overall book-- most I've read have left out parts of the puzzle or written early enough that not all policy responses are considered-- and I rescind it.
I struggled in the sixties to get a college education, barely graduated, spent a life in the phone company as a technician in a call center.
From the beginning, Professor Blinder makes false assertions and follows them with confusing, complicated statistics which fail to prove his assertions. For example, he states that no one in the world predicted the housing bubble. Then he describes the real price changes on houses, which he says went up far too fast. Lot's of people knew that the savings and loan associations had fallen from a burst bubble, and then the internet companies. Anyone who went shopping for a house could tell you that houses were overpriced, decrepit, and poorly maintained and not worth the price. The investment company wheelers and dealers were making a fortune in fees selling the houses, but lots of people realized they were being deceived and had no choice but to buy at high prices. Houses never go up in value. Houses depreciate from the time they are built, just as cars do. People were buying houses without realizing that businessmen were in a frenzy of automating jobs and laying off workers, who then couldn't pay their mortgage payments. Professor Blinder is blind to all of this, and asserts that government was unable to properly regulate the housing market, and that was the cause of the crash. Wrong on so many counts. I worked for Citi's subsidiary Primeamerica briefly, refinancing housing loans with a claim that the owner of the house would pay less if he bought with fees a loan from Primeamerica. We were trained to lie to the owner, and not give them the statistics on the price of the loan until the minute they signed for the loan. Citi was slipping millions in campaign donations to our representatives to pass bills that ignored the whole problem. That is just one example of Professor Blinder's false assertions, saying that government regulators caused the bursting of the bubble. Don't buy this book. Don't give it the time of day.
Although this book goes for over 15 hours; I went though it with great interest and anticipation. Blinder has done a great job of reducing the fog and bringing much needed clarity to the GFC. Gibberish that I year from other economist was completely lacking in this book - it is spoken in clear understandable English for the non- economist.
I learnt much and was pleased to discover that there was no cover up that I could detect.
My only reservation is that he gives the impression that the GFC if over or a least under control. With this I disagree. The USD$19Trillion federal debt is a time bomb created in the GFC - the fuse is lit and it is yet to explode
The entire corrupt Banking-Treasury-Fed-liberal government gang of criminals. Sorry I bought it. This dude even tries to justify the hedge funds, the bail outs, and Dodd Franks.
Good book for Obama so he can still keep believing in his own fairy tales. Yuk. Going to wash up after being sullied by this piece of work.
Yes I plan on listening to it again because the topic is complex and Blinder's analysis of the causes and remedies are not yet fully implemented.
This isn't a story focused on characters. It is about a crisis, ideas of solutions, and decisions. The favorite idea is about the way to help people with their mortgages. That is because it was not addressed by the decision makers during the crisis.
He has a very appealing voice.
This is not a drama, it is an excellent analysis.
This book is better than Elizabeth Warren's book or Tim Geithner's book because it is not written as a personal memoir. It is an objective analysis from one of the very few people smart enough and familiar enough to get it right.
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