In Meltdown, best-selling author Thomas E. Woods, Jr., unearths the real causes behind the collapse of housing values and the stock market---and it turns out the culprits reside more in Washington than on Wall Street. And the trillions of dollars in federal bailouts? Our politicians' ham-handed attempts to fix the problems they themselves created will only make things much worse.
Woods, a senior fellow at the Ludwig von Mises Institute and winner of the 2006 Templeton Enterprise Award, busts the media myths and government spin. He explains how government intervention in the economy---from the Democratic hobby horse called Fannie Mae to affirmative action programs like the Community Redevelopment Act---actually caused the housing bubble. Most important, Woods, author of the New York Times best seller The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History, traces this most recent boom-and-bust---and all such booms and busts of the past century---back to one of the most revered government institutions of all: the Federal Reserve System, which allows busybody bureaucrats and ambitious politicians to pull the strings of our financial sector and manipulate the value of the very money we use.
Meltdown, which features a foreword by Congressman Ron Paul (R - Texas), also provides a timely history lesson to counter the current clamor for a new New Deal. The Great Depression, Woods demonstrates, was only as deep and as long as it was because of the government interventions by Herbert Hoover (no free-market capitalist, despite what your high-school history teacher may have taught you) and Franklin D. Roosevelt (no savior of the American economy, in spite of what the mainstream media says). If you want to understand what caused the fi...
©2009 Thomas E. Woods, Jr.; (P)2009 Tantor
"Provocative, well-written, and deserves to be read." (Catholic Historical Review)
"Well written, well researched, and the thesis put forth is well argued." (Journal of American History)
I have a masters in economics and thus see myself as knowing my fair share on the subject. I knew of Keynes, the Austrian school, the New Deal, the Japanese recession and about the gold standard before, but this book really gave me a theory I could accept as plausible.
I read Paul Krugmans "The Return of Depression Economics" and compared to "Meltdown" Krugmans theory for a solution does just not hold as much weight as the Austrian theory. The worrying thing is that USA now seems to go for Krugmans "easy fix" (=illusion) instead of accepting the inconvenient truth.
USA now seems to be in for another "lost decade" together with Japan and with its second one...
This book is an eye opener. A down-to-earth look at how this economic disaster happened. I have listened to this book twice. Highly recommended. Well worth a download credit. It will change the way you think. Watch your favorite financial network for a week, then listen to this book. Then watch your favorite financial network again. You will see right through these talking heads and laugh at the obvious propaganda they are trying to shovel. It is very rare that I listen to any audiobook twice. There's so many things that have to be "right" about it. The content, the narrator, my interest level and attention span, etc. This audiobook fits that narrow window. A real eye opener!
Good narration, very well written, without hyperbole. I have good knowledge of economics, but my wife does not, and she was able to follow along well. I highly recommend this selection.
Fascinating look at the housing boom and bust, but then more background information about business cycles and busting incorrect economic platitudes that politicians like to repeat, where money comes from and why the government shouldn't control it. Highly recommend.
Yes, especially to those into economics and politics. This book shows the impact of bad policies in one specific area and even expands it circles to economics at large.
He was fine. Nothing good or bad.
What is money?
This was one of the first books to be written about the 2008 finical crisis. I know Woods wrote the book in something like a month. With all the information in this book that had to be an arduous undertaking. Woods' approach is to look at the cause of the '08 crisis under the Austrian economic business theory. Essentially, this theory says that value of something is subjective and people act to their ends, according to ideas. From this, order, money, value emerges. This is comparable to other methods that attempt to try and quantify every aspect to make predictors. Unfortunately, this takes out the factor of human action.
Without doing the job of the book, this approach explains what we saw in '08 from an approach that not many have ever thought about it. Having listened to enough Tom Woods' podcasts, I had a decent grasp of the concept but this book presents an amazingly complete case from the Austrian side of things.
This book forms concentric circles around the '08 crisis. It covers the reasons and people who were responsible for the crisis. Then it covers other countries who experienced their own financial crisis and what the Austrian model says. Then it covers what is money, value, currency backing, and other basis economic issues that someone might not have thought of. A decent presentation on gold and silver backed currency is also made. Then, a great look on the 1930's Great Depression and the reasons behind it and the outlook from the Austrian POV is also made. The term, "they didn't teach that in school" can be uttered throughout this portion - and most areas of this book.
This really is a great book on the topic and the topic of economics. Woods writes not with an air of elitism but he really tries to communicate and educate the reader of the book. The areas he writes about in the detail he does, and in the limited amount he had to write is impressive.
The one area that I could say that needed a little help is in explaining a few of the topics with a little bit more beginner outlook. Unless I missed it, there wasn't a definition of Austrian economics and it would have been good to really drive home the definition and basic factors throughout the book for someone who is just picking up a book on the subject for the first time.
If you have an interest in economics or the politics of the '08 crisis or libertarian ideas this is a great book to pick up. Final Grade - A
Author, Thomas Woods, does a very good job in connecting the dots throughout our recent history in this country, as to what caused the current economic recession and housing collapse. Of course, not everyone’s going to agree with his version and depiction of history, but he does make a lot of sense and unveils a lot of the shenanigans that were happening both in Washington, and on Wall Street.
My personal take on the economic meltdown is that we all have some degree of responsibility, from the White House to Wall Street to Main Street, and it doesn’t make a whole bit of sense to continue the finger-pointing, but for everyone to get their "oars in the water", be more fiscally responsible, politically responsible and socially responsible as we work together to pull ourselves out of this economic recession.
As a consumer and small business entrepreneur myself, I’m going to make sure that I began to “do my due diligence and read between the lines” more than ever before in regards to who I elect as my political representatives, and to inform myself as best I can. Of course, there are always going to be things happening in the White House and on Wall Street that us commoners don’t get a chance to see and understand with transparency, but as far in our everyday life, well I’ll have to make a better effort to understand situations that may compromise me whether it is politically, socially or financially.
This book was a little bit heavy on details, but all in all I thought it was very thorough and help me see a bigger picture of what primarily caused us to get into the economic climate that we’re in.... and what we can do to get out of it!
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