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Meltdown: A Look at Why the Economy Tanked and Government Bailouts Will Make Things Worse | [Thomas E. Woods]

Meltdown: A Look at Why the Economy Tanked and Government Bailouts Will Make Things Worse

The media tells us that "deregulation" and "unfettered free markets" have wrecked our economy and will continue to make things worse without a heavy dose of federal regulation. But the real blame lies elsewhere. 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.
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Publisher's Summary

The media tells us that "deregulation" and "unfettered free markets" have wrecked our economy and will continue to make things worse without a heavy dose of federal regulation. But the real blame lies elsewhere.

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

What the Critics Say

"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)

What Members Say

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4.2 (395 )
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  •  
    Jerret Crockett, VA, USA 11-26-09
    Jerret Crockett, VA, USA 11-26-09 Member Since 2004
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    "What an eye opener!"

    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!

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Timothy Chicago, IL, USA 12-02-09
    Timothy Chicago, IL, USA 12-02-09
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    "a little dry but very worth the credit"

    this is great information; the conflicting news and meaningless predictions by "economists" are now exposed. its like someone turned the light on

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    George 03-08-09
    George 03-08-09
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    "Easy to understand, because its full of TRUTH"

    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.

    16 of 24 people found this review helpful
  •  
    james 01-01-15
    james 01-01-15

    Small business owner since 1980. Children grown and dogs have died. Life is good.

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    "How the Fed controls it all."

    Thomas E Woods does a great job explaining to the average guy, how altruism in the Government, makes a problem worse.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    DS 12-01-14
    DS 12-01-14 Member Since 2015

    Say something about yourself!

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    "WHERE DO I BEGIN?"

    IF you see the world in black and white (and are a Ron/Rand Paul fan) you'll love this.

    The examples presented are only half truths. The bigger picture is not presented. The basic idea is "if we get rid of the federal government, all will be right with the world"... seriously?

    I don't think the Congress, and the Bush cabinet, handled the financial meltdown well but they did a couple of things right and the Federal Reserve picked up the slack and, as a result, we are doing way better than the Euro Zone (let's not even think about comparing us to China or Japan... there is no reasonable comparison.

    The author is against all Federal infrastructure spending among other Federal spending. Without Federal spending, our infrastructure would fall into disrepair and disuse (which is what happened to West Africa after England left them to self-determination). One collapsed bridge is one too many. I don't want to live in a country without viable infrastructure. I might note that the author omits any mention of the Federal Highway System built by Eisenhower which, I think, we can all agree is "good" infrastructure and facilitated commerce and grew the economy.

    The narrator made this book very hard to take seriously, truly annoying style.

    Even though the author routinely calls others "stupid" I'm reluctant to call the author "stupid"... even though I think he is.

    Another 1 star reviewer stated the author was "obviously intelligent", I respectfully disagree.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    James 08-18-13
    James 08-18-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Enough Blame To Go Around for Everyone On This One"

    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!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Zach Cody, WY 01-14-13
    Zach Cody, WY 01-14-13 Member Since 2014
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    "The Best Explanation to the Crash"

    Less self aggrandizing than Peter Schiff, Thomas Woods lays out the 2008 crisis, why banks failed and why current policies are holding back the potential of the US markets. A great vindication for the Austrian school of thought and ammunition and understanding to an opposing view to the Krugmans and other Keynesians of the world.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Leong Melbourne, Australia 11-28-12
    Leong Melbourne, Australia 11-28-12
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    "A Great Read"

    What a mess we have gotten ourselves into and all the governments in the US and EU are doing is 'kicking the can down the road' instead of finding and implementing real solutions. But then again our political system of 4-year term governments doesn't lend itself to dramatic and meaningful changes. Everyone is just buying time.

    I really enjoyed listening to this audiobook. It is well written and I was intrigued from start to finish. The narration is superb and I highly recommend it to everyone.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ganimurat Shymkent, Kazakhstan 07-18-12
    Ganimurat Shymkent, Kazakhstan 07-18-12 Member Since 2010
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    "Interesting but controvercial!"

    Liked the content of the book and the argument is based on true market economy. However, I do not agree that the market economy will adjust all the economic activities and problems itself as it will reach its equilbrium. If the market economy adjusted and adapted to the repercussions, troughs and peaks of the economy itself then we would live in dismal chaos. Nothing can adapt, adjust or autamatically change smth without interference. And worse thing is that, the author argues that the President before FDR did everything correct as he pursued the true market economy while FDR screwed everything up and his actions taken during Great Depression worsened the situation further and prolonged the pain of economic depression. Very weird argument, but have to srutinize if he is right. Recommended!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andrew Los Angeles, CA, United States 04-10-12
    Andrew Los Angeles, CA, United States 04-10-12 Member Since 2011
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    "Opinion Piece with Sprinkled Facts"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    Parts of this book were very interesting and it was clearly written by an author who is trying to make it understandable for the masses, but the often blatant rants on current policy make this book not only unbearably boring but almost completely uninformative. The author rehashes the same tired arguments over and over without any new facts or statistics, making his claims difficult to accept. While some of his assertions can be accepted based off pure logic, analogies are not a substitute for facts. More detailed examples with specific facts and figures and less general overlooks of important events.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Thomas E. Woods again?

    Probably not. There are plenty of other books that cover similar subjects in a much better manner.


    What does Alan Sklar bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    The narrator's voice is somewhat overdramatic. It is appropriate for the content of the story, but can sometimes be distracting with how much it plays up even the most mundane of subjects. The narrator is not a bad reader, but his style just isn't to my taste.


    Was Meltdown worth the listening time?

    Not really. There are plenty of other books in my library from which I would have learned more.


    Any additional comments?

    None.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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