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)
Don't waste your time or money on this travesty of a book. What could have been a reasoned study of the current economic situation from the point of view of the Austrian school of economics (a school I identify with, by the way), turned out to be a condescending, arrogant, puerile rant that seemed more intended to elevate the author's ego than to elucidate and clarify.
The content was only made worse by the reader, whose tone exacerbated the caustic nature of the writing. And this reader has an annoying habit of ending each sentence with the last word about half an octave lower than the tone for the sentence in whole...guaranteed to induce drowsiness.
I have rarely written a review this negative ... but then I have rarely listened to a book quite so negative and poorly written and read. Again, don't waste your time!
If you want to place all of the blame for the current financial crisis on the government and the Federal Reserve you will love this book. I personally liked only the last chapter which dealt with solutions (I agree with them).
I was worn down buy the incessant sarcasm and ridicule. The author is obviously very intelligent and has a vast knowledge of economics. I just do not understand the approach of calling any idea or theory he disagrees with stupid.
I also believe it is too simple to say only the government and the Fed are the sole source of current problems.
I am predisposed to agree with the author's views but they are so poorly presented and the narrator is so patronizing that this book will anger more people than it converts. The views expressed are important but many readers will be driven away. One star was the least available.
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.
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.
Probably not. There are plenty of other books that cover similar subjects in a much better manner.
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.
Not really. There are plenty of other books in my library from which I would have learned more.
Seemed to be more opinion than fact. The author frequently touts the explanatory value of what he calls "Austrian Business Cycle Theory" without providing any real evidence. In some cases the author's position seems to be influenced by a dislike for and/or jealousy of other economists.
If unregulated capatilism works so well...well...it doesn't, that's the problem. Perhaps we should minimize government involvement, but government involvment to some extent is required. Just read Upton Sinclair's "The Jungle". And the current "Great Reccession" and the fall of several companies that were too big to fail was caused by unregulated credit default swaps, etc., and the imaginary financial markets that produced nothing and did nothing that have exsisted for the past 8 years. Anyone who denies this is a fool. Listen to this book, but know that it is crap.
Someone who would like to see Ron Paul as the President. Ron Paul wrote the forward, thus setting up the rest of the book. He pretends to give the author the credit for the book but it is a thinly disguised Ron Paul speech. I didn't know much about Ron Paul before but know I feel I know all I need to know.
I don't know. I will still look for a book about economics that does not have a personal ax to grind.
He is selling a political point of view. I only have to turn on the TV to get that.
I was looking for an open minded explanation and discussion or our current economics, not a political tirade about all the mistakes other politicians and economists have made. If I had this book for a college text I would drop the class, even if I agreed with the text because it hjas only one narrow viewpoint. The other side does not get to speak, and there are no detailed explanations of how we got here. There is only criticism.
What a crock of drivel!
Good grief, the narrator doesn't even attemmpt to make it sound anything other than partisan hogwash. Oh, that nasty government! How dare those poor people try to buy homes?
About the only thing we can agree on is that the current policies of blindly paying off Wall Street, while selling our manufacturing base down the river, is wrong.
If you're trying to undertsand the current crisis, this is not the the place to start.
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