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The Housing Boom and Bust | [Thomas Sowell]

The Housing Boom and Bust

There was no single, dramatic event that set the current financial crisis off. A whole series of very questionable decisions by many people, in many places, over a period of years, built up the pressures that led to a sudden collapse of the housing market and of financial institutions that began to fall like dominoes as a result of investing in securities based on housing prices. This book is designed to unravel the tangled threads of that story.
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Publisher's Summary

There was no single, dramatic event that set the current financial crisis off. A whole series of very questionable decisions by many people, in many places, over a period of years, built up the pressures that led to a sudden collapse of the housing market and of financial institutions that began to fall like dominoes as a result of investing in securities based on housing prices.

This book is designed to unravel the tangled threads of that story. It also attempts to determine whether what is being done to deal with the problem is more likely to make things better or worse.

©2009 Thomas Sowell; (P)2009 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"Among economists of the past thirty years, [Sowell] stands very proud indeed." (Wall Street Journal)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (268 )
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  •  
    CB 08-09-09
    CB 08-09-09 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Clear and compelling information"

    This is an excellent book. It lays the groundwork in a clear format for understanding what is behind the housing boom and bust.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cameron Anchorage, AK, United States 01-01-10
    Cameron Anchorage, AK, United States 01-01-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Debunking the Myths"

    Sowell once again knocks it out of the park. His graceful writing style coupled with his meticulous research provide the reader with a refreshing perspective of the current economic crisis and what part housing has played in it. He exposes Christopher Dodd and Barney Frank for the circus clowns they are and debunks the "more regulation" myth that the media is spewing. After listening to this work, it becomes apparent that regulation in one form or another is what lead us down this disasterous path.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ezekiel Wilmington, DE, USA 05-16-10
    Ezekiel Wilmington, DE, USA 05-16-10 Member Since 2008
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    "From Opinionated to Informed"

    Like his other books, Sowell lays out a very concise argument without delving overly deep into the data. That's not to say this book is not well supported, quite the opposite. The only change I would make is to have someone a bit more vibrant narrate. This is pretty heavy material.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sierra Bravo 11-05-09 Member Since 2002

    Semi retired small business person/ college professor/ investor.

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    "Required reading enough blame for all"

    With his usual clarity and abundance of data Sowell takes what happened apart to show you why we are in this mess. If you are unhappy with the standard media answer of "corporate greed" read this analysis. Anytime something like this happens and is blamed on greed of one group or another I always ask why is that group greedier now than in the past? Sowell lays out with backup data the time line of this mess and what was contributed by each of the players (republican, democrat, corporate and regulatory). If you believe more regulation will prevent this from happening again pay particular attention to the role of the regulators in this debacle. This is a must read for anyone wishing to understand the nature of our current economic times.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Hayyamini USA 07-02-09
    Hayyamini USA 07-02-09 Member Since 2012

    hammoreh

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    "Essential economic reading for 2009"

    If you want to understand why the economy collapsed in 2008 and why the solutions offered by government (both parties, but especially the democrats) are badly misguided, this is the book to read.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andres Fairfax, VA, USA 10-05-09
    Andres Fairfax, VA, USA 10-05-09 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Classic Sowell"

    Sowell is in top form in this lucid explanation of the underlying cause of the financial meltdown. As usual, Sowell goes beyond the mechanical cause-effect of individual economic events, and uncovers the more subtle human motivations that the various players have in the formulation of the rules of the game, which, in turn, lead to the unintended consequences we all have to live with.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John Parker 07-13-15
    John Parker 07-13-15 Member Since 2014
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    "A history lesson & a cautionary tale"

    As usual, Sowell cuts through the haze of heady rhetoric with incisive fact and plain speaking. It is my fervent wish that all voters read/listen to this book before heading to the polls. It is real results, not intentions, that truly matter when crafting public policy, and all too often it is those real results that are glossed over or obscured in the name of some "noble" goal.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Quantum Seattle, WA USA 03-04-15
    Quantum Seattle, WA USA 03-04-15 Member Since 2014

    neophyte

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    "conservative diatribe"

    I wanted more background on the housing diatribe, instead I got anti liberal vitriol. Worst read of 2015

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sam Motes Tampa 01-28-14
    Sam Motes Tampa 01-28-14 Listener Since 2009

    Audible obsessed lifelong learner.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Sowell's take on housing debacle"

    Yet another look at the causes of the Great Recession of 2098 but this time from the mind of the eminent economist Thomas Sowell. Sowell points out how bad regulations and other interventions lead to the collapse.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Doug St. Louis MO, USA 12-24-12
    Doug St. Louis MO, USA 12-24-12 Member Since 2004
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    "Excellent but incomplete"

    Thomas Sowell does just what you would expect him to--get right at the root problem of the financial crisis with all the important facts, lucid analysis, and clean prose. In that sense, this book is the definitive overview of the genesis and trigger of the 2008 financial crisis.

    On the other hand, I was disappointed that he did not go into the derivative problem--what the finance industry ("Wall Street") engineered out of the underlying fundamental mortgage securities, and the collusive relationship of that end of the industry with Washington DC.

    Whereas Sowell's treatment of the primary phenomenon is outstanding, he seems uninterested in the secondary problem, remarking in passing that if everybody had kept paying their mortgages, there would not have been a problem. In that sense, this book is a missed opportunity for one of the finest minds of our time to fully analyze the financial crisis.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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