R. Shafer

Colorado, USA
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Freefall – Not the place to start

3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 03-19-10

Stiglitz' treatment of the causes of the economic crisis seemed a bit superficial. His argument was unconvincing because he didn't strongly support many of his claims. He points to the crisis as a failure of the free market and of capitalism, while admitting that this situation did not operate as a free market, nor did we have a true capitalist system in place.

The most interesting - and perhaps most important - chapter of the book is not specifically about the economic crisis. In Chapter 9, Stiglitz raises several interesting questions that challenge the traditional assumptions of economists. I recommend beginning by reading/listening to Chapter Nine to get a sense of Stiglitz' theoretical underpinnings, and then read the rest of Freefall with that in mind.

I read T. Sowell's Housing Boom and Bust concurrent with this book, and found Sowell's facts and arguments more satisfying. Stiglitz' book seems to leave out a lot of details. For a more clear explanation that deals with the facts in an easier to understand, more down-to-earth way, I'd recommend Sowell's book as the place to start. FreeFall makes a good second book because it deals with different aspects of the crisis and comes from a different point of view.

9 of 16 people found this review helpful