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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.

Critic Reviews

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

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • 4.4 out of 5.0
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  • Overall

Inciteful Non partisan blame

I read other reviews of this book before buying. The ones who rated it poorly seemed never to have read the book in its entirety.
Mr Sowell is a gifted communicator. He backs up his view with facts and statistics. He implicates those who deserve blame regardless of political affiliation, or business affiliation. He calls it like he sees it and I concur with the evidenciary findings he brings to light.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Informative, especially for this liberal listener

I was reluctant to hear Sowell due to his right leaning, and my left leaning, politics. But I am very glad I did. His book is very clearly written. While I did not agree with all of his suppositions and conclusions, I found them to be well reasoned and supported. I also found his tone to be far less severe than I feared. He does not treat the left with kid gloves, but he does not employ the hyperbole and theatrics of other current conservative authors. Most important is that I feel much more informed, and curious, about economics and politics as a whole after having listened to this book. Any book that held my attention though out, and inspired me to ask more questions and seek more information, is a 4-5 star listen for me. What makes this one a 5 star listen is the excellent narration by Robertson Dean (who kept reminding me of a serious Elliot Gould).

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Gail
  • Diamond Bar, CA, USA
  • 11-20-09

Explains the Bust

Provides a lot of details on how we ended up in this housing trouble. There's a lot more to it than I realized.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Roy
  • Beaumont, TX, United States
  • 06-02-09

Right to the Point

Thomas Sowell has his detractors, but this is another of his books well worth reading whatever your point of view. Essentially he sets out to explain how the Housting Boom came about and what the resulting Bust means to the average American. He is best when he describes the affordable housing movement and its ramifications. His point of view may not appeal, but his analysis and presentation can't be faulted.

If you are scratching your head about the current real estate problem - start here.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

very good

Another great book by Thomas Sowell.
I have read most of his writings. The clarity of his thoughts and his intelligence is amazing.
Another classic for the 'weekend' economist.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Eunice
  • Harrodsburg, KY, United States
  • 07-20-09

Dr. Sowell does what the media SHOULD do

Dr. Thomas Sowell is a national treasure, in my estimation. This book gives the origins of the current housing "bust" and recession his usual thorough treatment. His text is clear and concise, his facts well documented, and his logic brilliant. The Washington politicos and the mainstream media have blamed the crisis on Wall Street, but Dr. Sowell digs deeper. This is an extremely important book. We in the voting public need to be educated now more than ever, looking further down the road than tomorrow when making political decisions. Dr. Sowell teaches a long term view of things, and The Housing Boom and Bust is a timely lesson. Very, very highly recommend.

Also recommended by Dr. Sowell: Applied Economics, Black Rednecks and White Liberals, Quest for Cosmic Justice. All excellent.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Sowell Makes it Clear

In this short (192 pages) explanation of the roots of our current economic situation economist Thomas Sowell cuts through all the obfuscation and spin with a meticulously documented and easily followed narrative. If you are interested in a coherent, step-by-step description of how we got to a world economic order undermined by "toxic assets" then Sowell's book is for you.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Comprehensive Overview of the Problem

I read (listened) to the entire book. Not only does it outline in detail the players (in both major political parties) that brought about the problem, Dr. Sowell does an excellent job in outlining the many causes for the boom, and then subsequent bust. He also discusses in detail, options that may, or may not help solve the problem in the long term.

This book is well worth the price of purchase, and well worth the time spent reading (listening) to it.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • James
  • colorado springs, CO, USA
  • 01-27-10

loved it

as a real estate investor, I feel this is the most accurate depiction of what really caused the boom and bust that I have yet to read

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Amanda
  • St. Albans, VT, USA
  • 12-17-09

Exactly!

Great book, very simple and concise explanation to the over-inflated housing industry.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful