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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

Overall

  • 4.4 out of 5.0
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Performance

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Story

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  • John
  • ASHBURN, VA, United States
  • 12-07-13

Beware: This is a polemic, not an objective study

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

Not having heard of Thomas Sowell, I chose this book hoping for an objective analysis of the housing boom and bust. I wanted to learn more about what happened. Instead, it became clear at the outset that Sowell was emphasizing the facts that best would support his libertarian opinions.

What could Thomas Sowell have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

Change the title to make it clear this was a polemic, not an objective analysis.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

Narrator was excellent - wonderfully clear, baritone voice.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

It was clearly well researched, and the author's points were well documented. Unfortunately, all the facts were selected to support the author's opinions, not to provide a total picture.

Any additional comments?

From what I have read elsewhere, the crisis was caused by a combination of misguided government incentives (maybe 25%) and wild, unregulated greed on the part of financial institutions (maybe 75%). Sowell would have us believe the ratio is more like 95% to 5%. This is just not believable, and it leads us to the dangerously false conclusion that we need less bank regulation, not more. It makes you wonder if Sowell has a side business as a banking consultant.

0 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Very biased view of a complex issue.

Would you ever listen to anything by Thomas Sowell again?

No

What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

Well read.

Any additional comments?

I do not recommend this book to anyone seeking additional clear, factual information on housing policy.

0 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Tom
  • dulles, VA, USA
  • 09-19-09

Conservative screed

Through-the-looking-glass economics. Present crisis (as well as the length of the great depression!) due not to market failures but government intervention by silly social activists. Clever, intellectually entertaining -- but make no mistake a work with a right-wing laissez-faire axe to grind. Barney Frank a principal villain. I came, I heard, I gagged.

7 of 33 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

waste!

I listened to two chapters and grew tired of the single source of blame that is poorly constructed in the book.

I will sum this book up very simply as EVERYTHING to do with the crash was because of TOO much government. It is bias dribble, that adds nothing to the debate to solve any problems. If you believe that extremes of left or right are the only solution, and there is no such thing as reviewing failed or flawed ideals, then enjoy.

9 of 59 people found this review helpful