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Trillion Dollar Meltdown : Easy Money, High Rollers, and the Great Credit Crash

Trillion Dollar Meltdown : Easy Money, High Rollers, and the Great Credit Crash
Charles R. Morris
New York : PublicAffairs, 2008
HG4910 .M667 2008

We are living in the most reckless financial environment in recent history. According to acclaimed financial writer Charles R. Morris, the sub-prime mortgage crisis is only a preview of the havoc that will play out across the full spectrum of financial assets. Arcane credit derivative bets are now well into the tens of trillions. The astronomical leverage at major banks and their hedge fund and private equity clients virtually guarantees massive disruption in global markets. This is a crash with no firebreaks. A quarter century of free-market zealotry that extolled asset stripping, abusive lending, and hedge fund secrecy will go down in flames with it. The required restructuring will be at least as painful as the very difficult period of 1979-1983.

In crisp, gripping prose, The Trillion Dollar Meltdown explains the arcane financial instruments, the chicanery, the policy misjudgments, the dogmas, and the delusions that created the greatest credit bubble in world history. Paul Volcker slew the inflation dragon in the early 1980s, and set the stage for the high performance economy of the 1980s and 1990s. But Wall Street's prosperity soon tilted into gross excess. Now global confidence in American securities has been shattered, the dollar debased, and the crown jewels of American industry put on auction to foreigners. Continued denial and concealment could cause the crisis to stretch out for years, but financial and government leaders are still downplaying the problem. The Trillion Dollar Meltdown is indispensible to understanding how the world economy has been put on the brink - and the radically reshaped political/economic landscape that will define the post-crash era.

Quoted from dustjacket.