Let me just start out by saying that this book is superb. I loved it. But I do enjoy an intelligent and well written economic history. And Tooze can read well, too, so the experience of listening and reading was truly delightful – although it got a bit long..
Adam Tooze is a highly regarded British historian and professor of economics at Columbia who has rather liberal views and although he’s fair to all parties, he doesn’t hide his leanings. This suited me just fine.
Crashed: How a Decade of Financial Crises Changed the World
by Adam Tooze
2018/ 720 pages
read by Simon Vance – 24h 27m
rating – 9.75 / economic history
(both read and listened)
The book is about the world-wide economic collapse which started in 2007/08 with the collapse of Lehman Brothers and lasted until probably 2015 with a lasting global impact – all the way into the Trump era. I’s been over a decade now so there is enough perspective to look at some causes and effects, major players and complex issues.
Chapters on the US, Western Europe and Russia as well as China make up the bulk of the book but there is also room for Trump era. Tooze takes the reader how it started and what the causes were thought to be at the time as well as why the panic and failures spread so fast and so far. Note – the economic problems were was far worse in most of the rest of the world than what we experienced in the US. This was the Great Recession compared to the Great Depression of the 1930s but it could so easily have been worse. The book is dense with facts and figures involving the international banking schemes where the dollar was king.
I found the European issues a bit difficult going because although I remembered most of it, the problems in Greece, Ireland and Ukraine, I don’t believe I followed the issues of Spain and Portugal as closely at the time. I remember Merkel’s tough stand and her fights with France.
All this background leads up to a far better understanding of the situation Trump has landed himself and us in. This man does NOT know what he is doing and it’s all different now with China as a super-power player – with her own problems.
Here in Australia where we experienced the Depression much worse than many other countries but had no recession at all during the GFC, our history books reflect on the Depression and its relationship to WW2, along the lines that ordinary people were hung out to dry while the wealthy didn’t suffer at all and governments refused to supply redress. Well, I was in Spain, Portugal and Bordeaux when demos over the GFC were just beginning and it’s not hard for me to imagine the deep resentments that people feel when they had to live through austerity though none of it was their fault but they were told it was – for not having ‘reformed’ their economies to be brutally unfair as in the US and UK. No wonder liberal democracies are in trouble around the world…
Pingback: Shutdown ~ by Adam Tooze | Becky's Books –