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The Credit Crunch: Housing Bubbles, Globalisation and the Worldwide Economic Crisis Paperback – 20 Jun 2008


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The Credit Crunch: Housing Bubbles, Globalisation and the Worldwide Economic Crisis + The Crunch: How Greed and Incompetence Sparked the Credit Crisis + Who Runs Britain?: and Who's to Blame for the Economic Mess We're in
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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Pluto Press; Pluto Press edition (20 Jun 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0745328105
  • ISBN-13: 978-0745328102
  • Product Dimensions: 1.5 x 13.7 x 21.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 482,284 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By C. P. Smith on 15 July 2008
Format: Paperback
The outline in the Amazon `product description' above is a fair summary, but it should be stressed that there is nothing sensational or overtly political about this book. It tries to be a reasoned economic assessment of our current plight, although doubtless it will upset some `free market' and `pro-business' zealots. It is a very timely and its predictions seem to be being born out - for example on page 191 we read `the US Treasury .... will be forced to act, rescuing more banks by injecting public sector capital and, ultimately, taking many into public ownership'. I write this on the same day that the US Treasury has proposed to provide as much support as is required to `Fanny May' and `Freddie Mac' and a couple of days after the Californian bank Indy Mac was nationalised.

Some may consider that the two chapters that discuss what happened to Japan after its speculative bubble went bang in 1990 have their longeuers. However, they give us some insight into how difficult it is to get out of a post bubble slump - particularly given the mindsets of economists and central bankers - and what we might have to look forward to (not a lot if Japan is anything to go by).

This book should be readily understood by anybody with an interest in economic and political affairs. There are lots of clear and very informative graphs and not too much heavy economic theory. It explains a lot but is hardly cheering - perhaps Gordon Brown (of whom the author has remarked elsewhere [Spectator Business website] `I think he will go down as the worst Chancellor in history') has seen a copy - it would explain his current demeanour!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Herman Norford on 20 July 2009
Format: Paperback
The current economic crisis has given cause for journalists and economists to rush to publish a number of books that seek to explain the crisis beyond what the rapid pace of news can deliver. Just to mention a few, we have had Robert Preston's "Who Runs Britain", Vince Cable's "The Storm", Alex Brummer's "The Crunch" and of course the one I am reviewing "The Credit Crunch" by Graham Turner. I chose to read Graham Turner's book because it was said to have analysed the economic crisis in the context of the great political economists such as Adam Smith, Karl Marx and John Maynard Keynes. Did the book live up to this high intellectual connection or did Turner set out to do something different?

Graham Turner is an economic forecaster and founder of GFC Economics an independent economic consultancy. He argues that house inflation has created a false sense of security. Government and regulators have allowed housing bubbles to hide the inevitable effects of companies taking production abroad to increase profits. Inevitable bubbles burst and the effect is one of world wide deflation with the ensuing consequences of bankruptcy, unemployment and massive corporate and personal debt. Furthermore, he highlights a shift in the balance of power between "corporations and workers". This has lead to over production and overinvestment by corporations whilst at the same time wages have been kept low which meant that the easiest way to absorb the mass output of goods was to borrow money. In relation to whom should carry the can for the economic mess, Turner apportion blame to financial institutions, central banks, regulatory authorities but he thinks the real culprits are politicians.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Mr. J. Ward VINE VOICE on 17 Oct 2008
Format: Paperback
I found this in an incredibly informative and insightful book about the present economic situation. It makes sense - though I am sure that some aspects of the book are controversial. The author challenges the reader to consider the origins of the credit crunch. The roots are found in free trade and the endless cost cutting pursuits of large corporations in advanced nations who are preoccupied with driving down costs in order to inflate their bottom line; hence the burgeoning trend towards outsourcing to low waged economies. But that is just the start. The book is highly comprehensive and readable.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By CM Weston on 20 July 2009
Format: Paperback
Mr Turner wrote this book in the first half of 2008 so it has missed some of the later developments in 2008 such as the collapse of Lehman Brothers, but it is still essential reading on the causes of the worst recession in almost eighty years. The author is dismissive of a suggested cause being proffered of the crisis being due to excess savings in Asia. For him, the causes are very much our own - in essence, he states that the credit boom was allowed by govrnments to get out of hand to mask the shortfalls in national incomes caused by companies shifting production or outsourcing overseas. In effect, he argues that the accelerated drive to globalisation has contributed largely to our problems.
The author spends a reasonable amount of time on Japan and its problems stemming from its own boom to bust in the 1980s and its protracted recession thereafter, for lessons to be learned by the authorities. This is essential to explaining some of the policy options being taken by central banks and finance ministries worldwide since the major challenge has been deflation rather than inflation - deflation raises the real cost of borrowings and makes it more difficult for borrower to repay. Policy actions to date have stabilised the situation. Interestingly, Mr Turner recommended quantitative easing and this has been introduced. He is somewhat sceptical of the causes of the crisis being solely down to the regulatory regimes failing to take action and that reforms in this area will be the panacea for our ills. That said, his other policy prescriptions did not quite hold water for me - namely, reducing corporate power or increasing the strength of labour.
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