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What Happened?: And Other Questions Everyone Is Asking About the Credit Crunch Paperback – 24 Nov 2008


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What Happened?: And Other Questions Everyone Is Asking About the Credit Crunch + The Crunch: How Greed and Incompetence Sparked the Credit Crisis
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Product details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Old Street Publishing (24 Nov. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1905847920
  • ISBN-13: 978-1905847921
  • Product Dimensions: 12.8 x 1 x 19.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 630,941 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By marthadtox on 17 Jan. 2009
"The Chinese economic miracle was throwing off cash at an astonishing rate. In very simple terms the world was awash with money in the early years of the 21st century Lenders were falling over themselves to find willing borrowers. If the supply of money is outpacing demand, its price will fall."

In very simple terms in a cute, concise and rather deliciously crunchy little book, Hugh Pym and Nick Kochan have done what it says on the tin and provided the "intelligent lay reader" with a highly readable, jargon free and accessible guide to the credit crunch. To illustrate how this has been accomplished, compare the quotation cited above with a comparable passage from the Bank of England's explanation of the same phenomenon in its latest Financial Stability Report.

"Cheap exports from China and elsewhere in Asia, along with growth in world trade, contributed to falls in inflation in a number of developed countries. Nominal short-term interest rates were reduced to very low levels."

The authors have managed to pull off the trick of writing about a highly complex and technical subject in a style that will engage and painlessly enlighten the reader without compromising the quality of the analysis. The book kicks off with a survey of the economic, political and financial factors that combined to create the current crisis and then tackles a range of issues including: the response of governments and central bankers; how the crisis may affect individuals; the impact throughout the rest of the world and the question of how such a catastrophe may be prevented in the future.

The book has an unusual format in that it is structured as a set of questions and answers.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By NJB on 14 Dec. 2008
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The book says it is aimed at the non-banking reader which then qualifies me to comment!

It is a welcome contribution since the subject is clearly extremely important, opinions are strongly divided on what to do, it has become political, and the opinions of laymen voters are likely to influence what is done. We need the understanding to avoid herd behaviour.

The book provides very useful insights for the layman into the man-made complexities which have contributed to the current mess and explains the background to various dippy loan decisions which have been made.

Many people, if not most, have felt uneasy for some time at the excessively easy credit over the last few years and the corresponding growth in house prices that looked unsustainable. It was interesting to hear the links from the surplus funds created elsewhere from our cheap imports to our easy credit.

Messrs Pym and Kochan appear to concentrate on the current liquidity problem rather than the options to deal with the massive debt problem. I got no comfort about what should be done, or who actually understands it. The impression is that it is all about financial complexities, detailed mistakes and confidence issues which few people if any can understand. It seems to this layman that the fundamental problem as a nation is that we have been consuming a lot of products from overseas without trading our goods and services in return. In effect, it seems we have built up a massive unsustainable debt that was bound to crash sometime with the credit crunch being a symptom rather than the underlying problem.

The current government drive for us to consume more seems as ill-advised as an individual with a debt problem trying to spend their way out of trouble.
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