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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Richly-written, if a little opaque., 5 July 2013
By 
Puss (Daedalus Complex) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Financial Crisis (Guardian Shorts Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
I like the way this book is divided into 13 chapters that each cover a seperate topic most consisting of the factors of the triple-recession we in the UK and Europe are now undergoing. The author is a Guardian newspaper journalist and his writing is rich and concise, not elaborate or flowery, and covers his subject with the brevity the book's length requires. But I found the details to be very opaque to the uninformed mind not well-versed in economics or the present economic situation. It assumes you already know enough economics and economic terms to be able to understand the book, so does not try to clarify or explain what the novice might want to know. It reads much like an article or set of articles from the Comment & Analysis section of the Guardian with an economic theme. If you know a little basic economics then that knowledge might just carry you through a reading of this short book of about 98 Kindle-size pages; otherwise the jargon and terminology will stall you. I found the first few chapters difficult and nearly put it aside, but as I kept reading it began to become more readable and the fog cleared as I recognised some of the things I'd already learnt from other books and could piece together much of it. I also felt like I was learning more about the recession and why we are in it - the book's intention - and it confirmed my suspicion that one of the major contributing factors, if not THE, was greedy credit loansharks and equally greedy mass consumerism, probably fuelled by things like TV advertising. In the end I was sorry when the book finished as I liked the writer's style and the intellectual challenge the book posed.
If you don't know anything about the subject of economics as it relates to the international market system, you might be better reading a much simpler book about the basics first and then coming back to this, or using a dictionary of economics alongside it.
Enjoyable read, and recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A well-written, intelligent overview of what's going on., 29 Jun 2012
By 
Amazon Customer (Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Financial Crisis (Guardian Shorts Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
This book is written by Phillip Inman who is the Economics Correspondent for The Guardian and The Observer newspapers. As such, he is perfectly placed to explain just what the hell is going on in the world at the moment. And he does so. After reading this I now understand what 'Quantitive Easing' and a 'double-dip recession' are and why they occurred.
Inman gives a succinct and understandable (but not dumbed-down in anyway) explanation of the financial crisis that has hit the planet over the last few years - obviously focussing on the UK, but looking at the wider world as well - and gives a useful overview of the background, the actual crisis itself and the ongoing problems that it caused.
If you were as confused about the whole thing as I was and want to get a handle on what's happened to your money, your house and your job then I absolutely recommend that you give this book a read.

Stephen Mellor - Author of The Long Sleep
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great, concise account of the mess., 31 July 2012
This review is from: The Financial Crisis (Guardian Shorts Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
I'm not an economist and to be honest, get a bit bogged down (and bored) by nightly news coverage of the continuing financial meltdown. This book really helped me to understand where things have turned bad and how the world managed to get itself into this predicament.
Although some of the subject matter can often be a bit heavy for my very much non-mathematical/non-economist brain, I never felt out of my depth here.
The short length makes it easily digestible and it give a good grounding for more in-depth study. The conclusions at the end did feel a little rushed, but once again, serve as a catalyst for greater research at a later date.
A good price too.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well paced explanation of the current state, 12 July 2012
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This review is from: The Financial Crisis (Guardian Shorts Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
This book is pretty up to date, although in a fast moving situation it is bound to be missing the very latest facts to the big stories such as the Barclays LIBOR allegations we have been reading about over the last couple of weeks. That is not any criticism of the book, just a good indication of how much there is to the story and the pace with which the story continues to unfold with, no doubt, plenty more where that came from.

The author clearly has a great depth of understanding on the subject but manages to impart the knowledge in a fast paced and accessible manner. This really is a riveting short read for what could be such a dry subject, I'd expect a lot of people would finish the book in a single sitting. Expect to become a pseudo expert on bonds, credit default swaps, currency rates, Government debt and mortgage in various parts of the world along with a good grasp of how the whole thing is linked together in one very large bundle. The analogy, used several times throughout the book, of the Victorian family furiously trying to keep up appearances whilst secretly using the bedroom furniture for firewood really helps your understanding.

This is a good companion read to The Euro Crisis For Dummies
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5.0 out of 5 stars Good but already a bit out of date as the ..., 22 Oct 2014
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This review is from: The Financial Crisis (Guardian Shorts Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
Good but already a bit out of date as the analysis only goes up to early 2013. As it's a e-book it would be helpful if the author could update it.
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