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Fault Lines: How Hidden Fractures Still Threaten the World Economy Hardcover – 24 May 2010

4.2 out of 5 stars 27 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press (24 May 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0691146837
  • ISBN-13: 978-0691146836
  • Product Dimensions: 15.9 x 3.2 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars 27 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 85,557 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Review


Raghuram G. Rajan, Winner of the 2013 Deutsche Bank Prize in Financial Economics, The Center for Financial Studies
Winner of the 2010 Business Book of the Year Award, "Financial Times" and Goldman Sachs
Winner of the 2011 Gold Medal in Finance/Investment/Economics, Independent Publisher Book Awards
Winner of the 2010 PROSE Award in Economics, American Publishers Awards
Winner of the 2010 Gold Medal Book of the Year Award in Business & Economics, "ForeWord Reviews"
Finalist for the 2010 Paul A. Samuelson Award, TIAA-CREF
One of "strategy+business magazine"'s Best Business Books of the Year for 2010
Best Crisis Book by an Economist and Named one of "Bloomberg News"'s Thirty Business Books of the Year for 2010
One of "Financial Times"'s Books of the Year in Business & Economics, Nonfiction Round-Up for 2010
Finalist for the 2010 Book of the Year Awards in Business and Economics, "ForeWord Reviews"
Finalist for the 2011 Estoril Global Issues Distinguished Book Prize


"Like geological fault lines, the fissures in the world economic system are more hidden and widespread than many realize, he says. And they are potentially more destructive than other, more obvious culprits, like greedy bankers, sleepy regulators and irresponsible borrowers. Mr. Rajan . . . argues that the actions of these players (and others) unfolded on a larger world stage, that was (and is) subject to the imperatives of political economies. . . . [A] serious and thoughtful book."--"New York Times"

"In a new book . . . entitled "Fault Lines," Rajan argues that the initial causes of the breakdown were stagnant wages and rising inequality. With the purchasing power of many middle-class households lagging behind the cost of living, there was an urgent demand for credit. The financial industry, with encouragement from the government, responded by supplying home-equity loans, subprime mortgages, and auto loans. . . . The side effects of unrestrained credit growth turned out to be devastating--a possibility most economists had failed to consider."--John Cassidy, "New Yorker"

"The book, published by Princeton University Press, saw off stiff competition from five others on the shortlist, to be chosen as 'the most compelling and enjoyable' business title of 2010. The final intense debate among the seven judges came down to a choice between "Fault Lines" and "Too Big to Fail," Andrew Ross Sorkin's acclaimed minute-by-minute analysis of the collapse of Lehman Brothers. The book identifies the flaws that helped cripple the world financial system, prescribes potential remedies, but also warns that unless policymakers push through painful reforms, the world could be plunged into renewed turmoil."--"Financial Times"

"The left has figured out who to blame for the financial crisis: Greedy Wall Street bankers, especially at Goldman Sachs. The right has figured it out, too: It was government's fault, especially Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Raghuram Rajan of the University of Chicago's Booth School of Business says it's more complicated: Fault lines along the tectonic plates of the global economy pushed big government and big finance to a financial earthquake. To him, this was a Greek tragedy in which traders and bankers, congressmen and subprime borrowers all played their parts until the drama reached the inevitably painful end. (Mr. Rajan plays Cassandra, of course.) But just when you're about to cast him as a University of Chicago free-market stereotype, he surprises by identifying the widening gap between rich and poor as a big cause of the calamity."--David Wessel, "Wall Street Journal"

"[E]xcellent. . . . ["Fault Lines"] deserve[s] to be widely read in a time when the tendency to blame everything on catch-all terms like 'globalisation' is gaining ground."--"Economist"

"[C]onvincing."--Christopher Caldwell, "New York Times Magazine"

""Fault Lines" is a must-read."--Nouriel Roubini, "Forbes.com"

"What if the financial crash of 2008 was really caused by income inequality? Not greedy bankers, not reckless homeowners, but the ever widening-gulf between the rich and the poor? And what if the lack of social services--like health care--made things much, much worse? This is the startling new theory from Raghuram Rajan. . . . ["Fault Lines" is] especially fascinating because it mixes free-market Chicago School economics with good-government ideas straight out of Obamaland."--John Richardson, "Esquire.com"

"A high-powered yet accessible analysis of the financial crisis and its aftermath, "Fault Lines" was awarded the FT/Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year. Rajan . . . was one of the few who warned that the crisis was coming and his book fizzes with striking and thought-provoking ideas."--"Financial Times" (FT Critics Pick 2010)

From the Inside Flap

"Fault Lines provides an excellent analysis of the lessons to be learned from the financial crisis, and the difficult choices that lie ahead. Of the many books written in the wake of our recent economic meltdown, this is the one that gets it right."--George A. Akerlof, coauthor of Animal Spirits and Identity Economics

"Amidst the welter of books about our financial crisis, Rajan's book stands out for several reasons: the author's intellectual distinction, his academic and real-world involvement in the problems of finance and the macroeconomy, his global perspective, his search for the roots of the financial crisis in America's growing economic inequality, and also his prescience. In 2005, Rajan foresaw the coming financial collapse--and was fiercely criticized for his insight."--Richard A. Posner, author ofA Failure of Capitalism: The Crisis of '08 and the Descent into Depression

"Beautifully clear, cogent, and highly readable. This is the best book out there on the global imbalances that gave us the last financial crisis and might well give us the next one."--Kenneth S. Rogoff, coauthor ofThis Time Is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly

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