Meltdown: The End of the Age of Greed Paperback – 20 Apr 2009
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A page turning account ... Mason is refreshingly clear-eyed and angry. --Will Hutton, Guardian
What people need is a reliable guide to the financial crisis... Meltdown is the book they are looking for. --John Gray, New Statesman
A lucid and sharply polemical account of the crisis. --Oliver Kamm, The Times
About the Author
Paul Mason is the economics editor of BBC Newsnight. He has covered globalisation and social justice stories from locations across the world, including the USA, Latin America, Africa and China. His book Live Working or Die Fighting was longlisted for the Guardian First Book Award. Paul's blog on the financial crisis is at www.meltdowntheendoftheageofgreed.com
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Top Customer Reviews
Gordon Brown told us in June 2007 that deregulating Britain's banks would be `the beginning of a new golden age'. The bankers lied that they took high risks so they deserved their high rewards. But they took the profits from industrial production and put them into finance, not back into industry: "the end result is that profits are funnelled from ordinary savers into the pockets of the rich."
The bankers created the credit bubbles in dotcom, housing and commodities. Speculators bought technologies, houses, oil, rice, wheat and soya, until all the bubbles burst, laying waste those parts of the real economy.
After the financial crisis, the governments bought the banks' debts as dearly as possible, so as not to penalise them, running up huge debts and printing money, to save the banks, whatever the cost to the economy. There are $10 trillions' worth of toxic loans, only $1 trillion of which has been written off so far.
The world's workforce has doubled since 1979 to three billion. This huge supply of labour has tilted the balance of power from labour towards capital. So now we need to fight smarter for higher wages, and for a different economy.
To do so, workers will have to reject what Mason calls the `low-level, non-ideological, anti-political culture' of the anti-globalisation movement. He points out, "In the same month that half a million American workers would lose their jobs, the main focus of the Non-Governmental Organisations leaflets was `Don't forget aid to Africa'." We should reject the NGOs' slogan `Think globally, act locally'.Read more ›
It is too early to have a definitive account of the crisis. But Mason's book is extremely useful. He also has a good eye for the telling anecdote. I don't often write Amazon reviews but in this case I thought I would make an exception.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is an insightful and very well informed overview of the ultimate causes of the 2008 financial crash and it's aftermath. Read morePublished 21 months ago by First Time User
A comprehensive journalistic (rather than academic) cover of the financial crisis starting in 2008 and the crucial way the unregulated banks brought this about.Published on 6 Sept. 2013 by Mr James Atherton
Economics is difficult for most of us and so a book that clearly explains theories and stops in mid flow to interpret jargon into plain English is welcome. Read morePublished on 16 Jan. 2012 by Germinal
Clear and easily digestible overview of the banking crisis from one of the few mainstream journalists worth listening to. Read morePublished on 14 Jan. 2012 by P. Duval
Everytime there is a crisis, leftists try to seize the opportunity and put up a jolly good show, creating the next, bigger one. Read morePublished on 31 Oct. 2011 by Misesfollower
Paul Mason is a brilliant journalist.His abilities with language and his talent for making the incredibly complex something even I can grasp, is invaluable. Read morePublished on 24 Sept. 2011 by stingyjane
This is the best book I have ever read on modern economics, its clarity, clear clear sightedness and birds eye view of the events of the financial crash are enlighting because Paul... Read morePublished on 13 July 2011 by J. Maher