Crashed How a decade of financial crises changed the world

J. Adam Tooze

Book - 2018

Looks at the ways that current dramatic shifts in the domestic and global economy have their roots in the 2008 economic crisis and its aftermath, exploring novel themes in the way the crisis has played out for the past decade and will influence the future.

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New York, New York : Viking, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC [2018]
Physical Description
xii, 706 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
Includes bibliographical references and index.
Main Author
J. Adam Tooze (author)
  • Introduction: The first crisis of a global age
  • Part I. Gathering storm
  • The "wrong crisis"
  • Subprime
  • Transatlantic finance
  • Eurozone
  • Multipolar world
  • Part II. The global crisis
  • "The worst financial crisis in global history"
  • Bailouts
  • "The big thing": global liquidity
  • Europe's forgotten crisis: Eastern Europe
  • The wind from the east: China
  • G20
  • Stimulus
  • Fixing finance
  • Part III. Eurozone
  • Greece 2010: extend and pretend
  • A time of debt
  • G-zero world
  • Doom loop
  • Whatever it takes
  • Part IV. Aftershocks
  • American gothic
  • Taper tantrum
  • "F*** the EU": the Ukraine crisis
  • #Thisisacoup
  • The fear projects
  • Trump
  • The shape of things to come.
Review by Choice Reviews

The central thesis of Tooze (Columbia) in his massive tome—616 pages of text plus 88 pages of bibliographic notes—is that the global financial crisis of 2008 had fundamental and significant consequences in the political sphere. Bailing out the international banking system and thus, in the view of many (Tooze included), rescuing the global economy from a meltdown opened up a political schism that has yet to be resolved. The Left, characterized by the Occupy Wall Street movement's motto, "Bail out Main Street and not Wall Street," saw economic inequality as a core issue not adequately addressed by moderately reformist action. The Right, in the voice of the Tea Party, found centrist politics wanting for being too leftist and stymied compromise that would undermine the purity of their philosophy. Consequently, Western governments found themselves unable to govern effectively as the polarizations that hindered compromise began to spread through the democracies of the US and Europe. One further consequence, according to the author, is the rise of the populist extreme right parties especially in the EU. It may be too early to accept Tooze's reading of financial-political history; only a decade has elapsed since the global financial crisis. But it behooves whoever wishes to debate this viewpoint to carefully read Tooze's analysis. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Lower-division undergraduates through faculty.--J. Prager, New York UniversityJonas PragerNew York University Jonas Prager Choice Reviews 56:11 July 2019 Copyright 2019 American Library Association.

Review by Library Journal Reviews

Wolfson Prize winner Tooze looks at the 2008 economic crisis, which not only reconfigured financial markets worldwide but led to political destabilization, with war in Ukraine, upheaval in Greece, Brexit, and more. Did it have to happen? And does a ripple effect continue?Debut novels from authors who have won prizes for their short fictionCoauthored chills that will keep you reading long into the summer night Copyright 2018 Library Journal.

Review by Library Journal Reviews

Tooze (history, Columbia Univ.; The Deluge) combines an economic history with geopolitical analysis of the 2008 financial crisis and the subsequent decade. After detailing the preceding economic climate of a roaring housing market, financial deregulation, and emerging Eastern European economies, the author recounts how those responsible struggled to contain multiple crises in the transatlantic dollar-based financial system, the Eurozone, and post-Soviet Eastern Europe. Resulting government budget deficits brought pressure to impose austerity too early, which made the recovery agonizingly protracted and incomplete. The author goes on to elaborate on the impact of internal politics on government responses and how global markets forced policy decisions on governments, encompassing the Lehman failure, Greek debt, the Ukraine crisis, Brexit, nationalism, protectionism, wealth inequity, the 2015 Chinese market sell-off, and belligerent populism as voiced by President Trump. In sum, the decade's crises came suddenly and with those in charge wholly unready. VERDICT An important and insightful work that, while eminently readable, is most suitable for informed readers wanting an in-depth treatment of the subject. [See Prepub Alert, 2/26/18.]—Lawrence Maxted, Gannon Univ. Lib., Erie, PA Copyright 2018 Library Journal.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

Columbia history professor Tooze (The Deluge) recounts and analyzes the continuing repercussions of the 2008 economic crisis in this dense, but accessible, book. Although he presents more information than most readers will require (including a chart titled, "Demand for Dollar Funding in the European Central Bank's One-Month Auctions"), Tooze makes the arcana of international economic policy relevant to a lay audience by framing his account with Donald Trump's political ascension. He walks through the significant financial crises of the previous 10 years, not neglecting those possibly less familiar to Americans than Lehman Brothers' collapse, such as the debt crisis in Greece and Ireland. Tooze amasses telling details from the bailout of the big banks (for instance, that they more than doubled their funding advantage relative to small banks after the crisis) to bolster his contention that Trump's surprise electoral victory was rooted in the U.S. government's response to the 2008 meltdown. Those government policies gave "absolute priority to saving the financial system" and disregarded "the arrow of causation," reshaping American politics and setting the stage for a populist backlash. In addition to making international economics understandable and attention grabbing, Tooze has written an essential addition to the ranks of histories that place Trumpism in context. (Aug.) Copyright 2018 Publishers Weekly.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

The author of The Deluge describes the 2008 economic crisis and the significance it had in America, the United Kingdom, Asia, the Middle East and Latin America and discusses how it led to war in the Ukraine, Brexit and Trump. Includes charts and graphs.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

Looks at the ways that current dramatic shifts in the domestic and global economy have their roots in the 2008 economic crisis and its aftermath, exploring novel themes in the way the crisis has played out for the past decade and will influence the future.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

WINNER OF THE LIONEL GELBER PRIZEA NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK OF 2018ONE OF THE ECONOMIST'S BOOKS OF THE YEARA NEW YORK TIMES CRITICS' TOP BOOK"An intelligent explanation of the mechanisms that produced the crisis and the response to it...One of the great strengths of Tooze's book is to demonstrate the deeply intertwined nature of the European and American financial systems."--The New York Times Book ReviewFrom a prizewinning economic historian, an eye-opening reinterpretation of the 2008 economic crisis (and its ten-year aftermath) as a global event that directly led to the shockwaves being felt around the world today.We live in a world where dramatic shifts in the domestic and global economy command the headlines, from rollbacks in US banking regulations to tariffs that may ignite international trade wars. But current events have deep roots, and the key to navigating today's roiling policies lies in the events that started it all'the 2008 economic crisis and its aftermath. Despite initial attempts to downplay the crisis as a local incident, what happened on Wall Street beginning in 2008 was, in fact, a dramatic caesura of global significance that spiraled around the world, from the financial markets of the UK and Europe to the factories and dockyards of Asia, the Middle East, and Latin America, forcing a rearrangement of global governance. With a historian's eye for detail, connection, and consequence, Adam Tooze brings the story right up to today's negotiations, actions, and threats'a much-needed perspective on a global catastrophe and its long-term consequences.