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Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Books Read in June

Meltdown: The End of the Age of Greed by Paul Mason

This was written just after the GFC hit so it has the value of immediacy, but it's out-dated now in some ways. Paul Mason describes the fall of Lehman brothers, the bank bailouts, and the sub-prime mortgage crisis clearly and reasonably simply. However, I still found the book a bit difficult to read.

He attributes the crisis to the failure of neoliberalism, deregulation, a share market that was allowed to run wild, and various other factors. His analysis of the causes of the crisis is probably the most interesting part of the book.

Mason writes about the crisis from a left-wing point of view. Whether you agree with his conclusions or not will probably depend on your politics to some extent. Right-wing commentators have often argued that the GFC had completely different causes.

Mason does draw conclusions and suggests that the answer is a completely new form of hyper-regulated capitalism. I couldn't be bothered reading this part of the book, however, because it was just too ideological and dull.

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