Book in the news: a useful addition to the library of crisis literature

Book review: Crashed: How a Decade of Financial Crises Changed the WorldAn authoritative study on the causes of the global financial crisis.

906-Crashed-100

Published by Allen Lane (£30)

Buy at Amazon

It's been ten years since Lehman Brothers collapsed, turning what was known as the "credit crunch" into the Great Recession. In that time, we've had the eurozone crisis, Brexit and the rise of populism, and plenty of attempts to analyse the causes of the global financial crisis. Few, however, are likely to match Adam Tooze's book in scope, ambition or rigour, says Duncan Weldon in Prospect.

The prose is "clear" and the scholarship "remarkable", says Martin Wolf in the FT. Tooze blames an "irresponsible and poorly regulated financial sector" for the crisis, but it wasn't just the fault of American banks "European banks had built up huge dollar liabilities and assets, with nearly all of those liabilities consisting of short-term market borrowing".

"Those like me who have read or written it before might find that there is more narrative than analysis, and that at times that detail can be a little wearying," says David Smith in The Times. And Tooze has "an unnecessarily jaundiced view" of "the period of economic stability and low inflation in the years leading up to the crisis".

Still, the book is clearly "well researched" and Tooze "explains things well, without getting bogged down in technical complexities". All in all, it is "a useful addition to the growing library of crisis literature".

Recommended

My must-read of 2020: a page-turning biography of Keynes
Investment strategy

My must-read of 2020: a page-turning biography of Keynes

John Stepek recommends some of his favourite financial books for you to read as lockdowns continue, including a surprisingly gripping biography of the…
31 Dec 2020
Five books to put on your Christmas list
Investment strategy

Five books to put on your Christmas list

Even if they’ve done nothing else, lockdowns – in whatever guise – have given us plenty of time to read. Merryn Somerset Webb picks five books to enjo…
7 Dec 2020
Four excellent books to get your teeth into while you remain holed up
Books

Four excellent books to get your teeth into while you remain holed up

Whether you’re going on a staycation (or even an actual holiday) or remaining holed up at home. Merryn Somerset Webb has four perfect books to educate…
6 Jul 2020

Most Popular

“Joke” cryptocurrency dogecoin goes to the moon. What’s going on?
Bitcoin

“Joke” cryptocurrency dogecoin goes to the moon. What’s going on?

Dogecoin – a cryptocurrency created as a joke – has risen by more than 9,000% this year alone. Saloni Sardana looks at how something that began as an …
19 Apr 2021
The FTSE 100 has clawed back above 7,000 – how much higher can it go?
UK stockmarkets

The FTSE 100 has clawed back above 7,000 – how much higher can it go?

The FTSE 100 index has risen to over 7,000 for the first time in over a year – it now sits just above where it was in 1999. But its era of neglect cou…
19 Apr 2021
The bitcoin bubble will burst: here’s how to play it
Bitcoin

The bitcoin bubble will burst: here’s how to play it

The cryptocurrency’s price has soared far beyond its fundamentals, says Matthew Partridge. Here, he looks at how to short bitcoin.
12 Apr 2021