Customer Reviews for

The Return of Depression Economics and the Crisis of 2008

Average Rating 3.5
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  • Posted November 28, 2008

    I Also Recommend:

    Suggestions for where to go from here

    Nearly a decade ago, Paul Krugman released the first edition of "The Return of Depression Economics," a book that took a close look at the economic crises in Asia and South America. Then he suggested that we were threatened to return to the economic conditions that caused the Great Depression. Since that time, Wall Street and our economy cooked (minus a minor recession) and people forgot all about his book.<BR/><BR/>Now that the housing bubble burst and the mortgage and subsequent financial crises have taken hold, Krugman created an updated edition of his original book. It's true that the book is greatly updated with lots of new content including:<BR/><BR/>~ The failure of regulation to keep pace with an increasingly out-of-control financial system<BR/>~ Steps that must be taken to contain the crisis (a rarity in the spate of books coming forth in response to the failing economy)<BR/><BR/>All in all, this book has its place in our analysis of the crisis and some of his suggestions for moving forward are good ones. His writing style is clever and well-informed.<BR/><BR/>Another book I recommend strongly that has been a tremendous help to me in dealing with the financial crisis and the mounting stress at work is The Emotional Intelligence Quick Book

    9 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 16, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    The Return of Depression Economics and the Crisis of 2008

    Once again, Paul Krugman has managed to present a subject which few have the training for into a very readable presentation of the economic crisis we are facing. Although I have a major in Economics (and have taught this at the High School level), I also analyze how readable or interesting this would be to others who do not have this background. It is obvious why Paul Krugman was chosen for the Nobel prize in Economics!! BRAVO!!

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 19, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Useful economic analysis, but unimaginative politics

    Paul Krugman is a professor of economics and international affairs at Princeton University. This is an update of his 1999 book.

    Alan Greenspan, when Chairman of the Federal Reserve, said that a fall in house prices was 'most unlikely' and, "not only have financial institutions become less vulnerable to shocks from underlying risk factors, but also the financial system as a whole has become more resilient." Robert Lucas, a Nobel-Prize winning economist, said, "the central problem of depression-prevention has been solved." Chairman of the Federal Reserve Ben Bernanke said there would be no more boom and bust. Inflated reputations, supply-side economics, free market policies, are all as bankrupt as the banks they serve.

    The misbegotten need to 'win the markets' confidence' pushes countries to make slumps worse by cutting demand as Hoover did in the Great Depression, by cutting spending and raising taxes. Yet the IMF still tells countries to do this.

    After the Great Depression, banks and international capital flows, which had played such a destructive role, were both tightly regulated. But, "Growing international capital flows set the stage for devastating currency crises in the 1990s and for a global financial crisis in 2008."

    But with financial globalisation, highly-leveraged financial institutions hold large stakes abroad, which are transmission belts for crises. The 'solution' of maximum integration into global capitalism turns out to be the cause of the crisis.

    Krugman notes that after Japan's 1991 slump, its government tried zero interest rates, public works programmes, inflation, printing money, building up foreign exchange reserves, export drives to the USA, a $500 billion bank bail out in 1998 - nothing worked.

    The present crisis combine a burst real estate bubble and a liquidity trap (like Japan in the 1990s), bank runs (like the 1930s), and currency crises (like Asia in the 1990s), adding up to a global slump. Krugman admits that we need 'long-term restrictions on international capital flows, not just temporary controls in times of crisis'.

    But there is no solution to capitalism's absolute decline within capitalism, unless you count war as a solution. No capitalist plan works: in each country, only the working class can build recovery.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 24, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Understanding This Economic Mess We Are In.

    I am usually by no means interested, little less excited by a book on economics. But, Mr. Krugman breaks the current situtation down into terms the most would understand, and uses descriptive and relevent examples of how economies work in general. Paul Krugman relates in an understandable manner the emerging ties between economies in other countries, and especially those countries that have had problems in recent memory such the downturn of the asian markets in the late 1990's. His recommendations at the end of the book are interesting and intellectual stimulating. If you want a better understanding of the United States current economic sitatution, its relation to global economies, and the unique steps that need to be taken by each government, this a book you can't miss. I gave several as gifts for christmas this past holiday season.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 5, 2009

    It's not the return of Depression Economics, it's another testament of Depression Economics.

    Original Depression Economics did not have federal laws to deal with the economic situation of the country. But because of those economics, laws were established.

    Those laws do not exist in their original forms anymore. The amendments made since then, along with current efforts to change it, make it like the
    book of mormon, the doctrine of covenants, and the pearl of great price is to the bible.

    You can not treat it the same way as in its original form.

    It's like another religion, like Mormonism is to christianity.

    Yes, there are similarities, the rules of Hamurabi still apply, but with a new legal twist that is complicated.

    This book is good for what it contains which is the basic foundation of the norm for economic practices of depression eras as far as resolution is concerned. But its incomplete, because it does not include new laws and amendments etc. since 1935.

    And those laws affect the functionability of current conditions verses pre 1935 era.

    A new approach has to be made to accomodate those changes.

    Wake up and smell the coffee.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 9, 2009

    Helpful information for those wishing to understand more about the complexities and interdependence of current US and world economies.

    I found, "The Return of Depression Economics" to be enlightening. I had no idea that inflation could be a 'good thing', but know, understand at the right time and right place it can actually be helpful. I have a better understanding of mortgage backed securities, hedge funds and other investment vehicles and how they could spiral down in value so quickly. Finally, I have some perspective on the economic disasters that faced other nations over the past 80 years and how they dealt with them. Can¿t ask much more than that from 191 pages.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 19, 2009

    Good review of economic crisis

    The book is good to read. Paul Krugman writes in understandable language and gives good examples. The review of previous crisis as well as of the current crisis are very interesting. It is surprising that many of these crisis are still not well understood. The author describes well the compexity of the global economy.

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  • Posted June 21, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Professor Krugman teaches basic economics

    Krugman walks through America's economic history of the last century and shows how the current economics environment parallels the environment from the Gilded Age up through the events causing the Great Depression and how Conservative economic policies have disregarded the lessons of our own history and once again brought us to the edge of disaster. Through easy to grasp anecdotal examples unburdened by technical jargon, he teaches economics to the laymen and shows how to address the current financial crisis and avoid the next one while at the same time creating a more equal and more prosperous society.

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  • Posted May 2, 2009

    Good book from a qualified economist

    The book signals the causes of recent economic fluctuations in developed and developing economics. People aiming to be an economist should read the book.

    Sincerely.
    Afsin SAHIN

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