After the Music Stopped: The Financial Crisis, the Response, and the Work Ahead

( 3 )

Overview

Named one of the Ten Best Books of 2013 by Michiko Kakutani and the New York Times Book Review 

“Blinder is a master storyteller . . . one of the best books yet about the financial crisis.” —The Wall Street Journal

Alan S. Blinder—esteemed Princeton professor, Wall Street Journal columnist, and former vice chairman of the Federal Reserve Board under Alan Greenspan—is one of our wisest and most clear-eyed economic thinkers. In After the ...

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After the Music Stopped: The Financial Crisis, the Response, and the Work Ahead

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Overview

Named one of the Ten Best Books of 2013 by Michiko Kakutani and the New York Times Book Review 

“Blinder is a master storyteller . . . one of the best books yet about the financial crisis.” —The Wall Street Journal

Alan S. Blinder—esteemed Princeton professor, Wall Street Journal columnist, and former vice chairman of the Federal Reserve Board under Alan Greenspan—is one of our wisest and most clear-eyed economic thinkers. In After the Music Stopped, he delivers a masterful narrative of how the worst economic crisis in postwar American history happened, what the government did to fight it, and what we must do to recover from it. With bracing clarity, Blinder chronicles the perfect storm of events beginning in 2007, from the bursting of the housing bubble to the implosion of the bond bubble, and how events in the U.S. spread throughout the interconnected global economy. Truly comprehensive and eminently readable, After the Music Stopped is the essential book about the financial crisis.

One of the New York Times Book Review's 10 Best Books of 2013

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Editorial Reviews

The New York Times Book Review - Matthew Bishop
…[a] terrific book on the crisis of 2008…Although Blinder served on President Bill Clinton's Council of Economic Advisers, and admits to Democratic leanings, this is not an ideological book. Rather, it is the work of a somewhat frustrated technocrat who has spent his career at the highest tables of academia and policy making, never entirely comfortable because of a tendency to speak his mind.
The New York Times - Michiko Kakutani
…Alan S. Blinder's highly readable new book on the financial crisis (yes, a readable book about economics)…benefits from its wide-angle perspective, as well as from its vantage point in time, now that it's possible to assess the fallout of decisions that were being made on the run by White House and Treasury officials under extraordinary pressures. It also benefits from Mr. Blinder's cleareyed prose and nimble gifts as an explainer—gifts that sometimes approach those of Bill Clinton, when it comes to making complicated economic issues and policies understandable to the lay reader.
Publishers Weekly
As the U.S. economy desperately tries to crawl out of its gloomy cave, many still feel the impact of the 2007 financial crisis. Here, noted analyst Blinder (The Quiet Revolution) provides insights on why it happened, covering three critical questions: How did we get into this mess? What was done to correct problems? and have we learned anything? He opens by addressing the rise of unemployment rates and the housing market crash, with Blinder explaining what happened to big players like AIG, Merrill Lynch, and WaMu as they collapsed. He provides a clear critical analysis of the actions authorities proposed to prevent large corporations from crumbling, and offers his own opinion on how to fix the system. Later chapters explain the key weaknesses that predate the fateful summer of 2007, and what happened to the citizens, why the government took the actions it did, and why those policies were wise. As Blinder outlines the causes of the financial crisis, he acknowledges that questions still linger in the public mind: Has history taught us anything, or are we headed for a repeat of this kind of crisis? Agent: John Brockman, Brockman Inc.
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Library Journal
As a former economics adviser in the Clinton administration and former Federal Reserve governor, Blinder (economics, Princeton Univ.) has a lot to say about the causes and consequences of the 2007–09 financial crisis. In a generally chronological account, the author runs through how poor lending practices, coupled with securitization and high degree of leverage, precipitated the crisis. He then covers the ameliorative emergency and long-term policies through late 2012, examining the consequential financial reform efforts with particular attention to the Dodd-Frank legislation. Blinder questions the failure to prevent more home foreclosures. He criticizes Republicans for obstructionism and the Obama administration for not better convincing the public of the necessity for stimulus, deficit spending, and radical Federal Reserve strategies. Looking forward, the text contemplates how the administration and the Federal Reserve will be able to unwind their stimulative policies, touching on the European crisis and concluding with a list of precepts to future crises. Blinder's explanations of complex topics simple, such as moral hazard and quantitative easing, are kept simple. VERDICT This work is highly recommended to all readers desiring a comprehensible postmortem of the economic and political ramifications of the financial crisis.—Lawrence Maxted, Gannon Univ. Lib., Erie, PA
Kirkus Reviews
An experienced economist explains the global financial crisis that began in 2008 and continues. Blinder (Economics and Public Affairs/Princeton Univ.) has accumulated real-world experience in the political realm of finance as vice chairman of the Federal Reserve board of governors and on President Bill Clinton's Council of Economic Advisers. Noting that numerous books have already chronicled the origins and impacts of the crisis, Blinder suggests that his is unique for a few reasons: It is the most comprehensive so far, is less of a whodunit and more of a "why did they do it," emphasizes public policymaking over arcane financial dealings and looks to the future. After explaining the genesis of the crisis, Blinder analyzes the responses by policymakers. In the United States, the policymaking yielded a paradox: financial markets left to police themselves after ill-advised, ideologically based government deregulation needed previously unwelcome intervention to avert complete calamity. But then public opinion seemed to view the federal government as villainous. Blinder does not portray government decision-makers as heroic, but he demonstrates that without their energetic intervention, far more institutions would have collapsed, more homes would have been foreclosed on, and more jobs would have been eliminated. Throughout the book, the author explains nuances unexamined or underexamined in the large number of previous books appearing since 2008. A clearheaded analysis with a final section suggesting that lessons learned from the crisis are already being ignored.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780143124481
  • Publisher: Viking Penguin
  • Publication date: 1/28/2014
  • Pages: 528
  • Sales rank: 82,969
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Alan S. Blinder,one of the world’s most trusted economists, is the Gordon S. Rentschler Memorial Professor of Economics and Public Affairs at Princeton University and vice chairman of the Promontory Interfinancial Network.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 1, 2013

    Cut to the point with clarity and seasoned with elegance. Mr. b

    Cut to the point with clarity and seasoned with elegance. Mr. blinder has put together a book that gives clear description of where the financial system went wrong. For all the protesting on both sides (Occupy & Tea), this book here will give Americans and even non-Americans clarity to where our current economy stands and what can be done to fix it. Complex models that were developed by Wall Street "rocket scientist" can be easily understood through the examples provided by Mr. Blinder. Please do yourself a favor and purchase this book.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 6, 2013

    Heart

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 10, 2013

    A great and honest read about the 2008 financial crisis

    Witty and using relateable comparisons about ideals into the WHY part of the 2008 financial meltdown and economic deterioration, this is the go-to read. Fast paced for yet another book on the occurances of '08. Definetly suggested!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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