The Trillion Dollar Meltdown: Easy Money, High Rollers, and the Great Credit Crash

Overview

We are living in the most reckless financial environment in recent history. Arcane credit derivative bets are now well into the tens of trillions. According to Charles R. Morris, the astronomical leverage at investment banks and their hedge fund and private equity clients virtually guarantees massive disruption in global markets. The crash, when it comes, will have no firebreaks. A quarter century of free-market zealotry that extolled asset stripping, abusive lending, and hedge ...

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Overview

We are living in the most reckless financial environment in recent history. Arcane credit derivative bets are now well into the tens of trillions. According to Charles R. Morris, the astronomical leverage at investment banks and their hedge fund and private equity clients virtually guarantees massive disruption in global markets. The crash, when it comes, will have no firebreaks. A quarter century of free-market zealotry that extolled asset stripping, abusive lending, and hedge fund secrecy will come crashing down with it.

The Trillion Dollar Meltdown explains how we got here, and what is about to happen. After the crash our priorities will be quite different. But things are likely to get worse before they better. Whether you are an active investor, a homeowner, or a contributor to your 401(k) plan, The Trillion Dollar Meltdown will be indispensable to understanding the gross excess that has put the world economy on the brink—and what the new landscape will look like.

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Editorial Reviews

James Pressley
[A] shrewd primer. [Morris] writes with tight clarity and blistering pace.
Bloomberg News
USA Today
Charles Morris, author of The Trillion Dollar Meltdown, isn't one for sugarcoating. His analysis is dour and grim, but certainly not dull. And when read against a backdrop of an ever-weaker economy, increasingly anxious economists and a stream of gloomy predictions, it can be downright scary..Morris serves up a sharp, thought-provoking historical wrap-up of the U.S. economy and its markets, along with clear scrutiny of today's economic woes.
Watsonville (CA) Register-Pajaronian
Will provide some important background that will help decipher the meaning behind today's gloomy financial headlines. For those who wonder "Why?", here's a place to get some answers!
Publishers Weekly

Financial writer Morris explains the current sub-prime mortgage crisis that is affecting countless numbers of families in the United States and the economy as a whole. Morris details, in great length and description, where the market went wrong and the economic downfall that is soon to be ravaging the country and the global market. Nick Summers does his very best to make all of this sound as interesting as he can, but the material is overly depressing and incredibly monotonous. Summers spices things up a bit by offering a slight shift in tone and intention when reading quotes by the big business honchos responsible for the downfall, summoning a cutting sarcasm to portray them in a more comical and often realistic light. All in all, listeners will be hard-pressed to stay the course. A Public Affairs paperback. (Aug.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
The New York Times
Morris offers a persuasive diagnosis of the long-building credit crash . . . . An especially graceful writer, he accessibly explains Wall Street's arcane instruments . . . . This is a smart layperson's guide.
The New York Times Book Review
In his brief but brilliant book, Morris describes how we got into the mess we are in . . . . Few writers are as good as Morris at making financial arcana understandable and even fascinating.
—Floyd Norris
Tucson Citizen
There is good news and bad news about this book. The good news is that Morris has taken a complex subject and made it accessible for most readers. The bad news is that his analysis of our current economic mess will trigger restless nights and cold sweats . . . .To better understand how the world economy has been pushed to the brink and what the post-crash political/economic environment might eventually look like, this book provides both insight and a possible peek into our future.
—Larry Cox
USA Today
Charles Morris, author of The Trillion Dollar Meltdown, isn't one for sugarcoating. His analysis is dour and grim, but certainly not dull. And when read against a backdrop of an ever-weaker economy, increasingly anxious economists and a stream of gloomy predictions, it can be downright scary . . . .Morris serves up a sharp, thought-provoking historical wrap-up of the U.S. economy and its markets, along with clear scrutiny of today's economic woes.
Library Journal

Morris (Tycoons) explains the subprime mortgage crisis and discusses the sobering reality of how this financial debacle is only the beginning of even more profound economic and political restructuring expected toward the end of 2008 and into 2009. Narrating his second audiobook for Phoenix (after Everything You Know About God Is Wrong), Nick Summers delivers a solid, composed performance. Recommended for learned listeners savvy to the heady complexities of high finance; most relevant to university libraries supporting graduate-level finance and economics curricula. [The PublicAffairs hc, released in March, was a New York Times best seller.-Ed.]
—Dale Farris

From The Critics
IN 2005, while running a financial-software company, Charles Morris became convinced that credit markets were heading for a crash. He found a publisher who was willing to take a gamble and began tracing the roots of the yet-to-unfold crisis. However up to date it may seem, this book is no rush job. Mr Morris deftly joins the dots between the Keynesian liberalism of the 1960s, the crippling stagflation of the 1970s and the free-market experimentation of the 1980s and 1990s, before entering the world of ultra-cheap money and financial innovation gone mad.
—The Economist
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781615531202
  • Publisher: PublicAffairs
  • Publication date: 3/4/2008
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 5.60 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Charles R. Morris has written ten books, including The Cost of Good Intentions, one of the New York Times' Best Books of 1980, The Coming Global Boom, a New York Times Notable Book of 1990, and The Tycoons, a Barrons' Best Book of 2005. A lawyer and former banker, Mr. Morris's articles and reviews have appeared in many publications including The Atlantic Monthly, the New York Times, and the Wall Street Journal.

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Table of Contents

Foreword     ix
The Death of Liberalism     1
Wall Street Finds Religion     19
Bubble Land: Practice Runs     37
A Wall of Money     59
A Tsunami of Dollars     87
The Great Unwinding     107
Winners and Losers     137
Recovering Balance     159
Notes     171
Index     185
About the Author     195
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