“Peter S. Goodman is a reporter with a valuable thesis, reams of anecdotes and a habit of being in the right place at the right time. He puts these assets to work in a persuasive book on an all-too-familiar topic, Past Due: The End of Easy Money and the Renewal of the American Economy.”—Bloomberg News
“An authoritative account of events leading up to the current recession…. A must-read.”—Kirkus Reviews
“Peter S. Goodman brings a journalist’s savviness and skepticism to the stories of the people affected by the current economic crisis. Based on more than a decade of reporting in the United States and around the world, Past Due is a compelling and insightful read from one of the best economic correspondents in the country.”—Joseph E. Stiglitz, author of Making Globalization Work
“Peter Goodman has written a gripping tale of the current financial crisis and severe recession. He weaves together stories of individuals swept by the financial tsunami—who have lost jobs, homes, incomes, and wealth—with a broader analysis of the economic and financial excesses that led to the crisis.”—Nouriel Roubini, professor of economics, Stern School of Business, New York University, and chairman, RGE Monitor
“In Past Due, Peter Goodman displays a fine grasp of the big picture, but as few others can do, he illustrates it with dozens and dozens of personal stories of ordinary people who were caught in the fake economic upsurge of the 2000s, and who are now drowning in its backwash. He still manages to end on a hopeful note, pointing to potentially promising paths to a longer-term recovery.”—Charles R. Morris, author of The Trillion Dollar Meltdown
“America’s economic crisis has prompted much hand-wringing and recrimination but few clear-eyed, accessible examinations of the underlying problems. Goodman’s persuasive new book is such an examination—and a captivating story to boot. It should be read by everyone who wants to know what went wrong with our economy, how the reckoning has affected our companies and our workers, and how we can get our country back on track.”—Jacob S. Hacker, professor of political science, Yale University, and author, The Great Risk Shift
“Peter S. Goodman is a reporter’s reporter—relentless, skeptical, fair, energetic, and eager to see things for himself. His instinct for the big story carried him for a decade through the landscape of our current economic crisis—the Internet bubble of Silicon Valley, China’s roaring but unbalanced economy, and the upended American heartland. Past Due is a timely, deeply reported and clarifying book.”—Steve Coll, author of Ghost Wars
Goodman, a fair-minded reporter and a clear writer…performs a tremendous service by showing how the context of market manias changes but the essential content remains the same.
The New York Times
An authoritative account of events leading up to the current recession. In his debut, New York Times national economics correspondent Goodman draws on extensive reporting to examine the "financial make-believe" that drove Americans to borrow and spend their way into a crisis which, by 2008, had wiped out $7 trillion worth of wealth and destroyed 2.6 million jobs. Using plain, direct prose, the author describes what happened and vividly traces the effects on more than two-dozen people among the millions caught up in the ripples of the bust. They include Dorothy Thomas, a middle-class African-American in California who lost her job and was forced to pretend to be a drug addict to stay in a homeless shelter; Willie Gonzalez, a liquor distributor who spent excessively, bought a $180,000 home with two-percent down and went bankrupt; and Fran Barbaro, a middle-aged MBA graduate with a six-figure income who spent all of her money and faced foreclosure. In this "Neverland" economy-made possible by the government's "massive abdication of regulatory authority," says Goodman-working Americans spent money freely, first in the technology boom and bust, and then in a real-estate market that enticed them to "buy a home, watch it climb in value and pull money from it as if it were an ATM machine, one that never required a deposit." The author places much blame on too-easy credit-readers will be infuriated to read about brokers who sold subprime loans to recent immigrants unable to read English-greed and fantastical thinking, combined with free-market cheerleading by Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan, who touted credit default swaps. Goodman argues that the country must generate high-quality jobs insuch growth areas as biotechnology and renewable energy. A must-read for anyone still wondering why the bottom dropped out of the economy.