Paying the Price: Ending the Great Recession and Beginning a New American Century

Paying the Price: Ending the Great Recession and Beginning a New American Century

by Mark Zandi


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Only a few years ago, the U.S. financial system and economy were near collapse. Global financial institutions teetered and fell, while at once-mighty U.S. companies, panicked CEOs slashed jobs. The financial chaos inflicted catastrophic damage: double-digit unemployment; crashing house and stock prices; federal budget deficits in the trillions, and a wider gap between the country’s haves and have-nots. Today many Americans still feel shell-shocked. But while there remains much to be nervous and frustrated about, it is impressive how much progress has been made in righting the wrongs that got us into this mess. The economy is growing and steadily creating jobs; house prices are stable and stock prices are up; debt burdens have eased for most households and the financial system has shored up its foundations to an impressive degree. American companies are as competitive globally as they have been in a half century. This dramatic turn in the economy’s fortunes occurred because of what government did to stem the financial panic and combat the effects of Great Recession. Policymakers’ unprecedented actions – from Congress’ auto and bank bailouts and fiscal stimulus, to the Federal Reserve’s zero interest rates and quantitative easing – remain intensely controversial, but ultimately they will be judged a success. Serious problems remain, including the government’s mounting debt load and a burgeoning number of disenfranchised workers, but we are on our way to addressing them. Our economic future has arguably never been brighter.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780137047987
Publisher: FT Press
Publication date: 09/26/2012
Pages: 288
Product dimensions: 9.00(w) x 5.90(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Mark Zandi is the Chief Economist of Moody’s Analytics. He is the cofounder of an economic consulting firm that was purchased by the Moody’s Corporation in late 2005. His recent research has focused on assessing the economic impacts of tax and government spending policies, the appropriate monetary policy response to asset market bubbles, the determinants of foreclosure and personal bankruptcy, and housing and mortgage market policies. He is on the board of directors of MGIC, the nation’s largest mortgage insurer, and The Reinvestment Fund, a non-profit that combines public and private capital to make investments in grocery stores, charter schools, health centers, and other facilities in inner cities in the Northeast. A trusted adviser to policymakers and an influential source of economic analysis for businesses, journalists, and the public, he often testifies before Congress and appears on CNBC, NPR, CNN, and Meet the Press. He is the author of Financial Shock.

Table of Contents

Introduction xiii

Chapter 1: Financial Shock to Financial Panic 1

Chapter 2: Bank Bailout 23

Chapter 3: Outside the Monetary Box 47

Chapter 4: As GM Goes, So Goes the Economy 71

Chapter 5: Stimulus Is Not a Dirty Word 91

Chapter 6: The Foreclosure Fiasco 119

Chapter 7: Fixing the Financial Plumbing 145

Chapter 8: The Fallout 171

Chapter 9: Getting Our Groove Back 197

Chapter 10: Don’t Bet Against the United States 219

Index 243

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