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

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

by Charles R. Morris


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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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781586485634
Publisher: Perseus Publishing
Publication date: 03/04/2008
Pages: 224
Product dimensions: 5.60(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.00(d)

About 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.

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

What People are Saying About This

Satyajit Das

"The credit bubble is now unwinding. Charles Morris provides an excellent and timely analysis of the origins, causes and turbo-charged financial engineering that allowed cheap and excessive debt to create a bloated financial system."--(Satyajit Das, author of Traders, Guns & Money: Knowns & Unknowns in the Dazzling World of Derivatives)

Paul Steiger

[The Trillion Dollar Meltdown] is an absolutely excellent narrative of the horror that we have in the credit markets right now.. It's a wonderful explanation of how it happened and why it's so rotten, and why it will take a long time to unwind. (Paul Steiger, former Mng Editor, Wall Street Journal, February 13, 2008)

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Trillion Dollar Meltdown: Easy Money, High Rollers, and the Great Credit Crash 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 16 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is a fantastic play by play of what happened in the credit markets. The only complaint on my part is that it does not go in to detail on how it can be solved or how the economic system will respond.

Good book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Traces the history of financial deregulation from Reagan to George W., and the repeated financial disasters which have resulted, beginning with the 1987 stock market crash (this one actually the result of failure to regulate) and the 1988 Savings and Loan collapse. And continuing through the early '90s junk bond bailout, the '94 CMO debacle, LTCM in '98, the stock market crash in 2000, to the current mess.
whjensen on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A good primer for understanding the true causes and effects of the current sub-prime mortgage fiasco. This book, though not deep, makes up for it with being a solid overview. What makes it worth the time? It goes past the cause to the cause of the cause. It does a good job of explaining technical elements, although having Wikipedia handy will help as well. The diagnosis of how we got to where we are and where the road leads will help a layman better understand the daily news.However, his conclusion is weak. Like a doctor who can diagnose problems, but prescribes an aspirin for everything, Morris fails completely in giving credible advice on how to get out. It has a tacked on feeling.
co_coyote on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I still have two kids in college, so I'm always day-dreaming about going back to college and doing it all over again. I'd be a geographer. Or maybe I'd study languages. I might even become a field biologist so I could travel to exotic locations and get paid for it. I wouldn't become an economist.I say this because this is not the sort of book I normally read. I think there must have been 50 words on the first page I didn't understand. Different vocabulary, if you know what I mean. Still, I found this book fascinating. Morris claims to have seen this sub-prime mortgage load fiasco coming for well over a year. And it is his theory that highly leveraged shenanigans on the part of greedy investors and complacent governments will result in even more pain to come. At the very least, reading this book has made it possible for me to understand most of the newspaper articles and radio reports I encounter on National Public Radio. I don't have the foggiest idea how to get us out of this mess, but I'm glad to finally understand how we got into it.
wfzimmerman on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Disappointing -- a potted version of modern financial history. No unique sources or perspectives.
teewillis1981 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book is less than satisfactory. If you are looking for causes for the current "credit crunch" and economic crisis this book will give it to you, but if you are looking for REAL causes than find another book. This author manages to explain our economic problems, without addressing the root causes, such as the fraudulent Federal Reserve. It's all fluff and no content. If you want to read a book that is more than assessing damage, read Peter Schiff or anything by the Mises Institute.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Although it was apparently some time in preparation, this book couldn't be more timely. The credit crisis (which extends well beyond the infamous subprime mortgage crisis) is explained in some detail. Some readers might be put off by the financial terminology, but for those who are willing to learn a few (well-explained) terms, this book tells you exactly how & why banks fell into the crisis and how poorly-rate debt such as subprime mortgages was transformed into - or disguised as - high-quality investment grade debt. Well-recommended for those trying to decipher the current financial news.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Davidthemightytexan More than 1 year ago
i agree with the previous reviewers that there are no solutions offered here. there won't be. ths book was written with the view of the doctor that diagnoses a cancer patient. it's not a solution, only a it is a good review of our economic train wreck. as the current administration is acting as if they have a geni in a bottle and do not know what to do, consider this book fair warning that the u.s.a is b-r-o-k-e.
Basil More than 1 year ago
"We are accustomed to thinking of bubbles and crashes in terms of specific markets--like junk bonds, commercial real estate, and tech stocks," says Charles R. Morris, author of "The Trillion Dollar Meltdown: Easy Money, High Rollers, and the Great Credit Crash." "Overpriced assets are like poison mushrooms. You eat them, you get sick, you learn to avoid them." "A credit bubble is different," he notes. "Credit is the air that financial markets breathe, and when the air is poisoned, there's no place to hide." The credit crash he leads us through is a worldwide phenomenon, although Wall Street is obviously an acceptable starting point. If "The Trillion Meltdown" isn't exactly book club fare, it is perfectly clear, free of economic jargon and pretense, and straight to the point (169 narrative pages). Morris is a lawyer, a former banker, and the writer of such notable books as "The Coming Global Boom" and "The Tycoons" (a Barrons' best book of 2005). His latest effort deserves an attentive read by those who wonder why they're poorer now than a year ago.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
Morris does a fabulous job taking the reader over the hills and through the valleys of the buildup to the meltdown.