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

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

3.5 out of 5 (2 ratings)


Previously published as The Trillion Dollar Meltdown Now fully updated with the latest financial developments, this is the bestselling book that briefly and brilliantly explains how we got into the economic mess that is the Credit Crunch.

With the housing markets unravelling daily and distress signals flying throughout the rest of the economy, there is little doubt that we are facing a fierce recession.

In crisp, gripping prose, Charles R. Morris shows how got into this mess. He explains the arcane financial instruments, the chicanery, the policy misjudgments, the dogmas, and the delusions that created the greatest credit bubble in world history.

Paul Volcker slew the inflation dragon in the early 1980s, and set the stage for the high performance economy of the 1980s and 1990s.

But Wall Street's prosperity soon tilted into gross excess.

The astronomical leverage at major banks and their hedge fund and private equity clients led to massive disruption in global markets.

A quarter century of free-market zealotry that extolled asset stripping, abusive lending, and hedge fund secrecy will go down in flames with it. Continued denial and concealment could cause the crisis to stretch out for years, but financial and government leaders are still downplaying the problem.

The required restructuring will be at least as painful as the very difficult period of 1979-1983.

The Two Trillion-Dollar Meltdown, updated to include the latest financial developments, is indispensable to understanding how the world economy has been put on the brink.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 240 pages, charts
  • Publisher: The Perseus Books Group
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Financial crises & disasters
  • ISBN: 9781586486914



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Showing 1 - 2 of 2 reviews.

Review by

A good place to start to get a grasp of the global financial crisis and what led up to the current global economic situation. Don't worry if you don't have a finance or economic background, you'll still get the gist of what led to the crises, and how the housing bubble and credit crunch is effecting the economy currently. Morris not only presents the problem but also gives some suggestions for its recovery. It does get somewhat technical in some of the chapters, but I don't think the author could have "dumbed it down" (for lack of a better term)any further.

Review by

In 2008, economic analyst and former banker Charles R. Morris published The Trillion Dollar Meltdown, outlining the global economy's credit woes and detailing the events he thought would follow. A year later, Morris published a revised & updated version: The Two Trillion Dollar Meltdown. With so much happening in this arena on a monthly, if not daily, basis, the book is already out of date, of course. But for economic neophytes like me, who eyes glaze at the mention of any investment tools more complicated that stocks and mutual funds, Morris' book is an eye-opening and clear description of the many-faceted ways that the banking and investment industry put the world at risk in a mad, decades-long profit grab.Morris' hero is Paul Volker, the former head of the Federal Reserve Bank, who, he says, stabilized the dollar and pushed the country away from the inflation ledge in the 1980s thorugh tough but disciplined monetary policies. His villain is Alan Greenspan, whom Morris accuses of siting by as the Free Market profiteers began their money-grab party. Morris describes (as the Businessweek review of the first edition put it) "the mechanics of slicing and dicing collateralized debt obligations (CDOs) and why these and similar securitized credits and derivative securities went spectacularly bust."The book is only 177 pages long and moves quickly. But still, for someone like myself, unfamiliar with all the terms and acronyms, some of the explanations can become hard to unravel. Morris clearly defines each of the security tools (like the aforementioned CDOs), but by the time he's talking about how all these things work together, and the acronyms start flying, it's a bit hard to keep track. Nevertheless, the overall picture come clear, indeed. Also nice is that Morris isn't an ideologue. Although he believes the extreme free-marketeers have done significant harm and calls for better regulation of the financial industry, he begins the book by decrying the failure, also, of Keynsian liberalism. The Carter administration, in particular, comes in for a scalding.Although you wouldn't know it from Meltdown, it looks like Morris sees better days ahead. I note on wikipedia that his 2013 book was titled Comeback: America's New Economic Boom.

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