After the Music Stopped: The Financial Crisis, The Response, And The Work Ahead

Front Cover
Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated, 2013 - Business & Economics - 496 pages
64 Reviews

One of our wisest and most clear-eyed economic thinkers offers a masterful narrative of the crisis and its lessons

Many fine books on the financial crisis were first drafts of history?books written to fill the need for immediate understanding. Alan S. Blinder, esteemed Princeton professor, Wall Street Journal columnist, and former vice chairman of the Federal Reserve Board, held off, taking the time to understand the crisis and to think his way through to a truly comprehensive and coherent narrative of how the worst economic crisis in postwar American history happened, what the government did to fight it, and what we can do from here?mired as we still are in its wreckage.

With bracing clarity, Blinder shows us how the U.S. financial system, which had grown far too complex for its own good?and too unregulated for the public good?experienced a perfect storm beginning in 2007. Things started unraveling when the much-chronicled housing bubble burst, but the ensuing implosion of what Blinder calls the ?bond bubble” was larger and more devastating. Some people think of the financial industry as a sideshow with little relevance to the real economy?where the jobs, factories, and shops are. But finance is more like the circulatory system of the economic body: if the blood stops flowing, the body goes into cardiac arrest. When America's financial structure crumbled, the damage proved to be not only deep, but wide. It took the crisis for the world to discover, to its horror, just how truly interconnected?and fragile?the global financial system is. Some observers argue that large global forces were the major culprits of the crisis. Blinder disagrees, arguing that the problem started in the U.S. and was pushed abroad, as complex, opaque, and overrated investment products were exported to a hungry world, which was nearly poisoned by them.

The second part of the story explains how American and international government intervention kept us from a total meltdown. Many of the U.S. government's actions, particularly the Fed's, were previously unimaginable. And to an amazing?and certainly misunderstood?extent, they worked. The worst did not happen. Blinder offers clear-eyed answers to the questions still before us, even if some of the choices ahead are as divisive as they are unavoidable. After the Music Stopped is an essential history that we cannot afford to forget, because one thing history teaches is that it will happen again.

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
21
4 stars
30
3 stars
7
2 stars
6
1 star
0

The book is easy to read and fun to follow. - Goodreads
Anyway a great educational book. - Goodreads
All explanations are simple and clear. - Goodreads

Review: After the Music Stopped: The Financial Crisis, the Response, and the Work Ahead

User Review  - Sean - Goodreads

While I was a bit hesitant to read a book about so recent a series of events, I thought Blinder did an excellent job explaining the hows and whys of the financial crisis in a thorough and concise way ... Read full review

Review: After the Music Stopped: The Financial Crisis, the Response, and the Work Ahead

User Review  - Michael Brockley - Goodreads

AFTER THE MUSIC STOPPED,, Alan S. Blinder's history and deconstruction of the housing and financial crisis that marked the final days of the Bush nightmare and the beginning of the Obama presidency is ... Read full review

About the author (2013)

Alan S. Blinder is the Gordon S. Rentschler Memorial Professor of Economics and Public Affairs at Princeton University and the vice chairman of the Promontory Interfinancial Network, a financial services firm based in Arlington, Virginia. He served as the vice chairman of the Federal Reserve's Board of Governors from 1994 to 1996 and was a member of President Clinton's Council of Economic Advisers. He writes a regular monthly op-ed column for The Wall Street Journal and appears frequently on PBS, CNBC, CNN, Bloomberg TV, and elsewhere.

Bibliographic information