Whoops!: Why everyone owes everyone and no one can pay


Lanchester sets out to describe what caused the collapse of the global economy in 2008, by looking at the events that led up to the collapse, its causes, repercussions and suggestions for how we should proceed.

I’ve read a few articles on the subject, even a few economics books that touch on it, but this is a fantastic break down of just what went wrong, how and why. From the systematic deregulation of the banking sector (the laissez-faire approach), the development of new, unregulated financial products, the supposed spreading of risk and the complete naivety and stupidity of a lot of clever people.

Ironically, it left with me with a better understanding of how the financial markets work, more-so than the the books on economics I’d previously read.

If you weren’t angry about the way the financial system has been manipulated, and just what the banks have got away with, before you started reading this book, you certainly will be by the end.

The topics often cover things the heads of the largest financial institutions themselves have admitted they don’t understand, yet the author does a good job of tying everything back to personal finances to make it easier to comprehend for those of us who haven’t got PhD’s in mathematics.

I’m not sure I necessarily agree with the reasoning about how the lack of an antagonistic economic/political system since the demise of the Soviet Union was the reason we took the breaks off the banking sector. History has long shown that companies will get away with whatever they can, legal or otherwise.

If you wish to know more about the collapse I’d highly recommend it, but be warned that it may raise your blood pressure.

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This was an copy of the book

Reviewed: 10th May 2013