Book Review: The Return of Depression Economics and the Crisis of 2008 by Paul Krugman

Author: Paul Krugman
Title: The Return of Depression Economics and the Crisis of 2008
Publication Info: Books On Tape (2009), Audio CD
ISBN: 1415965080

Previously read: The Great Unraveling


Nobel Prize winning economist Paul Krugman writes a brief overview of what he calls “depression economics” that arose from the perfect storm of events that brought down the global economy in 2008.  Much of the book is a revised form of an earlier book about fiscal crises in Latin America and Asia in the 1980s and 1990s.  These earlier crises should have been a clue to what could go wrong with the bubble economy of the 2000s but most of the people who should have known better thought that depression economics were a thing of the past.  Krugman does a good job of explaining what went wrong and offers solutions to prevent a repeat: regulate anything that works like a bank as a bank and allow governments to offer stimulus to the economy when needed.  These solutions seem obvious of course but Krugman also explains how these reforms work and what happens when they’re missing.  In short this is a good overview of the fiscal crisis for the non-economist that is written in an engaging, sometimes even humorous, manner.

Recommended books: Free Lunch David Cay Johnston, What’s the Matter with Kansas? by Thomas Frank and The Way We Never Were by Stephanie Coontz
Rating: ***

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