A New York Times Notable Book of 2018. Winner of the 2019 Lionel Gelber Prize
'Majestic, informative and often delightful ... insights on every page' Yanis Varoufakis, Observer
The definitive history of the Great Financial Crisis, from the acclaimed author of The Deluge and The Wages of Destruction.
In September 2008 the Great Financial Crisis, triggered by the collapse of Lehman brothers, shook the world. A decade later its spectre still haunts us. As the appalling scope and scale of the crash was revealed, the financial institutions that had symbolised the West's triumph since the end of the Cold War, seemed - through greed, malice and incompetence - to be about to bring the entire system to its knees.
Crashed is a brilliantly original and assured analysis of what happened and how we were rescued from something even worse - but at a price which continues to undermine democracy across Europe and the United States. Gnawing away at our institutions are the many billions of dollars which were conjured up to prevent complete collapse. Over and over again, the end of the crisis has been announced, but it continues to hound us - whether in Greece or Ukraine, whether through Brexit or Trump. Adam Tooze follows the trail like no previous writer and has written a book compelling as history, as economic analysis and as political horror story.
Columbia history professor Tooze (The Deluge) recounts and analyzes the continuing repercussions of the 2008 economic crisis in this dense, but accessible, book. Although he presents more information than most readers will require (including a chart titled, "Demand for Dollar Funding in the European Central Bank's One-Month Auctions"), Tooze makes the arcana of international economic policy relevant to a lay audience by framing his account with Donald Trump's political ascension. He walks through the significant financial crises of the previous 10 years, not neglecting those possibly less familiar to Americans than Lehman Brothers' collapse, such as the debt crisis in Greece and Ireland. Tooze amasses telling details from the bailout of the big banks (for instance, that they more than doubled their funding advantage relative to small banks after the crisis) to bolster his contention that Trump's surprise electoral victory was rooted in the U.S. government's response to the 2008 meltdown. Those government policies gave "absolute priority to saving the financial system" and disregarded "the arrow of causation," reshaping American politics and setting the stage for a populist backlash. In addition to making international economics understandable and attention grabbing, Tooze has written an essential addition to the ranks of histories that place Trumpism in context.