[BOOKS] ⚦ Meltdown: A Free-Market Look at Why the Stock Market Collapsed, the Economy Tanked, and the Government Bailout Will Make Things Worse ✰ Thomas E. Woods Jr. – Saudionline.co.uk

Meltdown: A Free-Market Look at Why the Stock Market Collapsed, the Economy Tanked, and the Government Bailout Will Make Things Worse chapter 1 Meltdown: A Free-Market Look at Why the Stock Market Collapsed, the Economy Tanked, and the Government Bailout Will Make Things Worse, meaning Meltdown: A Free-Market Look at Why the Stock Market Collapsed, the Economy Tanked, and the Government Bailout Will Make Things Worse, genre Meltdown: A Free-Market Look at Why the Stock Market Collapsed, the Economy Tanked, and the Government Bailout Will Make Things Worse, book cover Meltdown: A Free-Market Look at Why the Stock Market Collapsed, the Economy Tanked, and the Government Bailout Will Make Things Worse, flies Meltdown: A Free-Market Look at Why the Stock Market Collapsed, the Economy Tanked, and the Government Bailout Will Make Things Worse, Meltdown: A Free-Market Look at Why the Stock Market Collapsed, the Economy Tanked, and the Government Bailout Will Make Things Worse cb86dfdc0a0a3 If You Are Fed Up With Washington Boondoggles, And You Like The Small Government, Politically Incorrect Thinking Of Ron Paul, Then You Ll Love Tom Woods S Meltdown In Clear, No Nonsense Terms, Woods Explains What Led Up To This Economic Crisis, Who S Really To Blame, And Why Government Bailouts Won T Work Woods Will Reveal Which Brave Few Economists Predicted The Economic Fallout And Why Nobody Listened What Really Caused The Collapse Why The Fed Not Taxpayers Should Have To Answer For The Current Economic Crisis Why Bailouts Are Band Aids That Will Only Provide Temporary Relief And Ultimately Make Things Worse What We Should Do Instead, To Put Our Economy On A Healthy Path To RecoveryWith A Foreword From Ron Paul, Meltdown Is The Free Market Answer To The Fed Created Economic Crisis As The New Obama Administration Inevitably Calls For Regulations, Woods Argues That The Only Way To Rebuild Our Economy Is By Returning To The Fundamentals Of Capitalism And Letting The Free Market Work


10 thoughts on “Meltdown: A Free-Market Look at Why the Stock Market Collapsed, the Economy Tanked, and the Government Bailout Will Make Things Worse

  1. says:

    A FEW INTRODUCTORY REMARKS Books on politics and economic theory can be very divisive and create strong feelings in those on both sides of an issue I have strong feelings myself and in the course of this review, a few of them may come out Discussing my personal views on these kinds of topics is something I don t generally do in my reviews because it is too easy over the net for threads and discussions to go nuclear and I generally find that stuff petty and stupid Unlike some reviews I see on goodreads about emotionally charged issues, I have zero interest in bashing or belittling one viewpoint over another whether I agree with the viewpoint or not I actually do like discussing these issues, but not to the point of the name calling, fuck youing and anyone who doesn t think like me is moron garbage Nothing, NOTHING bothers me than discussions that include statements that begin, How can you possibly think __________________ or I could never respect someone who believed ______________ You can pretty fill in the blanks and finish those sentences with anything and it is safe to say you are not having a discussion What you are doing is picking a fight, claiming your own superiority and acknowledging your full time membership is the A.A.L.C Asshat Assclown Leadership Council So, now that my politeness and decorum rant is over, how about we finally get to the book review If I were trying to summarize the main argument of the book, it would be this the free market which has been so demonized of late as a primary cause of the banking crisis, the housing debacle and just about every other economic woe the U.S is experiencing is NOT to blame for the current state of the economy Instead, the true culprit for the mess is intervention in the market, primarily by the Federal Reserve in implementing its policy of artificially raising or lowering interest rates and monetizing the debt I am not going to go into detail on the monetization issue i.e., printing money to pay our debts rather than growing the economy , but it is a very interesting aspect of the book and one I think most people, at least in part, would tend to agree with in general Thomas Woods is a fervent disciple of the Austrian school of economics whose other adherents include F.A Hayek, Henry Hazlitt, Murray Rothbard and Ludwig Von Mises The Austrian school believes strongly in the a free market approach to capital investment and blames intervention by the Federal Reserve for creating artificial conditions that invariably lead to the kinds of booms and busts that we have seen over the last decade While Woods provides numerous examples of this, I will do my best to explain this argument using the author s take on the housing crisis AN ARITIFICIAL BOOM LEADS TO AN INEVITABLE BUSTAfter 9 11, the Federal Reserve, in an effort to jump start the economy, restore consumer confidence and spur spending significantly reduced interest rates below where they otherwise would be Now economics 101 tells us that as interest rates go down, money tends to flows into capital intensive markets which benefit the most from lower interest rates because of the amount of capital expenditure required to operate these businesses One of the most capital intensive markets is real estate, specifically homebuilding Thus, as a result of the interest rate cuts by the Federal Reserve, and capital flowed into homebuilders which led to land acquisition and homes built This in turn, led to higher land prices i.e., builders chasing less land higher prices and construction costs i.e., demand for supplies and labor higher construction costs which led to higher home prices i.e., higher land prices higher building costs higher home prices At the same time, the reduction in interest rates also led to lower mortgage rates which allowed a greater number of people to afford or at least believe they could afford a home Quick Pause for a Side Note One of the most fascinating, but also most involved, aspects of the book was an analysis by Woods of the sub prime mortgage market and the massive political pressure that both President Bush and the Democrats Republicans in Congress brought to bear on Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the banking system to make loans to people This pressure was a huge contributing factor to the lax lending requirements that EVERY politician is now saying was so bad Other then this teaser I am not going to address that part of the book here as it would take WAY TO LONG to lay out properly but it is fascinating. End Pause Anyway, you take a large increase in homes and an equally large increase in people who can afford them and add to that the massive number of people who sucked the newly created equity out of their suddenly valuable houses to buy shit they either didn t need of couldn t really afford and you get an economy that is just chugging along..UNTIL reality sets in and the economic piper must be paid Thus, the author argues that the housing crisis was created because the actions of the Federal Reserve produced an artificial change in the flow of capital away from some areas and into the homebuilding industry This led to conditions that could only exist for as long as the artificially created stimulus was present, which led to people buying homes that under normal market conditions they could not afford which eventually led to disaster Alternatively, says Woods, if the market were allowed to set prices and interests rates according to the free flow of capital, the housing market would not have gone up as high or crashed nearly as hard and the capital that was vaporized by both homebuilders, homebuyers and the lenders who lent them money would have been used in other areas of the market where it could have provided a productive benefit to the economy as opposed to just being lost In sum, the author, based on the Austrian approach, states that anytime you artificially adjust the market, you create the very genesis of the correction that must inevitably follow when that artificial stimulus is removed STEVE S THOUGHTSSo, what was my take on this analysis Well, I thought it was a fascinating book and intend to read on the subject I certainly lean in favor of free markets, but at the same time, I don t think I am ready to scrap the Federal Reserve and say that there is never a time when interference in the market by the Federal Reserve is justified I did find a lot in what the author was saying that struck a cord with me including 1 Politicians using artificial stimulus and monetization of the debt to gain political support from large constituencies and not caring about the long term effect such actions have on the economy 2 The inherent wrongness of the too big to fail mentality and the virtue of allowing the businesses to fail and go bankrupt rather then bailing them out for their poor judgment 3 The history of previous booms and busts in the American economy, including the Great Depression, and how the free market approach provides insight into those periods The author talks in some detail about these issues and I found much of it that made sense Not all, but much The most controversial topic that the author discusses is the problems with a fiat currency and argues passionately in favor of a commodity backed currency While it is certainly tough to argue some of the merits of the author s position, I think the genie might be so far out of the bottle on this point that it may not be reasonable to seriously debate returning to a commodity based currency However, I am interested in reading about this and found the author s arguments interesting.Overall, I found the book to be entertaining and very thought provoking whether or not I agree with all of it I will say that the book is fairly short fewer than 300 pages and makes it very clear that many of the arguments advanced are given in very general terms At the end of the book, the author provides a list of additional reading on these topics for those interested I for one will be pursuing further reading on these topics HIGHLY RECOMMENDED


  2. says:

    Review edited for style 11 April 2017.Nice audio book Good reader.The beginning style is perhaps too polemical to be convincing to many of those who are skeptical of the ideas in the book, which is unfortunate, since they need to understand the ideas the most Folks who have no problem with government intervention, since their inclination is to blame the financial meltdown of 2008 or any meltdown on business or capitalism, really need the facts and analysis in this book the most.The repetition of sarcastic comments toward individuals and groups that blamed the crisis on the market was off putting, even to me, so I would assume many people who are not inclined to be open to free market ideas may totally dismiss the book, or at least get so irritated with the author, that they might react far less positively to his otherwise excellent presentation of the facts and analysis of the crisis.As the book progressed it got better, less pejoratives, less sarcasm, though still certain phrases which would be downright offensive to neutral or partisan statist leaning folks kept coming back The snide comments detracted from the power of the positive explanation of the history presented.The book was mostly a very good presentation of Austrian economic theory analyzing the situation, focusing on the 2008 crisis But several previous economic boom bust cycles were also covered, including the all important Great Depression Monetary theory, banking functions, inflation, deflation, booms, busts, etc were all clearly explained There was even a wonderful explanation of short selling , with reasons given why it is a beneficial practice and his ideas on why government regulators are so vicious in suppressing it.He did a pretty neat job of nailing the bad guys, from both major political parties, as well as some of the private actors who hopped on the bandwagon Fannie MaeFreddie MacCommunity Reinvestment Act CRA Sarbanes Oxley regulationsBarney FrankDem party in generalRepub party in general tooGeorge BushHank PaulsenAlan Greenspanetc.I have heard from several reliable sources that this is one of Tom Woods worst books That he is generally a very top scholar, but this book was a partial blot on his record Since this is the first book I have read of his, I can t comment on that statement I m looking for holes in the logic of the book and did not noticed many, except for what I noted above the counterproductive polemical style.However, there is a significant debate in Austrian economic circles about desirability of 100% reserve requirements for banks for demand deposits Woods takes the Rothbardian hard line in his presentation, without giving any hint of alternative Austrian views That tone and one sided presentation do indicate that there may be other areas where he is not altogether upfront about some legitimate ways of looking at the situation.So, if the polemics don t bother you too much and you can keep an open mind toward some alternative ways of looking at the economic theory presented, I recommend the book It does provide a very significant amount of valuable facts and analysis, in a very clear and easy to understand manner and has telling critiques of common misconceptions I just wish it was written in a positive and reasonable tone.


  3. says:

    Woods accurately provides an understanding of the current economic collapse from the Austrian School perspective, but his assertions are unconvincing to anyone with a rudimentary education in mainstream economic theory For example, he implicitly ignores the velocity of money as a driver of changes to the price level, pretends that all of Keynesian economics and Paul Krugman can be dismissed in two hundred words, and insists on defining inflation only as increases in the supply of money instead of increases to the price level , which completely contradicts the modern academic understanding of inflation such usage isn t simply shorthand as he states The book is a reasonable study of the financial crisis, and is an enjoyable exercise in confirmation bias for any libertarian or gold conservative, but it will be a frustrating exercise for any liberal or mainstream economist, as Wood appears simply not to understand Keynesian theories than effectively arguing against them.


  4. says:

    It is a testament to how good the content of this book is that I finished listening to the entire audiobook version despite my strong urge to reach into my car s CD player and smack the author Although I guess I was imagining smacking the guy who read the book, and not the actual author, which is pretty unfair Seriously, the world does not need your inflammatory, obnoxious, self righteous rhetoric The world, as you so correctly state, needs facts So state them, and then STFU.It drives me nuts that apparently even nonfiction books now need to be written with such vitriol According to the author, basically every economist ever, except him, is an idiot They are quacks, idiots, living in a fantasy world, and a whole lot of other things that I wish I could remember exactly Also, government is simultaneously oblivious, clueless, and idioticand engaging in an active conspiracy to destroy the lives of Americans Sorry, you sort of have to pick one.I like learning things, and I like snark, but this was ridiculous This is why people hate economists That said, it is a very good overview of Austrian business cycle theory and some other macroeconomic concepts From an academic content point of view, there were certainly a few oversimplifications and misstatements that I felt even I could argue against with my limited economic knowledge, but overall, there was really good, interesting content.So I enjoyed the part of it where I learned things I really DIDN T enjoy the part of it where the author thinks he is God s gift to the idiots of the world who are so far beneath him The vitriol pretty much ruined it for me This author made a lot of good points, and I agree with him on a lot of them, and he may even be right on most of them But he s still an asshole, and there s really no need for that.If divisive, nasty rhetoric doesn t bug you, read it you ll learn something Otherwise, your blood pressure might thank you for staying away.


  5. says:

    Solving the problems of our current economic problems by accelerating the same failed prescribtions that fed the bubble in the first place has never made sense to me Heaping on top of that the moral hazards of the too big to fail mentality will ensure that problems will re occur in even chronic form, if that is possible Using the eminantly sensible Austrian Economic model, Thomas E Woods outlines the origins of our current economic crisis , how it echos historic economic crisis, especially the Great Depression, and how government, while diverting blame to other actors, has been the central economic manipulator, and cause of most of the problems And though government manipulaton is the problem, how the government and misuderstanding pundints often turn the blame on the free market, when in fact it is their perversion of the free market that is to blame In conclusion he gives seven radical but sensibly argued prescriptions for changing the situation He makes the case, that the Austrians, having seen the crisis coming, deserve some attention And he makes a call to all of us who believe in the free market, saying, If you believe in the free market, you cannot support the Fed, one of the most intrusive interventions into the market If you believe in the free market, you cannot support government price fixing, including the fixing of interest rates No free market supporter worth his salt would accept the argument that thus and so is so important that it needs to be administered and supplied by government In any other context, free market advocates know the correct answer the important a sector is, the worse a job government would do with it, and the urgently it needs to be handled by free indifiduals subject to competition.


  6. says:

    The Austrian School of Economics is a strange sort of fundamentalist sect of the free market religion Thomas Woods who is listed as a fellow of the Mises Institute and wrote the Politically Incorrect Guide to History does a nice job excoriating bad public policy for many of our recent economic ills and even makes a somewhat compelling case for the idea that government economic management contributes to the boom bust cycle.The problem is that Woods does not argue that governments contribute to the cycle he maintains that they are the sole cause of it Austrians are as close as one gets to Anarcho Capitalists while still being able to wear jacket and tie The problem that Woods and the bulk of Mises disciples face is the useful things government does compensating for externalities, subsidizing public goods, protecting the utility of our medium of exchange i.e money Saying that the government s meddling in the economy means we ought to privatize money is the sort of baby with the bathwater argument that permeates the book.Despite the above rant, Woods with Mises and his students help makes many very salient points that perhaps the government does too much in our economy A well reasoned and intelligent book, if flawed in its broad generalizations.


  7. says:

    Yet another in the libertarianism is religion genre As a Popperian might sardonically note, it is impossible to imagine a state of the world which would cause such people to give up their markets uber alles weltanschaung Check out Russ Roberts EconTalk podcast for a gaggle of these types.


  8. says:

    If a book with 158 pages on content is to accomplish what is claimed by the title, then it had better be dense, just packed with information in a terse writing style This book is not A well researched, well written book on this topic would be welcome, but Tom Woods has not provided it In quick hit form Woods fails to source many of his claims Sometimes it s not obvious if hyperbole is being employed or if he is trying to pass off serious data Because of the lack of sourcing, the reader must wonder about the intention When materials are sourced, they are almost never original sources unless that source is a Mises.org blog post I know that this book has been produced with mass appeal in mind, but at the time, it does treat a serious academic issue I expected it to be written with a disinterested and somewhat formal tone appropriate to that sort of work Instead you re treated to Dad jokes and outright insults being hurled at opposing viewpoints No cohesion Strange choice of topics Topics are often repeated It seems like 4 or 5 disparate blog posted were poorly pasted together In a book about the 2008 crises only about 1 5 of the material is dedicated specifically to the topic.Overall, the book reads like an introductory, non technical primer on Austrian Economic Theory with a dearth of anything except topical evidence It presents a facile case and begs for support based upon populist arguments Disappointing.


  9. says:

    It starts out good and demonstrates how the American government also had a big hand in the Wall Street meltdown but tends to focus just on government as the villain and how they are making it worse.Really, I believe there is a lot of blame to go aroundgovernment, the financial industry, and avaricious consumersand Woods just doesn t pursue this un holy trinity as effectively as he might.But a very good book for demonstrating the government role in the crisis.The visceral rhetoric almost invective is difficult to swallow at times.This book is a must read for anyone who is only getting their information about this crisis from television and the average newspaper websitegenerally they both want simple stories to report onlike the AIG bonus scandal that allowed them to manufacture simple villains where the truth was far, far from simple or clear.In the end, though, I was a little ambivalent about the bookand am hoping for better books to come where cooler heads will prevail.


  10. says:

    I am afraid the Austrian School of Economics is no convincing than any other school of thought These guys have some kind of notion that THE MARKET is something akin to God It isn t Like any other collection of human actors it is basically an committee writ large and you know what they say about committees the only organism with six or legs and no brain While I agree that some of the very agencies that were supposed to be regulating the economy and some that were supposed to help achieve certain laudable ends malfunctioned badly I don t think a totally unregulated free market would do any better Not so long as we have a society that rewards bad behavior and greed And that is exactly what we have Easy read but not convincing.


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