Plunder and Blunder

The Rise and Fall of the Bubble Economy

By Dean Baker

Publication date: 01/20/2009

Plunder and Blunder
For the second time this decade, the U.S. economy id sinking into a recession due to the collapse of a financial bubble. The most recent calamity will lead to a downturn deeper and longer than the stock market crash of 2001.

Dean Baker's Plunder and Blunder chronicles the growth and collapse of the stock and housing bubbles and explains how policy blunders and greed led to the catastrophic --but completely predictable --market meltdowns. An expert guide to recent economic history, Baker offers policy prescriptions to help prevent similar financial disasters.

Plunder and Blunder chronicles the growth and collapse of the stock and housing bubbles, explains how policy changes since 1980 laid the groundwork for catastrophicbut completely predictablemarket meltdowns, and offers prescriptions for avoiding these disasters in the future. Dean Baker argues not only that competent economists should have recognized the developing housing bubble, but also that policy makers and the media cheerfully neglected those economists who did predict danger. Baker doesnt engage in 20-20 hindsight, but thoroughly documents how fundamental policy shifts destabilized the economy and eroded the broad prosperity of the post-war period. His expert analysis explains the outcomes clearly so we can prevent similar financial disasters.

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Overview

For the second time this decade, the U.S. economy id sinking into a recession due to the collapse of a financial bubble. The most recent calamity will lead to a downturn deeper and longer than the stock market crash of 2001.

Dean Baker's Plunder and Blunder chronicles the growth and collapse of the stock and housing bubbles and explains how policy blunders and greed led to the catastrophic --but completely predictable --market meltdowns. An expert guide to recent economic history, Baker offers policy prescriptions to help prevent similar financial disasters.

Plunder and Blunder chronicles the growth and collapse of the stock and housing bubbles, explains how policy changes since 1980 laid the groundwork for catastrophicbut completely predictablemarket meltdowns, and offers prescriptions for avoiding these disasters in the future. Dean Baker argues not only that competent economists should have recognized the developing housing bubble, but also that policy makers and the media cheerfully neglected those economists who did predict danger. Baker doesnt engage in 20-20 hindsight, but thoroughly documents how fundamental policy shifts destabilized the economy and eroded the broad prosperity of the post-war period. His expert analysis explains the outcomes clearly so we can prevent similar financial disasters.

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Meet the Author


Visit Author Page - Dean Baker

Dean Baker is an American macroeconomist and co-founder of the Center for Economic Policy Research. He previously was a senior economist at the Economic Policy Institute and an assistant professor of economics at Bucknell University. He has a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Michigan.

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Table of Contents

Foreword
Introduction
1 How We Got Here
2 The Clinton Era and the Origins of the Stock Bubble
3 The Collapse of the Stock Bubble
4 The Beginnings of the Housing Bubble
5 The Final Collapse
6 Beyond the Bubble Economy
7 Learning from the Bubbles
Notes
Glossary
Acknowledgments
Index
About the Author

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Endorsements


"Dean Baker warned us what was coming. Now we can read why Dean got it right when so many experts were blind. The story is intriguing—and deeply disturbing."
—William Greider, national affairs correspondent, The Nation, and author of Come Home, America

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