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Bailout Nation: How Greed and Easy Money Corrupted Wall Street and Shook the World Economy by Aaron Task, Barry Ritholtz

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Foreword

Do you find yourself wondering: How did we get here?

How did the United States of America get into such a predicament whereby in one year, 2008, the financial system nearly vaporized, the stock market crashed, real estate tanked, and major corporations were being bailed out (or begging to be) on a regular basis. How did our great country, a bastion of capitalism, devolve into a Bailout Nation where the gains were privatized but the losses were socialized?

This terrific book by Barry Ritholtz will explain to you how this sorry state of affairs came to pass. By reading it you will come to understand how we got here, which is a necessary prerequisite for understanding how to navigate the future.

The primary reason that I wrote Greenspan's Bubbles: The Age of Ignorance at the Federal Reserve (McGraw-Hill, 2008) was so that when the U.S. credit/housing bubble inevitably burst, people would understand why such enormous financial and economic problems were occurring, seemingly erupting out of nowhere. But they didn't erupt out of nowhere; these problems were created over time by the monetary policies of the Federal Reserve, specifically the targeting of interest rates and the Fed's ongoing refusal to recognize the flaws in this approach.

Although nearly everything that has transpired since my book was published in February 2008 I had expected to occur, I was still shocked by the total collapse of so many major financial firms, such as Bear Stearns, Countrywide Financial, Fannie Mae, ...

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