The Subprime Solution: How Today's Global Financial Crisis Happened, and What to Do about It

Princeton University Press
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The subprime mortgage crisis has already wreaked havoc on the lives of millions of people and now it threatens to derail the U.S. economy and economies around the world. In this trenchant book, best-selling economist Robert Shiller reveals the origins of this crisis and puts forward bold measures to solve it. He calls for an aggressive response--a restructuring of the institutional foundations of the financial system that will not only allow people once again to buy and sell homes with confidence, but will create the conditions for greater prosperity in America and throughout the deeply interconnected world economy.

Shiller blames the subprime crisis on the irrational exuberance that drove the economy's two most recent bubbles--in stocks in the 1990s and in housing between 2000 and 2007. He shows how these bubbles led to the dangerous overextension of credit now resulting in foreclosures, bankruptcies, and write-offs, as well as a global credit crunch. To restore confidence in the markets, Shiller argues, bailouts are needed in the short run. But he insists that these bailouts must be targeted at low-income victims of subprime deals. In the longer term, the subprime solution will require leaders to revamp the financial framework by deploying an ambitious package of initiatives to inhibit the formation of bubbles and limit risks, including better financial information; simplified legal contracts and regulations; expanded markets for managing risks; home equity insurance policies; income-linked home loans; and new measures to protect consumers against hidden inflationary effects.


This powerful book is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand how we got into the subprime mess--and how we can get out. In a new preface to this powerful book, Shiller discusses the development of the crisis in relation to the ideas presented in The Subprime Solution.

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About the author

Robert J. Shiller is the best-selling author of Irrational Exuberance and The New Financial Order (both Princeton), among other books. He is the Arthur M. Okun Professor of Economics at Yale University.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Princeton University Press
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Published on
Sep 24, 2012
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Pages
224
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ISBN
9781400844999
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Language
English
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Genres
Business & Economics / Banks & Banking
Business & Economics / Economic History
Business & Economics / Economics / General
Business & Economics / International / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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Macro Markets puts forward a unique and authoritative set of detailed proposals for establishing new markets for the management of the biggest economic risks facing society. Our existing financial markets are seen as being inadequate in dealing with such risks and Professor Shiller suggests major new markets as solutions to the problem. Shiller argues that although some risks, such as natural disaster or temporary unemployment, are shared by society, most risks are borne by the individual and standards of living determined by luck. He investigates whether a new technology of markets could make risk-sharing possible, and shows how new contracts could be designed to hedge all manner of risks to the individual's living standards. He proposes new international markets for perpetual claims on national incomes, and on components and aggregates of national incomes, concluding that these markets may well dwarf our stock markets in their activity and significance. He also argues for new liquid international markets for residential and commercial property. Establishing such unprecedented new markets presents some important technical problems which Shiller attempts to solve with proposals for implementing futures markets on perpetual claims on incomes, and for the construction of index numbers for cash settlement of risk management contracts. These new markets could fundamentally alter and diminish international economic fluctuations, and reduce the inequality of incomes around the world.
The definitive inside account of the "extraordinary" (Financial Times) 1MDB scandal, "a true life thriller" (Ben Mezrich) about a "modern Gatsby" who managed to swindle over $5 billion with the aid of Goldman Sachs and others--a "must read" (Booklist) "epic tale" (Publishers Weekly) that exposes the secret nexus of elite wealth, banking, Hollywood, and politics from two award-winning Wall Street Journal reporters.

In 2009, with the dust yet to settle on the financial crisis, a baby-faced, seemingly mild-mannered Wharton grad began setting in motion a fraud of unprecedented gall and magnitude--one that would come to symbolize the next great threat to the global financial system. His name is Jho Low, a man whose behavior was so preposterous he might seem made up.

An epic true-tale of hubris and greed, Billion Dollar Whale reveals how this young social climber pulled off one of the biggest heists in history--right under the nose of the global financial industry. Federal agents who helped unravel Bernie Madoff's Ponzi scheme say the 1MDB affair will become the textbook case of financial fraud in the modern age--and its fallout is already being credited for taking down the prime minister of Malaysia. With his yacht and private jet reportedly seized by authorities and facing money-laundering charges in Malaysia, an Interpol red notice, and an ongoing U.S. Department of Justice Investigation, Low has become an international fugitive.
For readers of Liar's Poker, Den of Thieves, and Bad Blood, Billion Dollar Whale will become a classic, harrowing parable about finance run amok.
The hilarious New York Times bestseller “sharply observes the lives of globe-trotting, overindulging, investment bankers” (Entertainment Weekly).
 
“Some chick asked me what I would do with 10 million bucks. I told her I’d wonder where the rest of my money went.” —@GSElevator
 
For three years, the notorious @GSElevator Twitter feed offered a hilarious, shamelessly voyeuristic look into the real world of international finance. Hundreds of thousands followed the account, Goldman Sachs launched an internal investigation, and when the true identity of the man behind it all was revealed, it created a national media sensation—but that’s only part of the story.
 
Where @GSElevator captured the essence of the banking elite with curated jokes and submissions overheard by readers, Straight to Hell adds John LeFevre’s own story—an unapologetic and darkly funny account of a career as a globe-conquering investment banker spanning New York, London, and Hong Kong. Straight to Hell pulls back the curtain on a world that is both hated and envied, taking readers from the trading floors and roadshows to private planes and after-hours overindulgence. Full of shocking lawlessness, boyish antics, and win-at-all-costs schemes, this is the definitive take on the deviant, dysfunctional, and absolutely excessive world of finance.
 
“Shocking and sordid—and so much fun.” —New York Daily News
 
“LeFevre’s workplace anecdotes include tales of nastiness, sabotage, favoritism, sexism, racism, expense-account padding, and legally questionable collusion.” —The New Yorker
The reputation of the financial industry could hardly be worse than it is today in the painful aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis. New York Times best-selling economist Robert Shiller is no apologist for the sins of finance--he is probably the only person to have predicted both the stock market bubble of 2000 and the real estate bubble that led up to the subprime mortgage meltdown. But in this important and timely book, Shiller argues that, rather than condemning finance, we need to reclaim it for the common good. He makes a powerful case for recognizing that finance, far from being a parasite on society, is one of the most powerful tools we have for solving our common problems and increasing the general well-being. We need more financial innovation--not less--and finance should play a larger role in helping society achieve its goals.

Challenging the public and its leaders to rethink finance and its role in society, Shiller argues that finance should be defined not merely as the manipulation of money or the management of risk but as the stewardship of society's assets. He explains how people in financial careers--from CEO, investment manager, and banker to insurer, lawyer, and regulator--can and do manage, protect, and increase these assets. He describes how finance has historically contributed to the good of society through inventions such as insurance, mortgages, savings accounts, and pensions, and argues that we need to envision new ways to rechannel financial creativity to benefit society as a whole.


Ultimately, Shiller shows how society can once again harness the power of finance for the greater good.

Ever since Adam Smith, the central teaching of economics has been that free markets provide us with material well-being, as if by an invisible hand. In Phishing for Phools, Nobel Prize–winning economists George Akerlof and Robert Shiller deliver a fundamental challenge to this insight, arguing that markets harm as well as help us. As long as there is profit to be made, sellers will systematically exploit our psychological weaknesses and our ignorance through manipulation and deception. Rather than being essentially benign and always creating the greater good, markets are inherently filled with tricks and traps and will "phish" us as "phools."

Phishing for Phools therefore strikes a radically new direction in economics, based on the intuitive idea that markets both give and take away. Akerlof and Shiller bring this idea to life through dozens of stories that show how phishing affects everyone, in almost every walk of life. We spend our money up to the limit, and then worry about how to pay the next month's bills. The financial system soars, then crashes. We are attracted, more than we know, by advertising. Our political system is distorted by money. We pay too much for gym memberships, cars, houses, and credit cards. Drug companies ingeniously market pharmaceuticals that do us little good, and sometimes are downright dangerous.

Phishing for Phools explores the central role of manipulation and deception in fascinating detail in each of these areas and many more. It thereby explains a paradox: why, at a time when we are better off than ever before in history, all too many of us are leading lives of quiet desperation. At the same time, the book tells stories of individuals who have stood against economic trickery—and how it can be reduced through greater knowledge, reform, and regulation.

The global financial crisis has made it painfully clear that powerful psychological forces are imperiling the wealth of nations today. From blind faith in ever-rising housing prices to plummeting confidence in capital markets, "animal spirits" are driving financial events worldwide. In this book, acclaimed economists George Akerlof and Robert Shiller challenge the economic wisdom that got us into this mess, and put forward a bold new vision that will transform economics and restore prosperity.

Akerlof and Shiller reassert the necessity of an active government role in economic policymaking by recovering the idea of animal spirits, a term John Maynard Keynes used to describe the gloom and despondence that led to the Great Depression and the changing psychology that accompanied recovery. Like Keynes, Akerlof and Shiller know that managing these animal spirits requires the steady hand of government--simply allowing markets to work won't do it. In rebuilding the case for a more robust, behaviorally informed Keynesianism, they detail the most pervasive effects of animal spirits in contemporary economic life--such as confidence, fear, bad faith, corruption, a concern for fairness, and the stories we tell ourselves about our economic fortunes--and show how Reaganomics, Thatcherism, and the rational expectations revolution failed to account for them.



Animal Spirits offers a road map for reversing the financial misfortunes besetting us today. Read it and learn how leaders can channel animal spirits--the powerful forces of human psychology that are afoot in the world economy today. In a new preface, they describe why our economic troubles may linger for some time--unless we are prepared to take further, decisive action.

The reputation of the financial industry could hardly be worse than it is today in the painful aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis. New York Times best-selling economist Robert Shiller is no apologist for the sins of finance--he is probably the only person to have predicted both the stock market bubble of 2000 and the real estate bubble that led up to the subprime mortgage meltdown. But in this important and timely book, Shiller argues that, rather than condemning finance, we need to reclaim it for the common good. He makes a powerful case for recognizing that finance, far from being a parasite on society, is one of the most powerful tools we have for solving our common problems and increasing the general well-being. We need more financial innovation--not less--and finance should play a larger role in helping society achieve its goals.

Challenging the public and its leaders to rethink finance and its role in society, Shiller argues that finance should be defined not merely as the manipulation of money or the management of risk but as the stewardship of society's assets. He explains how people in financial careers--from CEO, investment manager, and banker to insurer, lawyer, and regulator--can and do manage, protect, and increase these assets. He describes how finance has historically contributed to the good of society through inventions such as insurance, mortgages, savings accounts, and pensions, and argues that we need to envision new ways to rechannel financial creativity to benefit society as a whole.

Ultimately, Shiller shows how society can once again harness the power of finance for the greater good.

The subprime mortgage crisis has already wreaked havoc on the lives of millions of people and now it threatens to derail the U.S. economy and economies around the world. In this trenchant book, best-selling economist Robert Shiller reveals the origins of this crisis and puts forward bold measures to solve it. He calls for an aggressive response--a restructuring of the institutional foundations of the financial system that will not only allow people once again to buy and sell homes with confidence, but will create the conditions for greater prosperity in America and throughout the deeply interconnected world economy.

Shiller blames the subprime crisis on the irrational exuberance that drove the economy's two most recent bubbles--in stocks in the 1990s and in housing between 2000 and 2007. He shows how these bubbles led to the dangerous overextension of credit now resulting in foreclosures, bankruptcies, and write-offs, as well as a global credit crunch. To restore confidence in the markets, Shiller argues, bailouts are needed in the short run. But he insists that these bailouts must be targeted at low-income victims of subprime deals. In the longer term, the subprime solution will require leaders to revamp the financial framework by deploying an ambitious package of initiatives to inhibit the formation of bubbles and limit risks, including better financial information; simplified legal contracts and regulations; expanded markets for managing risks; home equity insurance policies; income-linked home loans; and new measures to protect consumers against hidden inflationary effects.

This powerful book is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand how we got into the subprime mess--and how we can get out.

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