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

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

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

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

Synopsis

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.

Excerpt

The subprime crisis is the name for what is a historic turning point in our economy and our culture. It is, at its core, the result of a speculative bubble in the housing market that began to burst in the United States in 2006 and has now caused ruptures across many other countries in the form of financial failures and a global credit crunch. the forces unleashed by the subprime crisis will probably run rampant for years, threatening more and more collateral damage. the disruption in our credit markets is already of historic proportions and will have important economic impacts. More importantly, this crisis has set in motion fundamental societal changes—changes that affect our consumer habits, our values, our relatedness to each other. From now on we will all be conducting our lives and doing business with each other a little bit differently.

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