This devastating and inspiring book, by one of the world's leading economic thinkers, lays out not only the course of the financial crisis which began in 2007, but its underlying causes, and shows why much more radical reforms are needed than are currently being contemplated if we are to avoid similar 'systemic' crises in the future. It shows why the bailout has been only marginally effective and how it could have been much more so, and outlines the enormous opportunity - not yet taken - to design a new global financial architecture. It is highly critical of many of the actions not only of George Bush's administration, but also of Barack Obama's. It shows why the bulk of the cost of recovery should be borne by those in the financial sector - not just for reasons of natural justice, but for compelling economic reasons also. More than any of this, it reminds readers to think constantly about what economies are for, and the human purposes they serve. Freefall is an instant classic, combining an enthralling whodunit account of the current crisis with a bracing discussion of the broader economic issues at stake.
Joseph Stiglitz was Chief Economist at the World Bank until January 2000. He is currently University Professor of the Columbia Business School and Chair of the Management Board and Director of Graduate Summer Programs, Brooks World Poverty Institute, University of Manchester. He won the Nobel Prize for Economics in 2001 and is the author of the best-selling Globalization and Its Discontents, The Roaring Nineties, and Making Globalization Work, all published by Penguin.