Summary of The Housing Boom and Bust

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The Housing Boom and Bust book summary


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Economist and political commentator Thomas Sowell provides a readable explanation of the US housing market bubble and its aftermath. His point of view is not in question – it is decidedly on the right, as one might anticipate from a Hoover Institution scholar, so read it with awareness that other experts just as firmly believe opposing views. Sowell lambastes politicians who, he feels, pushed a disastrous policy that made home ownership available to most Americans, including those least able to pay. His style is not always felicitous, but it is accessible, and that is more than you can say for many economists. getAbstract thinks that anyone who wants to understand the housing market that contributed to the 2008-2009 economic crisis will find this illuminating.

In this summary, you will learn

  • What caused the housing crisis,
  • Why government policy bears most of the responsibility for the housing bust and ensuing economic crisis, and
  • How studying the New Deal provides an insight into the flawed progress of government intervention in the economy.

About the Author

Thomas Sowell has taught economics at Cornell, UCLA, Amherst and other academic institutions. His Basic Economics text has been translated into six languages. He is currently a scholar in residence at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University.



Dramatis Personae
The housing bubble was not a well-coordinated performance. The main troupe of actors included the Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae), the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac), the Federal Reserve, the US Department of Housing and Urban ...

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