Summary of The Rich and the Great Recession


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The Rich and the Great Recession summary
The circle of blame for the Great Recession widens to include the wealthy.


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Researchers Bas B. Bakker and Joshua Felman of the International Monetary Fund unearth weaknesses in the argument that middle-class borrowing and spending were the main culprits behind the Great Recession. Their research suggests that the wealthy played a much greater role in the most recent economic boom and bust, as well as in the cycles of the past three decades, than previously acknowledged. getAbstract recommends this intriguing study to readers exploring some of the less-obvious reasons behind the Great Recession.

In this summary, you will learn

  • Why the middle class frequently receives the blame for the Great Recession;
  • Why that conclusion is faulty; and
  • What part the wealthy played leading up to, during and after the recession.


Though many studies blame the drop in middle-class fortunes for the United States’ Great Recession, they often ignore the role of the wealthy. Two theories attempt to explain the financial crisis: The “inequality narrative” says that the middle class’s overly zealous use of debt fueled the speculative...
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About the Authors

Bas B. Bakker and Joshua Felman are researchers with the International Monetary Fund.

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