Summary of The Trillion Dollar Meltdown

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The Trillion Dollar Meltdown book summary


9 Overall

7 Applicability

9 Innovation

8 Style


In this excellent, highly readable book, Charles R. Morris combines legal and financial experience with literary craft. No ideologue, no partisan and certainly no salesman, Morris traces the roots of the 2007-2008 mortgage securities crisis to its distant origins in the 1970s. He argues that policy missteps under the Nixon, Ford and Carter administrations, when Arthur Burns chaired the Federal Reserve, led to dollar debasement. He contends that the decline of America’s currency and its business sector at that time led in turn to the Reagan administration’s zeal for deregulation and Chicago-school economics. He details his belief that Alan Greenspan’s policies took America from a relatively healthy financial status to a position perhaps as dire as in the late 1970s. Morris also reveals the privileges enjoyed by an out-of-control financial services system. getAbstract found this to be a trenchant and provocative read.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How the subprime mortgage crisis developed;
  • How the liberal excesses of the ’70s generated deregulatory errors in the ’80s;
  • How three crises in the ’80s and ’90s presaged today’s U.S. economic woes; and
  • How former Federal Reserve Chair Alan Greenspan’s management of the financial system led to disaster in the early 2000s.

About the Author

Charles R. Morris, a lawyer and former banker, has published articles in numerous publications and has written 10 books.



Two Roads and a Choice
In June 2007, two Bear Stearns hedge funds ran into trouble after a downgrade. The firm had to pay billions to assume the hedge funds’ mortgage-backed securities holdings. Shortly, the contagion spread as banks worldwide took hefty write-offs. Central banks in North...

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