Understanding the 2008 Global Financial Crisis is essential for anyone interested in Economics and Finance, but there are a plethora of books available, which can get overwhelming. Dr. Indradeep Ghosh, who completed his PhD in Economics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), has curated a list of top 10 books pertinent to the 2008 Global Financial Crisis and to the general topic of economic/financial crises.
1. Lords of Finance by Liaquat Ahamed (Non- fiction, Published, 2009)
Lords of Finance discusses the histories of the leaders of the Central Banks in 4 countries; Benjamin Strong Jr. of the New York Federal Reserve, Montagu Norman of the Bank of England, Emile Moreau of the Banque de France and Hjalmar Schacht of the Reichsbank in Germany. The book talks about their efforts to steer the world economy from the First World War until the Great Depression. The book won the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for History.
2. How Markets Fail by John Cassidy (Non-Fiction, Published, 2009)
Written by renowned economist and journalist, John Cassidy, this book examines the history of economic theory and attempts to diagnose the recent rise and fall of markets, especially the housing bubble and the credit crisis from 2007 till 2009. John Cassidy argues against unfettered free-market ideology and supports government regulation in the financial industry
3. Hubris by Meghnad Desai (Non – Fiction, Published, 2013)
Written by our very own Chairman of Meghnad Desai Academy of Economics, Lord Meghnad Desai investigates the evolution of economics and connects it to the occurrence of major political events. While understanding the timeline, he discusses the lack of foresight by economists and urges them to re-engage with the history of economic thought.
4. Global Finance At Risk by John Eatwell & Lance Taylor (Non – fiction, Published, 2000 (originally))
This book proposes a solution to the financial crises: a World Financial Authority with the power to establish worldwide best-practice financial regulation and risk management. The solution to the expansion of finance in industrialised economies was to establish national banking, and so with a more globalised economy, the authors propose global banking. Both, John Eatwell and Lance Taylor are hailed as ‘accomplished scholars of the first rank’ by John Kenneth Galbraith.
5. The Ascent Of Money by Niall Ferguson (Non – fiction, Published, 2008)
The book, written by Harvard professor Niall Ferguson, deals with the rise of money as a trade form, and tracks its progression, development, and effects on society into the 21st Century. The book was adapted into a television documentary and won an International Emmy Award in 2009.
6. 13 Bankers by Simon Johnson & James Kwak (Non – fiction, Published, 2011)
7. This Time Is Different by Carmen Reinhart & Kenneth Rogoff (Non – fiction, Published, 2011)
Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff conducted a study, covering sixty-six countries across five continents, to portray the variety of financial crises. This books provides detailed accounts of eight centuries of government defaults, banking panics and inflationary spikes. Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff are leading economists whose work has been influential in the policy debate concerning the current financial crisis.
8. Freefall by Joseph Stiglitz (Non – fiction, Published, 2010)
Freefall discusses the causes and consequences of the Great Recession, focusing on the roots of the financial crisis of 2007 – 2008 and the subsequent global economic slowdown. According to an assessment written by Larry Elliott for The Guardian, the book “reeks of ‘I told you so’.”because during the years preceding the crisis, Stiglitz had “warned policy makers repeatedly that the United States was headed toward a deep, painful recession if pre-emptive interventions were not made.”
9. The Global Minotaur by Yanis Varoufakis (Non – fiction, Published, 2011)
Yanis Varoufakis is an economist and former Minister of Finance for Greece. The book aims to explain the origins of 2008 financial crash through an analogy of the story of the Minotaur from Greek mythology.
10. In Fed We Trust by David Wessel (Non – fiction, Published, 2009)
David Wessel, economics editor at The Wall Street Journal, reveals in detail how unprepared the politicians and regulators truly were for the 2007 – 2008 crisis, and how close it turned into a depression that could have been as catastrophic as the one in the 1930s.