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Financial Crisis

See also: Business & Finance and Help in Hard Times

Bailouts, stimulus packages, Toxic Assets. What does it all mean, and what causes these things to happen? Make some sense of the financial crisis with these resources. Explore the history of this crisis and others, decipher the jargon, or find financial assistance.


Selected Books

Bernstein, Jared
Crunch: Why Do I Feel So Squeezed? (and Other Unsolved Economic Mysteries)
HC106.83.B472 2008
Do you want to learn more about economics so you can understand the present financial crisis better?
Bonner, William And Addison Wiggin
Empire Of Debt: The Rise Of An Epic Financial Crisis
HB3722.B658 2006
Authors of the Daily Reckoning, Bonner and Wiggin feel the growing indebtedness of Americans and the U.S. economy will lead to the demise of the U.S. empire.
Gramlich, Edward
Subprime Mortgages: America's Latest Boom and Bust
HG2040.5.U6 G73 2007
What is the subprime mortgage market? What does it have to do with the current financial crisis? Gramlich offers an analysis of subprime lending, and discusses options for its reform.
James, Harold
The End of Globalization: Lessons from the Great Depression
HF1359.J36 2001
James, a history professor at Princeton University, brings historical perspective to globalization by viewing the Great Depression as a period when globalism collapsed. He sees parallels in today's economies: highly integrated systems are inherently vulnerable to collapse, and world financial markets are vulnerable and unstable.
Johnson, Simon and James Kwak
13 Bankers: The Wall Street Takeover and the Next Financial Meltdown
HG2491.J646 2010
Read a New York Times review: Your Money, Their Pockets: "To put it bluntly, as this book does: the efficient-market hypothesis does not work. It never has. Markets are not self-­correcting. Left to their own devices, bankers at the biggest institutions can’t seem to stop themselves from speculating with borrowed money until they inevitably crash the system."
Kansas, Dave
The Wall Street Journal Guide to the End of Wall Street as We Know It: What You Need To Know About the Greatest Financial Crisis of Our Time-and How to Survive It
HG4910.K335 2009x
This book gives an overview of the events leading to the current financial crisis, an analysis of the government's role, and strategies individuals can take to inform and protect themselves.
Kindleberger, Charles Poor and Robert Z. Aliber
Manias, Panics And Crashes: A History Of Financial Crises
HB3722.K56 2005
The 5th edition of this classic analysis advises governments to "Always come to the rescue, in order to prevent needless deflation, but always leave it uncertain whether rescue will arrive on time or at all, so as to instill caution in other speculators, banks, cities, or countries." The 4th edition is available as a downloadable audiobook (requires a library card).
Kosman, Josh
The Buyout of America: How Private Equity Will Cause the Next Great Credit Crisis
HG4751.K673 2009
Kosman shows how Private Equity companies, 17 of whom are members of the Forbes 400, who "buyout" real companies not only hurt the bought out company and its employees but also the rest of us. Read a Wall Street Journal book review.
Krugman, Paul R.
The Return of Depression Economics and the Crisis of 2008
HB3716.K77 2009
In this updated edition of The Return of Depression Economics, Krugman, the 2008 Nobel Prize winner in Economics, shows how the failure of regulation to keep pace with an increasingly out-of-control financial system set the United States, and the world as a whole, up for the greatest financial crisis since the 1930s.
Kuttner, Robert
The Squandering of America: How the Failure of Our Politics Undermines Our Prosperity
HC106.83.K88 2007
As the income of most Americans has remained static or declined and as housing and healthcare costs have soared, the wealth of America has become increasingly concentrated in the hands of a financial and political elite who blocks the ability of government to restore broad prosperity to the majority of citizens.
Lewis, Michael
The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine
HC106.83.L5 2010
"If you read only one book about the causes of the recent financial crisis, let it be Michael Lewis's, 'The Big Short.'" -- Read more of this Washington Post book review.
Lewis, Michael
Panic: The Story of Modern Financial Insanity
HB3722.P36 2009
Panic examines five recent financial crises, from the stock market crash of 1987 to the subprime lending crisis. Lewis discusses how each event was viewed at the time and what we've learned in hindsight.
Michaelson, Adam
The Foreclosure of America: The Inside Story of the Rise and Fall of Countrywide Home Loans, the Mortgage Crisis, and the Default of the American Dream
HG5095.M53 2009
Michaelson, a former Senior VP of Marketing at Countrywide Home Loans, brings his insider's view to this examination of the mortgage crisis.
Morris, Charles
The (Two) Trillion Dollar Meltdown: Easy Money, High Rollers, and the Great Credit Crash
HG4910.M667 2008
In this book, Charles Morris predicted market turmoil caused by subprime mortgages and Wall Street greed.
Muolo, Paul and Matthew Padilla
Chain of Blame: How Wall Street Caused the Mortgage and Credit Crisis
HG5095.M86 2008
Two financial reporters attempt to pin down who is really responsible for the current financial crisis by examining the role that Wall Street executives played.
Perino, Michael A.
The Hellhound Of Wall Street: How Ferdinand Pecora's Investigation Of The Great Crash Forever Changed American Finance
HB3717 1929.P47 2010
Ferdinand Pecora was a Sicilian immigrant who became a lawyer and was chosen to lead the hearings on the stock market collapse for the Senate Banking and Currency Committee in February 1933. Read more about the book in this Pittsburgh Post-Gazette review: A lesson unlearned: Battling Wall Street in 1933.
Phillips, Kevin P.
American Theocracy: The Peril and Politics of Radical Religion, Oil and Borrowed Money in the 21st Century
E902.P47 2006
From ancient Rome to the British Empire, Phillips demonstrates that every world-dominating power has been brought down by a related set of causes: a lethal combination of global overreach, militant religion, resource problems, and ballooning debt.
Phillips, Kevin P.
Bad Money: Reckless Finance, Failed Politics, and the Global Crisis of American Capitalism
HC106.7.P52 2008
Kevin Phillips cautions against the current financial practices of American capitalism and explains why they are bringing about an economic downfall.
Roubini, Nouriel and Stephen Mihm
Crisis Economics: A Crash Course in the Future of Finance
HB3722.R68 2010
Known as "Dr. Doom", Roubini, a professor of economics at NYU, predicted the U.S. housing bust and resulting recession in 2006. Read more in this New York Times book review.
Schiff, Peter
Crash Proof: How to Profit from the Coming Economic Collapse
HC106.83.S35 2007
Schiff warned of a coming crisis in this book and suggested how consumers could protect themselves.
Shiller, Robert J.
The Subprime Solution: How Today's Global Financial Crisis Happened, And What To Do About It
HG2040.15.S45 2008
Best-selling economist Robert Shiller reveals the origins of the subprime mortgage crisis and puts forward bold measures to solve it, calling for a restructuring of the institutional foundations of the financial system.
Smick, David
The World is Curved: Hidden Dangers to the Global Economy
HG3881.S5397 2008
David Smick cited the mortgage crisis as an early indicator of further problems ahead.
Soros, George
The Crash of 2008 and What It Means: The New Paradigm for Financial Markets
HB3722.S673 2009x
George Soros feels that the dominant ideology that holds that markets are self-correcting is wrong; that it has been the government that saves the markets when they get into trouble.
Zandi, Mark M.
Financial Shock: A 360° Look at the Subprime Mortgage Implosion, and How to Avoid the Next Financial Crisis
HG2040.5.U5 Z36 2009
Zandi explains in plain English the history of the subprime crisis and its causes.


In Debt We Trust
HG3729.U62 I525 2007x
This film explores how credit card companies are thriving while Americans get deeper and deeper into debt.
Maxed Out
HG3756.U54 M329 2007x
James Scurlock, the author of Maxed Out: Hard Times, Easy Credit, and the Era of Predatory Lenders, directs this documentary that takes an in depth look at America's debt crisis.

Web Sites


Pittsburgh Region

  • You Control Your Money
    If you are having money problems or know of someone who is, the members of the Financial Education Consortium of Southwestern Pennsylvania are there to help.