Economic Crisis


Below are some links to information about the financial system and the crisis.

Overview Reports and Books Think Tanks

Web Guides

Overview Reports and Books

The Big Squeeze The Big Squeeze - Steven Greenhouse
Call Number: 331.0973 G81B

Greenhouse (labor correspondent, The New York Times) puts a face on the economics of the American working class, deftly weaving together statistical data with individual cases to create an excruciating picture of wage cuts, unaffordable health care, and disappearing pensions in the US.
Chain of Blame Chain of Blame - Paul Muolo
Call number: 332.72 M97c

Financial reporters go behind the headlines to tell the inside story of why Wall Street's established investment banks bear much of the blame for the events which have caused millions of Americans to lose their homes. They show in detail, how, from 2000 to 2007, executives from Merril Lynch, Bear Stearns, Lehman Brothers, and others financed non-bank mortgage lenders that eagerly sold their mortgages to consumers through loan brokers. Wall Street then sold bonds backed by subprime mortgages to overseas investors in Europe and Asia - which led to financial difficulties there, as well.
Irrational Exuberance Irrational Exuberance - Robert J. Shiller
Call number: 332.63222 SH 61

Based on an expression that Alan Greenspan used to describe the behavior of stock market investors. The author believes the words have become a useful name for the kind of social phenomenon that perceptive people saw with their own eyes happening in the 1990s and that, in fact, it appears has happened again and again in history, when markets have been bid up to unusual and unsustainable levels under the influence of market psychology.
The new paradigm for financial markets : the credit crisis of 2008 and what it means The new paradigm for financial markets : the credit crisis of 2008 and what it means - George Soros
Call number: 332.70973 SO6N

Review: The London Times
"They're wrong about oil, by George: In short, the standard economic assumption that supply and demand drive prices is only a starting point for understanding financial markets. In boom-bust cycles, the textbook theory is not just slightly inaccurate but totally wrong. This is the main argument made by George Soros in his fascinating book on the credit crunch, "The New Paradigm for Financial Markets," launched at an LSE lecture last night."
Shock Doctrine The Shock Doctrine - Naomi Klein
Call number: 330.122 K67S

The bestselling author of "No Logo" argues that by capitalizing on crises, created by nature or war, the disaster capitalism complex now exists as a booming new economy, and is the violent culmination of a radical economic project that has been incubating for 50 years.
Trillion Dollar Meltdown The Trillion Dollar Meltdown: Easy Money, High Rollers, and the Great Credit Crash - Charles R. Morris
Call number: 332.041 M87T (Kansas City Public Library)

According to acclaimed financial writer Charles R. Morris, the sub-prime mortgage crisis is only a preview of the havoc that will play out across the full spectrum of financial assets." "The Trillion Dollar Meltdown explains the arcane financial instruments, the chicanery, the policy misjudgments, the dogmas, and the delusions that created the greatest credit bubble in world history. Paul Volcker slew the inflation dragon in the early 1980s, and set the stage for the high performance economy of the 1980s and 1990s. But Wall Street's prosperity soon tilted into gross excess. Now global confidence in American securities has been shattered, the dollar debased, and the crown jewels of American industry put on auction to foreigners."
World is curved The world is curved : hidden dangers to the global economy - David M Smick
Call number: 337 S63W (Kansas City Public Library)

"The World Is Curved picks up where Thomas Friedman's The World Is Flat left off, taking readers on an insider's tour through the private offices of central bankers, finance ministers, even prime ministers. Smick reveals how today's risky environment came to be - and why the mortgage mess is a symptom of potentially far more devastating trouble. He wrestles with the two questions on everyone's mind: How bad could things really get in today's volatile economy? And what can we do about it?"--BOOK JACKET. Distributed by Syndetic Solutions, Inc


Financial Institutions

  • Only for Baker students AIG bailout; Executive compensation
    Lexis/Nexis has provided an outline to follow cogressional hearings and find reports on this topic.
  • Free web sites The Federal Reserve Board: Frequently Asked Questions: Monetary Policy
    Brief questions and answers about "monetary policy [which] refers to the actions undertaken by a central bank, such as the Federal Reserve, to influence the availability and cost of money and credit as a means of helping to promote national economic goals." Includes answers to question about the federal funds rate, the discount rate, and how the Federal Reserve maintains the stability of the U.S. financial system. From the Federal Reserve Board (FRB).
  • Free web sites Treasury Bulletin
    Narrative, tables, and charts related to treasury issues, statistics, and finance.
  • Free web sites Financial Regulation: A framework for crafting and assessing proposals to modernize the outdated U.S. Financial Regulatory System
    Testimony before the Congressional Oversight Panel.
  • Free web sites Guide to the National Banking System
    This April 2008 guide "provides an overview of the national banking system, its regulation, and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC)." The national banking system was conceived by President Abraham Lincoln and Treasury Secretary Salmon P. Chase and "today ... consists of around 2,000 national banks, their branches, and other facilities." Opens directly into a PDF document. From the OCC, U.S. Department of the Treasury.
  • Free web sites Web BRD: Bankruptcy Research Database
    A UCLA law professor has taken the 20 most useful fields from the Bankruptcy Research Database that covers more than 700 cases and makes the data available for free. Researchers can have a bird's eye view of how the United States Bankruptcy Courts interact with large, public companies.

< Maintaining stability in a changing financial system- Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City
Call #:332.042 F31M
"To better understand the current financial crisis, and the implications for monetary and regulatory policy, the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City sponsored a symposium at Jackson Hole, Wyo., from August 21-23, 2008. The symposium allowed central bankers, financial market participants, and academics to discuss the current financial crisis and its implications for the overall macro economy."


  • Free web sites Center for Responsible Lending
    Features statistics on the number of subprime mortgages, amount in default, likely percentage of foreclosures, and possible ripple effects of foreclosures on the economy.
  • Free web sites Economy Tracker
    An interactive map, showing foreclosures by state. Hover over each state for details. Slide the bar along the bottom to see changes over time.
  • Free web sites "The Mortgage Market: What Happened?"
    This April 2007 article provides an overview of how, as "nationwide real-estate boom of recent years goes bust, economists and regulators are questioning the role that mortgage lenders played in helping to create an overheated housing environment." Includes discussions of risky loans and types of adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs), growth in subprime lending (loans to borrowers with poor credit), and unethical practices. From National Public Radio (NPR).
  • Free web sites Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight (OFHEO)
    This site features analysis and documents, including news about the July 2008 efforts of the federal government to bolster the financial stability of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac mortgage giants. Also includes an index of house price appreciation and related information for consumers.
  • Free web sites The Subprime Crisis
    Audio and transcript of a March 2007 report that sets out the issues relating to "subprime mortgage lending, delinquencies, foreclosures, bankruptcies, and the wake of devastation that the turmoil in the subprime market is leaving behind." Includes links to related sites. From MortgageMediaMag.
  • Free web sites Subprime Mortgage Lending
    This is an issue from the St. Louis Federal Reserve newsletter which covers the topic of subprime mortgage lending, with data and explanations.
  • Free web sites Understanding the securitization of subprime mortgage credit
    This paper, written by analysts from the Federal Reserve, provides an overview of the subprime mortgage process They speculate on how this process broke down, discussing both predatory borrowing and predatory lending.
  • Free web sites U.S. Housing Market Conditions
    Published quarterly by the U.S. Dept.of Housing and Urban Development, this is a compilation of statistical data and written reports which feature national quarterly market conditions. Overviews of economic and housing market trends are presented for 10 geographical regions. Each issue includes a summary of the overall trends in national housing and a topical piece that describes a particular, noteworthy aspect of housing activity.

    Comprehensive Housing Market Analysis
    Each analysis takes into consideration changes in the economic, demographic, and housing inventory characteristics of a specific housing market area during three periods: from 1990 to 2000, from 2000 to the as-of date of the analysis, and from the as-of date to a forecast date. The reports present counts and estimates of employment, population, households, and housing inventory.

    Home Foreclosures
    Follow this path to find Home Foreclosures from 1986 to the present:
    • From the U.S. Housing Market Conditions main page, select: Previous Issues
    • From the list of dates, select the most current date available
    • Select the link for Historical Data.
    • Open the .PDF file
    • Scroll to Table 18.
Financial Shock Financial Shock: A 360-Degree Look at the Subprime Mortgage Implosion, and How to Avoid the Next Financial Crisis - Mark Zandi
Reserve Desk

"Zandi demystifies the complex financial engineering that enabled lenders to hide deepening risks, show how global investors eagerly bought in, and explains how flummoxed regulators failed to prevent disaster, despite crucial warning signs."
Subprime Solution The Subprime Solution: How Today's Global Financial Crisis Happened, and What to Do About It - Robert Shiller
Call Number: 332.72 S55S (Kansas City Public Library)

Schiller reveals the origins of this crisis and puts forward bold measures to solve it.


  • Only for Baker students CQ Researcher
    Vanishing Jobs - March 13, 2009.
  • Free web sites Overview of BLS Statistics on Unemployment
    Links to a number of Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) programs that provide information about joblessness. Programs include the National Unemployment Rate (from the Current Population Survey), State and Local Unemployment Rates, International Unemployment Rates (for 10 countries, including Japan, Canada, France, and Sweden), and Mass Layoff Statistics. Also includes a list of unemployment research publications, some of which are available online. From the BLS, U.S. Department of Labor.
  • Free web sites Pink Slips Layoff Tracker
    This is just a chronological listing, but it is extremely timely and is compiled by an unimpeachable source. The data is organized by month, with the latest company layoffs at the top. The listing provides a date, the name of the company, the number of persons laid off, and the industry. Layoff numbers range from 53,000 from CitiBank to 10 from BlackRock.

    State of Working America The state of working America
    330.973 ST2
    Tables and figures that have been "prepared biennially since 1988 ... and which sum up the problems and challenges facing American working families, presenting a wide variety of data on family incomes, taxes, wages, unemployment, wealth, and poverty." Selected chapters on topics such as wealth disparities and international comparisons are also available online. From the Economic Policy Institute (EPI).

Think Tanks

  • Free web sites The Origins of the Financial Crisis
    The Brookings Institution is a nonprofit public policy organization based in Washington, DC. Their mission is to conduct high-quality, independent research and, based on that research, to provide innovative, practical recommendations.
  • Free web sites SourceWatch
    SourceWatch is a collaborative wiki project of the Center for Media and Democracy to produce a directory of the people, organizations and issues shaping the public agenda. It also includes profiles on think tanks and industry-funded organizations.

Web Guides

  • Free web sites How stuff works: Economy 101 and Financial Crisis
    HowStuffWorks, a wholly owned subsidiary of Discovery Communications. Founded by North Carolina State University Professor Marshall Brain in 1998, the site is now an online resource for millions of people of all ages. Learn more about how the world of money works and economic fundamentals. Find answers to your questions about recessions, what an economy is, how money is made, budgeting and saving, credit, types of businesses and more.
  • Free web sites The Economy - Global Economic Crisis Special Coverage and World market Analysis
    This is a comprehensive site created by the Middletown Thrall Library offering continued special coverage on the Global Economic Crisis with World Market Analysis.
  • Free web sites 2008 Financial Crisis Primer
    Librarians at Chicago-Kent College of Law have gathered together a number of articles and reports detailing the background and information on the crisis, the bailout, the regulations, financial instruments, and foreclosures