What’s in it for me? A crash course on the 2008 financial crisis.

The end of the Cold War ushered in a period of consensus in Western societies. Old political divisions between left and right were replaced by a shared emphasis on letting markets do their thing.

That consensus was smashed in 2008 as the global financial crisis threatened to tank the global economy. Politics was back. Republicans and Democrats wrangled over the details of the largest bailout deal in American history, and European governments watched on as a banking crash morphed into a political crisis.

These upheavals, Adam Tooze argues, can be traced back to the 2008 financial crisis. All in all, it’s been the greatest period of turmoil to have rocked the Western world in 30 years. So where does that leave us – is there a path back to economic and political stability, or will we be locked into our current predicament for the foreseeable future?

The answers to those questions, Tooze argues, depend on getting the history of the crisis right. And that’s just what these blinks set out to do.

Along the way, you’ll learn

  • Why bankers speculated on the high-risk mortgages that first triggered the 2008 crisis;
  • How policymakers responded, what they got right and what they messed up; and
  • Why the political center has lost so much ground in the decade since the crash.