How the End of the Cold War Led to the Economic Crisis

Friday, February 19, 2010

John Lanchester, author of the novel The Debt to Pleasure, offers his particular take on the global economic crisis in his new book, I.O.U.: Why Everyone Owes Everyone and No One Can Pay.


John Lanchester

Comments [4]

Jgarbuz from Queens, NY

Well, a casino economy (e.g., the "financial industry") is an economy based on gambling, and gambling always results in a wipe-out for the gamblers in the end. But the underlying reason for the stagnation of western economies is due to the collapse of communism and the resultant resurrection of capitalism in the East. This has resulted in a shift of capital to the East. But in the end the restructuring of the world economy should result in improving things overall in the long run, but as Keynes once stated, in the long run we're all dead.

Feb. 19 2010 11:51 AM
Estelle from Austin

It's tangential, but Risk was not a children's game, and didn't have anything to do with finance. It was a game of war/occupation, very much for adults. I remember evenings as a child when my parents played that game with friends--it looked to me like the most boring game ever!!!

Feb. 19 2010 11:41 AM
markBrown from

Hey. I predicted this "Depression 2.0" (thank you ben bernanke for preventing this..)
over 3 years ago.

I also said that the credit default swap and housing bust was only 25% of the financial problem

The balance is that the CREDIT card, car, and College debts have ALSO been made into default swaps products.

I say this is like an iceberg. only 25% is above the water.

At any rate, we are about to sink EVEN farther into the abyss...see my blog for more on this...

Feb. 19 2010 11:40 AM
Jgarbuz from Queens, NY

When Ronald Reagan ran for the presidency some 30 years ago he made two promises that I wholly believed he would fulfill: bring down taxes and bring down Communism. But the first thought that popped into my mind then was, what will happen to the US and world economies when hundreds of millions of slaves are freed to compete and become consumers and producers in the free world market?

I knew then that the Communists were strictly a military but not an economic threat, as they could produce nothing outside the military field that anyone would ever want to buy.

Well the tide of history turned because the US brought down communism. And that set off a tsunami of economic activity and competition that hit our shores and is really the underlying reason why assembly line manufacturing and many other activities have fled to the Orient. That's where the center of the world population is, with its 3 billion or more eager beaver workers and consumers impatient to catch up to the developed world after 5 centuries of economic stagnation and torpor. China and India are merely returning back to being the central economic powers they were before Columbus set sail to find them. So I believe the downfall of communism is the underlying reason for all the economic transitional pains were are undergoing today. Blame Reagan if you don't like it.

Feb. 19 2010 10:43 AM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.

Get the WNYC Morning Brief in your inbox.
We'll send you our top 5 stories every day, plus breaking news and weather.