The financial crisis that has gripped this country since last September has had so many twists and turns, it would make for a great drama -- if it all were not so real and damaging. Companies are shutting down and laying off workers, 401ks are melting away, and the government is spending $700 billion dollars to bail out banks and financial institutions -- and that's only the beginning. The financial services industry, and the many industries that depend on it -- from housing to cars -- is in intensive care.
So what happened? How did we get to this point of financial disaster? Is the economy just a huge, Madoff-esque Ponzi scheme? It is a complicated and confusing story -- but Daniel Gross of Newsweek has a special gift for making complicated matters easy to understand and even entertaining. In Dumb Money, he offers a guide to the debacle and to what the future may hold. This is not so much a book about who did what, though that's part of the story. Rather, it pieces together the building blocks of the debt-fueled economy, and distills the theory and personalities behind our late, lamented easy money culture. Dumb Money is a book that finally lays it all out in an engaging way, and might just help people invest their money smartly until the gloom passes.
Daniel Gross is the economics editor and a columnist at Yahoo! Finance. From 2007 through August 2010, Gross was a senior editor at Newsweek, where he wrote the "Contrary Indicator" column. During this time he also wrote a twice-weekly Moneybox column for Slate. Prior to joining Newsweek, he wrote the "Economic View" column in the New York Times/ Gross has appeared on MSNBC, CNBC, CNN, Fox News Channel, The News Hour with Jim Lehrer, C-SPAN, and on more than 35 radio programs, including NPR’s Fresh Air with Terry Gross (no relation). He is the author of Dumb Money, Pop!: Why Bubbles Are Great for the Economy, Forbes Greatest Business Stories of All Time; and Bull Run: Wall Street, the Democrats, and the New Politics of Personal Finance. He lives in Connecticut.