Excerpt from The Great Unraveling by Paul Krugman, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

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The Great Unraveling

Losing Our Way in the New Century

by Paul Krugman

The Great Unraveling
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  • First Published:
    Sep 2003, 426 pages
    Aug 2004, 480 pages

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About this Book

Print Excerpt

  • Acknowledgments
  • Preface
  • Introduction: A Revolutionary Power
  • Seven Habits of Highly Defective Investors
  • The Ice Age Cometh
  • The Ponzi Paradigm
  • Dow Wow, Dow Ow
  • Money for Nothing?
  • Create and Destroy
  • The Pizza Principle
  • Damaged by the Dow
  • Asia: What Went Wrong?
  • Why Germany Kant Kompete
  • We're Not Japan
  • A Leap in the Dark
  • Don't Ask Alan
  • Eleven and Counting
  • Herd on the Street
  • Living with Bears
  • Dubya's Double Dip?
  • Mind the Gap
  • Passing the Buck
  • Stocks and Bombs
  • The Vision Thing
  • Dealing with W
  • My Economic Plan
  • Crony Capitalism, U.S.A.
  • Two, Three, Many?
  • Enemies of Reform
  • Greed Is Bad
  • Flavors of Fraud
  • Everyone Is Outraged
  • Succeeding in Business
  • The Insider Game
  • The Outrage Constraint
  • Business as Usual
  • Oops! He Did It Again
  • We're Not Responsible
  • Fuzzier and Fuzzier
  • Et Tu, Alan?
  • Slicing the Salami
  • The Money Pit
  • The Universal Elixir
  • Bad Heir Day
  • Pants on Fire
  • Hitting the Trifecta
  • The Quiet Man
  • Our Wretched States
  • Bush's Aggressive Accounting
  • True Blue Americans
  • The Great Evasion
  • Springtime for Hitler
  • Is the Maestro a Hack?
  • The Pig in the Python
  • Prescription for Failure
  • A Retirement Fable
  • No Good Deed
  • 2016 and All That
  • Sins of Commission
  • Bad Medicine
  • Fear of All Sums
  • America the Polarized
  • The Sons Also Rise
  • Hey, Lucky Duckies!
  • Paying the Price
  • The Public Interest
  • The 55-Cent Solution
  • Money-Grubbing Games
  • The Long Haul
  • The One-Eyed Man
  • An Alternate Reality
  • The Rove Doctrine
  • The Reality Thing
  • The Real Thing
  • Dead Parrot Society
  • The Pitt Principle
  • Victors and Spoils
  • The Smoke Machine
  • The Angry People
  • The Bully's Pulpit
  • For the People
  • In Media Res
  • Digital Robber Barons?
  • Behind the Great Divide
  • Channels of Influence
  • California Screaming
  • The Unreal Thing
  • The Price of Power
  • The Real Wolf
  • Turning California On
  • Enron Goes Overboard
  • Smoking Fat Boy
  • In Broad Daylight
  • Delusions of Power
  • The Unrefined Truth
  • Burn, Baby, Burn
  • Feeling OPEC's Pain
  • Ersatz Climate Policy
  • Two Thousand Acres
  • Bad Air Days
  • Bush on Fire
  • Hong Kong's Hard Lesson
  • Crying with Argentina
  • Losing Latin America
  • The Lost Continent
  • Enemies of the WTO: Bogus Arguments against the World Trade Organization
  • Saints and Profits
  • Workers vs. Workers
  • The Scrooge Syndrome
  • Heart of Cheapness
  • America the Scofflaw
  • White Man's Burden
  • Supply, Demand, and English Food
  • O Canada: A Neglected Nation Gets Its Nobel
  • Who Knew? The Swedish Model Is Working
  • The Two Larrys
  • Missing James Tobin
  • Index


Metaphors can be tricky things, but Manhattan's "debt clock" is as good as they come.

A public-spirited businessman installed the clock in 1989, hoping to shame politicians into acting responsibly. Huge numerals counted off the ever-rising national debt—ever-rising because each year the federal government spent far more than it took in, and was forced to borrow the difference. But in the late 1990s a funny thing happened: the government's tax take soared along with the stock market, and those mammoth budget deficits first shrank, then turned into record surpluses. In September 2000, the owner of the clock pulled the plug.

From The Great Unraveling: Losing Our Way in the New Century by Paul Krugman. Copyright Paul Krugman. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced without written permission from the publisher.

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