Daniel Gross's Dumb Money

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The book Dumb Money, written by Daniel Gross describes the era of “Dumb Money” and even “Dumber Money” causing the credit bubble that occurred prior to the 2008 financial crisis. Gross explains that it wasn’t “skeezy money managers” that caused the recent financial tsunami, but rather Ph.D. economists, central bankers, CEO’s and investment bankers. Gross reveals that the four factors that precipitated the Dumb Money era were low decreasing interest rates, increasing asset prices (real estate in particular), plentiful borrowers, and a strong debt market. He explains that due to the “shadow banking system” American financial culture was too fixated on short-term gains rather than long-term gains and encouraged excessive borrowing, lending, and trading. Gross criticizes…show more content…
These institutions borrowed billions of dollars to purchase companies they weren’t experts in, allowed no money down mortgages, and used financial devices to calculate exactly how much they could lose if things went wrong so they needed little money on hand in reserve. However, in 2007 and 2008 when interest rates began to rise, asset prices fell, and borrowers couldn’t pay off debts the “Dumb Money era” crashed and burned and took the American economy down with it. The government and taxpayers are now responsible for paying off the $700 billion bank and financial institution bailout, along with many companies needing to shut down and lay off thousands of workers as well. Alan Greenspan appeared before congress in 2009 to discuss that after reevaluating his theories on which the “Dumb Money” era was based on (low interest rates, unregulated markets, and the ability to use debt instruments to manage risk) he found an error in his judgment. Gross believes that if we continue to listen to people like Alan Greenspan, another “Dumb Money” age may

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