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Review Essay

The Second Great Depression

Why the Economic Crisis Is Worse Than You Think

In This Review

After the Music Stopped: The Financial Crisis, the Response, and the Work Ahead
After the Music Stopped: The Financial Crisis, the Response, and the Work Ahead
By Alan S. Blinder
The Penguin Press HC, 2013, 496 pp. $29.95 Purchase

After the Music Stopped: The Financial Crisis, the Response, and the Work Ahead BY ALAN S. BLINDER. Penguin Press, 2013, 476 pp. $29.95.

Alan Blinder is only the most recent in a series of prominent economists who have produced analytic accounts of the U.S. economic downturn. His crisp narrative lays out the policy options that were available at each stage of the crisis, and his analysis is infused with a deep understanding of macroeconomics. Overall, it is the best general volume on the subject that has been published to date.

Despite its many virtues, however, the book paints an overly optimistic portrait of the state of the U.S. economy. “More than four years after Lehman Brothers went under,” Blinder writes, “policy makers are still nursing a frail economy back to health.” But the U.S. economy is worse than “frail,” and there are few signs that it is being nursed “back

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