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Whoops!: Why Everyone Owes Everyone and No One Can Pay

Whoops!: Why Everyone Owes Everyone and No One Can Pay

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By (author) John Lanchester

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  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
  • Format: Paperback | 256 pages
  • Dimensions: 128mm x 198mm x 18mm | 200g
  • Publication date: 7 October 2010
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 014104571X
  • ISBN 13: 9780141045719
  • Sales rank: 7,932

Product description

John Lanchester's "Whoops! Why Everyone Owes Everyone and No One Can Pay" is the unbelievable true story of the economic crisis. We are, to use a technical economic term, screwed. The cowboy capitalists had a party with everyone's money and now we're all paying for it. What went wrong? And will we learn our lesson - or just carry on as before, like celebrating surviving a heart attack with a packet of Rothmans? John Lanchester travels with a cast of characters - including reckless banksters, snoozing regulators, complacent politicians, predatory lenders, credit-drunk spendthrifts, and innocent bystanders to understand deeply and genuinely what is happening and why we feel the way we do. "Devastatingly funny ...the route map to the crazed world of contemporary finance we have all been waiting for". (Will Self). "Bang on the money". ("Independent"). "Explains the crisis in a way that actually sticks ...to my amazement, I finally grasp it". (Janice Turner, "The Times"). "Endlessly witty ...will turn any reader into an expert within the space of 200 pages". (Jonathan Coe). "Terrific ...there is no better guide to the crazy world of high finance". ("GQ"). John Lanchester is a journalist, novelist and winner of the Whitbread First Novel Award. His fiction includes "Mr Philips", "The Debt to Pleasure and Capital". He is a regular contributor to the "London Review of Books" and the "New Yorker", with a monthly column in "Esquire".

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Author information

John Lanchester is a journalist, novelist and winner of the Whitbread First Novel Award. He is a regular contributor to the London Review of Books and the New Yorker, with a monthly column in Esquire. John's piece on our love affair with the City, 'Cityphilia', generated much response on its publication in January 2008 and indeed predicted a worldwide crash based on the misuse of financial derivatives. In October 2008 he charted the crisis as it had developed over the year in 'Cityphobia', which also attracted much attention as a piece that explained not only what had happened, but how we felt about it. John was raised in South-East Asia and now lives in London.

Review quote

This is what George Bernard Shaw might have called An Intelligent Person's Guide to the Crisis of Modern Capitalism, and everyone ought to read it Robert Harris, Sunday Times Original ... beautifully written ... both entertaining and profoundly anger-inducing Chris Blackhurst, Evening Standard The route map to the crazed world of contemporary finance we have all been waiting for. John Lanchester's superb book is everything its subject - the 2008 crash - was not: namely lucid, beautifully contrived, comprehensible to the reader with no specialist knowledge - and most of all devastatingly funny -- Will Self Wickedly funny ... Good humor and good company will be the things that'll get us through Dwight Garner, New York Times Endlessly witty, but the wit is underpinned by a tremendous, unembarrassed anger and moral lucidity. A superb guide which will turn any reader into an expert within the space of 200 pages. Jonathan Coe Explains the madness of modern capitalism with razor-sharp insight, brilliant clarity and a refreshing dose of humour. A great book. John O'Farrell Scarier than Thomas Harris Nicci French John Lanchester's newfound mission: to explain the world of finance to the general public ... The result is the perfect read for anyone still wondering what went wrong and why. Unless you'd rather they didn't know Bloomberg Literary and profound ... a master explainer with an excellent grasp of sophisticated finance Christopher Caldwell, The Daily Beast Acidic, frightening, and sharply funny ... a better book about the global meltdown than any other to date EW.com [A] sober message lurking among Lanchester's delightful wordplay, and it deserves attention by everyone who cares to understand where we are, how we got here and who is responsible John Lawrence Reynolds, Globe and Mail This is a piece of genius ... It tells a proper story, like a novel, and we're all part of it - which means it is *gripping*. Yes! Gripping! A book about money! I know! But it's true. It is necessary, particularly - but not exclusively - if you're somebody who thinks, 'Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Iceland, um, mortgages, er...' and doesn't want to keep thinking it until the end of time, amoeba-stylee. I humbly posit that it is a masterpiece India Knight Lanchester has turned that fascination - coupled with a kind of astonished anger - into a lucid, conversational account of the crisis designed for non-financial types and helpfully leavened with jokes, swearing and interesting asides Quentin Webb, Reuters An excellent book for anyone wondering what the hell is going on. Triple A, as the credit rating agencies might say Irish Times Or you could simply borrow the book from someone. If they've read it, even better - they won't be expecting you to return it The Telegraph For anyone still wondering what the hell those bankers did with our money, try John Lanchester's deliciously escoriating Whoops! Even someone who can't remember their eight times tables comes away feeling wonderfully well informed -- Allison Pearson summer reading recommendation, Psychologies This account is by far the most lucid and entertaining explanation of the world banking crisis of 2008 -- Megan Walsh summer reading recommendation, Times A lively lay reader's guide to the financial crisis, written by a novelist who sought to educates himself about banking and its failures. Funny and pointed, it exposes the gulf between the two cultures of modern Britain: financial and non-financial -- Ed Crooks summer reading recommendation, Financial Times If you want to look like a rock of good sense, a person who is deep and wise and worried, then I suggest Whoops! by John Lanchester ... If only the Queen Mother were still alive, it would make sense even to her -- Colm Toibin summer reading recommendation, Guardian