Borrow: The American Way of Debt

Borrow The American Way of Debt In this lively history of consumer debt in America economic historian Louis Hyman demonstrates that today s problems are not as new as we think Borrow examines how the rise of consumer borrowing virt

  • Title: Borrow: The American Way of Debt
  • Author: Louis Hyman
  • ISBN: 9780307741684
  • Page: 203
  • Format: Paperback
  • In this lively history of consumer debt in America, economic historian Louis Hyman demonstrates that today s problems are not as new as we think Borrow examines how the rise of consumer borrowing virtually unknown before the twentieth century has altered our culture and economy Starting in the years before the Great Depression, increased access to money raised living stIn this lively history of consumer debt in America, economic historian Louis Hyman demonstrates that today s problems are not as new as we think Borrow examines how the rise of consumer borrowing virtually unknown before the twentieth century has altered our culture and economy Starting in the years before the Great Depression, increased access to money raised living standards but also introduced unforeseen risks As lending grew and profitable, it displaced funds available for business borrowing, setting our economy on an unsustainable course Told through the vivid stories of individuals and institutions affected by these changes, Borrow charts the collision of commerce and culture in twentieth century America, giving an historical perspective on what is new and what is not in today s economic turmoil.A Paperback Original

    One thought on “Borrow: The American Way of Debt”

    1. Think of how many people have lost their jobs and their homes in this recession. The author starts the book with a story a just such a family who loses it all. It sounds just like it happened today. However, the actual story he tells happened in 1929! Guess what? History repeats itself! Until the controls that were implemented after the Great Depression were rescinded, this problem never occured again until today. We just don't learn - after all big government is evil, even when it works to our [...]

    2. Interesting and well-researched narrative on the evolution of debt in American society and how the economy and business of debt evolved as society changed from an agrarian, localized society (where credit was routine and based on personal relationships) to a wage-based more nationalized economy (where installment credit was enabled by the regular paycheck replacing the seasonal payments from the harvest) to a consumer economy where the debt itself became the commodity, with consequences that we [...]

    3. It's almost impossible to imagine modern life without credit cards, or mortgages, home equity lines of credit, car loans, or student loans. We take the ability to borrow for granted, but it is a relatively recent development, with tremendous economic, political, and social consequences -- and yet, most of us know shockingly little about it. Louis Hyman's brief and extremely readable new book, Borrow, is an attempt to change that.Hyman shows that our modern view of debt was the unintended consequ [...]

    4. This was a pretty interesting book that chronicled the history of American debt, starting from the early 1900s. It was definitely interesting to learn about the slow evolution of debt from an unmentioned character blemish through common acceptance to a near necessity. It was interesting to learn the history of American debt. It was amazing to learn things like balloon mortgages existed in the 1910s. The history of American debt was chronicled fairly well in this book. I guess my only regret is t [...]

    5. fairly interesting, readable history of personal debt, tracking changes in the regulation of mortgages, the "securitization" of credit card debt as a (misleadingly) simple way of managing the risk of default, etc.Striking reminder of how recent the widespread availability and use of bank credit cards is and how rapidly it increased in the '70's:"A 1968 sample found that only 17% of Americans had credit cards, as opposed to the 62% who had gasoline company cards. Men who used credit cards, moreov [...]

    6. An absolutely fantastic and wonderful history of debt in the United States, beginning in the 1800's through the present day. It details the sequence of changes in culture and policies that brought us to where we are today. It would also provide better understanding for those who need to evaluate how much debt they wish to incur.Interesting episodes include the reason for a barter economy in America's west during the late 1800's, how General Motors introduced installment payments for automobiles, [...]

    7. This was not the book I hoped it would be, but Hyman has written a very readable short introduction to consumer debt as it developed in the U.S. I recommend it because it is short, free of jargon, and very pleasingly written. It will give the lay reader a good introduction to the debt crises that will make other, more specialized, studies of the crisis easier to understand.

    8. The author did a great job of turning an otherwise dry and tedious topic into a pretty engaging and concise read. I enjoyed the many vignettes and felt I got a good understanding of where we've been and where we have the ability to go in how debt instruments are utilized in the US.

    9. A decent history of the consumer economy that contradicts various misrepresentations made by our political candidates and the two-party media stations. Read with coffee.

    10. so the other week i was hanging with a coworker and i mentioned my difficulties finding a bank that would let me have two chequing accounts and no savings which was what i'd done back home to save while avoiding interest(for the curious what i did was put my money in an account at the local credit union whose interest rates are so low that in the past six months i have only gained one cent on the minimum deposit i put into the savings account. i will of course be donating this penny to charity)a [...]

    11. Some of my favorite quotes from the conclusion:"When it is more profitable to build an electric car than to invest in a credit card, we will know that this crisis is over. Helping create new investment opportunities, as the federal government did with the formation of the aerospace and electronics industries, is the best way to divert capital away from speculators and into the hands of entrepreneurs.""To save our economy, it must become easier for investors to lend to small business. Economic gr [...]

    12. This book examines the history of debt in America and offers a map of how to make our system of debt work better. I certainly agree with the author that without context, one cannot say that debt is either good or bad. However, I'm not sure I'd reach the same conclusion about getting the government involved in encouraging the securitization of business debt. Nonetheless, this is a good book worth reading, if only for making lively a topic that is all too often too boring to read about.

    13. There are probably those that will rate this book higher than two stars, but it just was not the book I thought it would be. It is well written enough and for those with an interest in the subject of personal debt and credit cards etc. it covers it quite well, though I thought it dwelt in the 1920's a bit too much.

    14. Interesting book on the history of debt in the United States. The last chapter is well written and can stand along on why the mortgage crisis happened and what the US can do to prevent this in the future. The answer might not be anything you have heard before

    15. Very interesting and informative, but a bit dense and not particularly engaging. Not my favorite economics book that I've read.

    16. Overall a great read. Only flaw that I noticed was the omission of the term derivatives and their impact on the Great Recession.

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