Financial Market Meltdown
Everything You Need to Know to Understand and Survive the Global Credit Crisis
by Kevin Mellyn
October 2009, 198pp, 6 1/8 x 9 1/4
1 volume, Praeger

Hardcover: 978-0-313-37776-1
$75, £58, 66€, A103
Please contact your preferred distributor for pricing.
eBook Available: 978-0-313-37777-8
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What on earth happened? With the September 2008 housing bubble bursting, stock markets swooning, and wealth and job-evaporating economic convulsion, many people were asking just that. Derivatives? The credit crunch? TARP? What does it all mean and how can ordinary people, not conversant in the language of finance, banking, and economics, make sense of it?

This is the only book the general reader will ever need in order to understand the workings of money, banking, and finance as a citizen and consumer.

Financial Market Meltdown: Everything You Need to Know to Understand and Survive the Global Credit Crisis makes the arcane world of finance easily understood in concrete terms. This is not simply a quick recap of the current crisis. It is a guide designed to develop a real and lasting understanding of money and finance—an understanding readers can use to come to their own conclusions regarding the 2008 meltdown and any further economic events.

Financial Market Meltdown explains the nature and workings of money, credit, financial instruments, and markets, from the beginnings of integrated finance in Medieval Italy up to the panic of 2008. It then describes how the modern global financial ecology evolved through a series of historical accidents and how this limits what can actually be done to make the system “safe.” Throughout, author Kevin Mellyn uses simple examples, analogies, and the “real” history of institutions to make abstract financial concepts concrete and comprehensible.

Kevin Mellyn is a management consultant who has worked with financial institutions on all continents for over 30 years. He holds AB and AM degrees in history from Harvard University. Mellyn is coauthor of A Perspective on the Risk and Regulatory Implications of Market Centric Financial Systems, which was awarded the Jacques de Larosiere Prize by the Institute for International Finance for best essay on the global financial system.


"This book, written by a management consultant with decades of experience advising the financial industry, is meant for individuals trying to make sense of the financial system in the current economic environment. The book is not prescriptive. It describes the various agencies, influences, and market conditions that affect our financial lives, including interesting historical explanations, but is not one of those books that gives advice on how to cut down on credit card debt or make the most of your Roth IRA. The purpose is educational, with the hope that readers will be better able to understand what is taking place in the financial world around them."—Reference & Research Book News, February 1, 2010
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