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Thomas E. Woods, Jr.|
(Foreword by Ron Paul)
Meltdown: a free-market look at why the stock market collapsed, the economy tanked, and government bailouts will make things worse is a book by American historian Thomas Woods, with a foreword by Ron Paul. The text is an analysis and assessment on the late-2000s financial crisis from a largely Austrian School perspective.
The thesis includes: Deflation of prices neither causes nor prolongs depressions. Indeed, deflation may be necessary to prevent depressions or to bring depressions to an end. The Fed is the primary cause of business cycles via its arbitrary and coercive control of the money supply. Trying to cure these credit cycles with more government intervention will not work. In this case, government intervention in the form of support for housing and excessive monetary expansion caused the current crisis. By creating an illusion of wealth (that certain resources exist which do not exist), interventions encourage wasteful investments and unsustainable consumption, instead of productive investments. The proposed cures (bailouts, more money creation, and stimulus spending) will just make matters worse. No business is really too big to fail, even large financial institutions. For them, as with other businesses, liquidation is preferable to a bailout.
According to Woods, the depressions of the 19th century were caused by banks (various state banks and the Second Bank of the United States) issuing paper money, supposedly convertible to gold, in amounts greatly exceeding their gold reserves.
The book debuted at #16 on the "Hardcover, non-fiction" New York Times Best Seller list, and advanced to the #11 spot in its second week on the list. According to the author's official website, Meltdown was on the NYT Best Seller list for 10 weeks.
- See section "Boom and bust before the Fed" on pages 88 to 94.
- "Hardcover Nonfiction: Best Sellers." New York Times. 27 February 2009. 
- Meltdown: A Free-Market Look at Why the Stock Market Collapsed, the Economy Tanked, and Government Bailouts Will Make Things Worse (February 2009) (ISBN 1-5969-8587-9) & (ISBN 978-1-59698-587-2)
- Articles, essays and reviews
- "Why the Downturn?" by Thomas E. Woods, Jr., February 2009
- "Meltdown" by Thomas E. Woods, Jr., February 2009 (republished as Mises blog here)
- "Austrian Theory for Everyone" by Wladimir Kraus, April 2009
- "Meltdown's Monetary Heresy" by George F. Smith, July 2009
- Mises Review: Meltdown by David Gordon, 2009 (republished as Mises Daily here)
- The Freeman Review: "Meltdown" by Steven Horwitz, October 2009
- Washington Times review by W. James Antle III, February 2009
- "Why the Meltdown Should Have Surprised No One" by Peter Schiff, June 2009
- "Meldown Roundup" by Thomas E. Woods, March 2009
- Live blog by Joseph Emerson Brown, April 2009
- "How Government Created the Financial Crisis" by John B. Taylor, February 2009 (PDF)
- Other media
- "Meltdown: An Interview with Tom Woods" by Young Americans for Liberty, February 2009
- Authors Forum: Meltdown lecture by Thomas E. Woods, Jr., March 2009 (YouTube)
- Marketing 'Meltdown'—A Bestselling Experience lecture by Thomas E. Woods, Jr., July 2009
- Lew Rockwell Show: Tom Woods: Meltdown interview with Thomas Woods, February 2009 (YouTube)
- BookTV: "Meltdown" lecture by Thomas Woods, July 2009 (YouTube, CSPAN video)
- BookTV: "Meltdown" lecture by Thomas Woods, March 2009