Whoops! Why Everyone Owes Everyone and No One Can Pay

Author(s): John Lanchester

Business and Law

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?


If you want to know, but are the sort of person who finds it hard to tell the difference between a CDO, a CDS, an MBS, and a toasted cheese sandwich, John Lanchester has mastered the finer points of finance so you don't have to. In "Whoops!" he explains, in language everyone can understand, what really happened - and what on earth we do next.

I will be spending as little as possible in building my shed than if I had erected it before the financial crisis, and if you want to know what really happened to all our money you must read Whoops! Why Everyone Owes Everyone and No One Can Pay by John Lanchester, the author of Capital. This very witty and thoroughly enjoyable read explains in language everyone can understand, what really happened - and what on earth we do next. - Jan


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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



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.

General Fields

  • : 9780141045719
  • : Penguin Books Ltd
  • : Penguin Books Ltd
  • : September 2010
  • : 198mm X 129mm X 15mm
  • : United Kingdom
  • : January 2011
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : en
  • : 332.042
  • : 256
  • : John Lanchester
  • : Paperback
  • : 1210