Inside Job

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Mass layoffs, vanishing pensions and cushy government bailouts are enraging enough; actually trying to understand the cause of today's economic meltdown could give you an aneurysm. Thus, Charles Ferguson's engrossing, thorough history is something of a miracle. A landmark accomplishment of unusual clarity and heft, Inside Job delves into the spurious rise of "credit-default swaps" and "too-big-to-fail" investment banks. Iceland, once a model of growth but now financially ruined, is examined as a revealing test case. And, most satisfyingly, we get to watch the worms—smug economic theorists and corporate-funded academics—squirm in Ferguson's laser-sharp, accusatory interviews.—Joshua Rothkopf

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