This lucid explanation of the origins and long-term effects of the recent financial crisis draws on historical and comparative perspective by two leading political economists. By 2008 the United States had become the biggest international borrower in world history, with almost half of its $6 trillion federal debt in foreign hands. The proportion of foreign loans to the size of the economy put the United States in league with Mexico, Pakistan and other third-world debtor nations. The massive inflow of foreign funds financed the booms in housing prices and consumer spending that fuelled the economy until the collapse of late 2008. Menzie D.Chinn and Jeffry A. Frieden explain the political and economic roots of this crisis as well as its long-term effects. They explore the political strategies behind the Bush administration's policy of funding massive deficits with the foreign borrowing. They show that the crisis was foreseen by many and was avoidable through appropriate policy measures. They examine the continuing impact of the United States' huge debt on the continuing slow recovery from the recession. Lost Decades will long be regarded as the standard account of the crisis and its aftermath.