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I.O.U.

I.O.U.

Why Everyone Owes Everyone and No One Can Pay

For most people, the reasons for the sudden collapse of our economy still remain obscure. I.O.U. is the story of how we came to experience such a complete financial disaster, starting with the magical proliferation of credit that led to an explosion of lending on the global and local landscapes of banking and finance. Viewing the crisis through the lens of politics, culture, and contemporary history—from the invention and widespread misuse of financial instruments to the culpability of subprime mortgages—Lanchester deftly draws conclusions on the limitations of financial and governmental regulation, capitalism’s deepest flaw, and most important, on the plain and simple facts of human nature where cash is concerned.

With newly updated, superbly written reportage, Lanchester delivers a shrewd perspective and a digestible, comprehensive analysis that connects the dots for expert and casual reader alike. Part economic primer, part fiscal and historical analysis, I.O.U. is an eye-opener of a book.
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  • Simon & Schuster | 
  • 288 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781439169865 | 
  • September 2010
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Mr. Phillips wakes on a summer's Monday morning in his modest, nearly mortgage-free house, in the bed he has contentedly shared with his wife of almost thirty years, ready to face another ordinary working day.Except that this day is not ordinary, for on the previous Friday, Mr. Phillips was summarily fired. Through no fault of his own, Mr. Philips has suddenly found his whole life cast into doubt.Unable to deal with this disaster -- unable to even tell his wife -- Mr. Phillips rises at his usual...
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About the Author

John Lanchester
N/A

John Lanchester

John Lanchester is the author of the novels The Debt to Pleasure, Mr. Phillips, and Fragrant Harbor; and a memoir, Family Romance. He is a contributing editor at the London Review of Books and his work has appeared in The New York Times, The New Yorker, The Observer, and The Daily Telegraph, among others. Among several other prizes, including the Whitbread and Hawthornden Awards, Lanchester was awarded the 2008 E.M. Forster Award by the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He lives in London.

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