Past Due (Hardcover)

The End of Easy Money and the Renewal of the American Economy

By Peter S. Goodman

Times Books, 9780805089806, 352pp.

Publication Date: September 15, 2009

List Price: 25.00*
* Individual store prices may vary.


How Main Street was hit by—and might recover from—the financial crisis, by The New York Times’s national economics correspondent

When the financial crisis struck in 2008, Main Street felt the blow just as hard as Wall Street. The New York Times national economics correspondent Peter S. Goodman takes us behind the headlines and exposes how the flow of capital from Asia and Silicon Valley to the suburbs of the housing bubble perverted America’s economy. He follows a real estate entrepreneur who sees endless opportunity in the underdeveloped lots of Florida—until the mortgages for them collapse. And he watches as an Oakland, California-based deliveryman, unable to land a job in the biotech industry, slides into unemployment and a homeless shelter. As Goodman shows, for two decades Americans binged on imports and easy credit, a spending spree abetted by ever-increasing home values—and then the bill came due.

Yet even in a new environment of thrift and pullback, Goodman argues that economic adaptation is possible, through new industries and new safety nets. His tour of new businesses in Michigan, Iowa, South Carolina, and elsewhere and his clear-eyed analysis point the way to the economic promises and risks America now faces. 

About the Author

Peter S. Goodman is the national economics correspondent for "The New York Times" and a contributor to the paper's groundbreaking fall 2008 series, "The Reckoning." Previously, he covered the Internet bubble and bust as "The Washington Post's" telecommunications reporter, and served as the "Post's" China-based Asian economics correspondent. He lives in New York City.

Praise For Past Due: The End of Easy Money and the Renewal of the American Economy

“Peter S. Goodman is a reporter with a valuable thesis, reams of anecdotes and a habit of being in the right place at the right time. He puts these assets to work in a persuasive book on an all-too-familiar topic, Past Due: The End of Easy Money and the Renewal of the American Economy.”—Bloomberg News

“An authoritative account of events leading up to the current recession…. A must-read.”—Kirkus Reviews “Peter S. Goodman brings a journalist’s savviness and skepticism to the stories of the people affected by the current economic crisis. Based on more than a decade of reporting in the United States and around the world, Past Due is a compelling and insightful read from one of the best economic correspondents in the country.”—Joseph E. Stiglitz, author of Making Globalization Work “Peter Goodman has written a gripping tale of the current financial crisis and severe recession. He weaves together stories of individuals swept by the financial tsunami—who have lost jobs, homes, incomes, and wealth—with a broader analysis of the economic and financial excesses that led to the crisis.”—Nouriel Roubini, professor of economics, Stern School of Business, New York University, and chairman, RGE Monitor “In Past Due, Peter Goodman displays a fine grasp of the big picture, but as few others can do, he illustrates it with dozens and dozens of personal stories of ordinary people who were caught in the fake economic upsurge of the 2000s, and who are now drowning in its backwash. He still manages to end on a hopeful note, pointing to potentially promising paths to a longer-term recovery.”—Charles R. Morris, author of The Trillion Dollar Meltdown “America’s economic crisis has prompted much hand-wringing and recrimination but few clear-eyed, accessible examinations of the underlying problems. Goodman’s persuasive new book is such an examination—and a captivating story to boot. It should be read by everyone who wants to know what went wrong with our economy, how the reckoning has affected our companies and our workers, and how we can get our country back on track.”—Jacob S. Hacker, professor of political science, Yale University, and author, The Great Risk Shift “Peter S. Goodman is a reporter’s reporter—relentless, skeptical, fair, energetic, and eager to see things for himself. His instinct for the big story carried him for a decade through the landscape of our current economic crisis—the Internet bubble of Silicon Valley, China’s roaring but unbalanced economy, and the upended American heartland. Past Due is a timely, deeply reported and clarifying book.”—Steve Coll, author of Ghost Wars