Meltdown: The End of the Age of Greed

A fully updated new edition of an acclaimed report on the global financial crisis.
Meltdown is the gripping account of the financial collapse that destroyed the West’s investment banks, brought the global economy to its knees, and undermined three decades of neoliberal orthodoxy. Covering the development of the crisis from the economic front line, BBC Newsnight journalist Paul Mason explores the roots of the US and UK’s financial hubris, documenting the real-world causes and consequences from the Ford factory, to Wall Street, to the City of London. In this fully updated new edition, he recounts how the credit crunch became a full-blown financial crisis, and explores its impact on capitalist ideology and politics in our new age of austerity.


  • “A page-turning account … Mason is refreshingly clear-eyed—and angry.”
  • “Excellent.”
  • “What people need is a reliable guide to the financial crisis … Meltdown is the book they are looking for.”
  • “A lucid and sharply polemical account.”


  • Frédéric Lordon: Syriza faces a choice between capitulation and open sedition

    This Sunday, 25 January, Greeks will vote in parliamentary elections of potentially historic importance, with Alexis Tsipras’s Syriza coalition currently ahead in the opinion polls. But according to Frédéric Lordon, Germany’s grip on the situation and the Greek radical Left party’s own inconsistencies might condemn it to some painful acrobatics.

    For a long time Europe has been caught in a constitutional trap of its own making, with its neo-liberal treaties offering just two ways out of the current impasse: 1) the financial collapse of the European project, under the weight of its own internal contradictions; or 2) some political mishap coming along that will overthrow the whole system. The ECB’s announcement of the OMT programme [1] has avoided the first of these eventualities – for now – which leaves the second. And that’s the reason why the ‘European-institutional party’ has come to see democracy not as a normal state of political life but rather as a permanent source of threats – and it thinks itself justified in using any means necessary to stamp them out.

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  • A brief note from afar on the Greek election campaign from Stathis Kouvelakis: Toward - and for – a ‘Syriza landslide’!

    With Sunday's election approaching, the political theorist and leader of Syriza's Left Platform Stathis Kouvelakis comments on the movement and what's at stake, not only for the people of Greece but also for the rest of Europe.

    Syriza supporters gather in central Athens before the polls open on Sunday. Credit: Reuters

    I’ll make a few brief remarks on the Greek election campaign and the situation within Syriza, in order to help overcome the frustration of not being there. I reckon these comments are relatively ‘cool-headed’ – distance allows for that, at least.

    1. The signs I’m getting from friends and comrades, in both Athens and the rest of Greece – corroborated by ‘local’ surveys (for the regions and major cities) – are all pointing the same way. It looks like there’s a wave of support heading Syriza’s way this Sunday. In the working-class districts of Athens the Right faces an utter rout. Meanwhile, outside the capital whole chunks of the right-wing electorate are now breaking for Syriza, following former PASOK voters. There is a calm atmosphere in the country, but at the same time real expectation is mounting. The conditions are ripe for a dynamic to build behind Syriza.

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  • An interview with Syriza's Stathis Kouvelakis, by Verso's Sebastian Budgen

    With the Greek general elections only a few days away, all eyes are on Syriza and the future of the Greek Left. How did Greece arrive at this juncture and where should it go from here?

    Verso Senior Editor Sebastian Budgen spoke to leading Syriza member Stathis Kouvelakis for Jacobin magazine. In the interview, Kouvelakis discusses Syriza's development and its position within the Greek Left, the party's priorities and major challenges, and possible solutions to the debt crisis. 

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Other books by Paul Mason