Maintream economics as a whole and especially business-cycle models are often blamed for having failed to predict the financial crisis of 2008-2009. Even though highly abstract mainstream business-cycyle models can hardly be set the task of predicting a financal meltdown (a global crisis is a far cry from business-cycles), every economist must be able to give an account of the latest crisis. Prof. Elson’s outstanding book is both a great source of the possible explanations and a tesaurus of historical facts. This book is a great mixture of facts and scholarly interpretation. For me personally it is one of the great advantages of this book that the author does not make attempts to throw mainstream theory away, no matter how much populraity he could gain from critizicing the reigning paradigm. Instead, he gives a careful analysis on the possible place and role of mainstream economics in creating greater financial stability in the future.
The book being a great example of a parallel interest in institutional analysis and mainstream theorizing is a must for practicioners and students of economics.