Recommended Reading: Going Broke:
Why Americans Can’t Hold Onto Their Money
By Stuart Vyse
(Oxford University Press, 2008)

Stuart Vyse’s Going Broke: Why Americans Can’t Hold On To Their Money brings an important historical perspective to a current crisis, approaching debt not primarily as an individual issue but as a far broader sociological one. Vyse views our present debting behavior in the context of historical economic influences, moral financial perspectives, the evolution of credit and bankruptcy laws, and modern shopping and payment systems. He writes about “the new physics of spending and wanting,” including the roles of telecommunications, advertising, and the media, and shows how these combine to challenge our self-control and influence the public’s perception of debt.

Vyse doesn’t only explain why millions of Americans are falling into debt so easily and quickly. He offers numerous strategies for saving more, spending less, and wanting less, and he outlines the public policies that he hopes will reshape the American economic landscape. Going Broke proclaims: “we must recognize that we are all part of one great collective resource [and] we must work together to avoid the tragedies we see around us.” Drawing on developments in contemporary psychology and behavioral economics, and prefacing each chapter with personal accounts of Americans who’ve followed a variety of paths to debt, Vyse educates, prepares, and inspires Americans to create financial health for themselves.

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