Scary headlines and scarier statistics tell the story of a financial crisis on a scale not seen in decades, certainly not within the lifetime of most Americans. Moreover, this is a worldwide financial crisis. Financial institutions on both sides of the Atlantic have either collapsed or have been saved from collapse by government bailouts, as a result of buying securities based on American housing values that eroded or evaporated. Now completely revised in paperback, The Housing Boom and Bust is designed to unravel the tangled threads of that story. It also attempts to determine whether what is being done to deal with the problem is more likely to make things better or worse.