Wolfgang Münchau

Associate Editor, Financial Times

Critical insights on the global economy.

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Wolfgang Münchau is considered one of the world's foremost experts on the eurozone. He writes the European economic column of the Financial Times. His latest book, The Meltdown Years: The Unfolding of the Global Economic Crisis, won the prestigious GetAbstract business book award in its original German-language version, Vorbeben. He is the recipient of the 2012 SABEW award for best international columnist.

Together with his wife, the economist Susanne Mundschenk, he co-founded Eurointelligence.com, a website dedicated to providing information and debate about the economics, finance and politics of the eurozone. The Eurointelligence Daily Morning News briefing is widely considered to be most incisive daily information source on the Eurozone.

Mr. Münchau speaks with authority on the complexities of the European economy and the eurozone crisis. Is the eurozone going to survive, and if so, in what form? What scenarios should investors prepare for? What is Berlin's perspective? How can we read the policies of the European Central Bank? What can we expect of the European Stability Mechanism? What's the future of Greece — and what are the implications for the rest of the world? Wolfgang answers these questions and many more with characteristic assurance, sophistication and humor.

He is a member of the Euro50 Group as well as the European Council on Foreign Relations. He has written three other German-language books, Kernschmelze im Finanzsystem (Meltdown in the Financial System), Das Ende der sozialen Marktwirtschaft (The End of the Social Free-market), and Makrostrategie (Macro-Investment Strategy).

Before assuming his current position, Mr. Münchau co-founded and served as editor-in-chief of FT Deutschland. He holds Master's degrees in mathematics and journalism.


The Meltdown Years

The Unfolding of the Global Economic Crisis

Wolfgang Münchau

The Meltdown Years offers the most lucid and useful explanation to date about why home values, life savings, job security, and investments around the world are in peril.

Rather than focus on who is to blame, though, author Wolfgang Münchau takes the more practical approach of focusing on what is to blame. The fact that individuals were stupid, greedy, and corrupt should come as no surprise. What’s remarkable is that our world’s financial systems — put in place to help stave off such a crisis — failed so miserably.

What is inherently wrong with the global monetary system? What happened to the regulatory process? What role did the credit market, hedge funds, and investment banks play? These are the types of questions one must answer in order to truly comprehend what caused the meltdown and, more importantly, to understand what must be done to repair it.

Münchau dissects the global financial system, exposing its flaws and weaknesses in the context of the crisis. A decidedly global perspective of the greatest financial crisis of our time, The Meltdown Years examines

  • The structure of the world banking system
  • Global events that led to financial collapse
  • The growth of speculative bubbles
  • The descent from financial crisis into full-out recession

Pointing to an unstable global economic system as the root of the problem, the author predicts how long the recession willand illustrates long-term consequences of the meltdown.

“Apportioning [individual] blame for this crisis may be fun,” Münchau writes, “but it is a dead-end road for anyone who seeks an understanding of what happened.” AIG, Alan Greenspan, Fannie Mae, Bear Stearns… Each is portrayed as a villain responsible for the state of the economy. In truth, the blame is much broader and lies much deeper.

The Meltdown Years is required reading for anyone who wants to follow the ongoing debate about economic recovery and understand what the collapse means for the future of financial capitalism.

McGraw-Hill; 1 edition (September 8, 2009)


Wolfgang tailors each presentation to the needs of his audience and is not limited to the topics we have listed below. These are subjects that have proven valuable to customers in the past and are meant only to suggest his range and interests. Please ask us about any subject that interests you; we are sure that we can accommodate you.

The Global Economy

The European Financial Crisis


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St. Gallen Symposium