This book examines in detail the fiscal and more general economic crisis of New York State and City. The authors show that the crisis was as much the fruit of political manoeuvering as it was the outcome of long-term economic trends and fiscal ineptitude. The book examines the roots of fiscal excesses and economic retardation and explores the interaction of fiscal and economic factors that ultimately imperiled the credit rating of the Empire State and the city that remains the financial capital of the United States. In uncovering the causes of these problems, McClelland and Magdovitz present both an analysis of the past and a warning for the future. The implications reach well beyond the borders of New York. The major causes of economic retardation first emerged in the period immediately following World War II, and show no signs of improving significantly in the immediate future.