Ten years after the first stirrings of the global financial crisis of 2007–09, economic historians are trying desperately to understand what has gone wrong. With remarkable frequency, writers and thinkers orient themselves and their stories around World War II, which seems entirely appropriate: What’s happening in the global economy and in politics certainly may feel like an unraveling of the postwar institutions and order. But precisely why that unraveling is occurring and what it implies for the future is a matter of debate. This year’s three best business books on economics focus on this issue. They vary in their pessimism.