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No Reserve: The Limit of Absolute Power by [Martín Redrado]
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No Reserve: The Limit of Absolute Power Kindle Edition

2.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Length: 328 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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About the Author

International policy maker Martín Redrado is a Harvard-educated, Wall Street-seasoned economist whose determination and willingness to stand up against authority led his country out of the 2008-2009 world financial disaster. The former president of the central Bank of Argentina, Redrado is credited with recognizing government corruption and fighting for Argentina’s economic survival. He created Fundación Capital, an economic think tank in Latin America, and he is author of four books: How to Survive Globalization, Exports for Growth, Time of Challenges and No Reserve.

Born and reared in rural Ohio, Dan Newland has lived and worked in Argentina since 1973.  He worked for 13 years at the Buenos Aires Herald, a daily renowned for its valiant human rights campaign during Argentina's bloody era of military rule. Newland's editorial comments contributed to that effort. He reached the post of managing editor before leaving the Herald to begin his current, life-long career as an independent writer, translator and editor.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 762 KB
  • Print Length: 328 pages
  • Publisher: AmazonCrossing (23 July 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003X09Y1U
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #579,180 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
I found it to technical for the layman. Instead I looked at the interplay between the politicians and the bankers, which was interesting. Books like to big to fail and similar are much better at explaining the financial world.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)

Amazon.com: 3.5 out of 5 stars 11 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Reads Like a Thriller, but the Amazon Translation Leaves Much to Be Desired 31 Jan. 2013
By RR in DC - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I follow the types of issues covered in this book professionally and wanted the insights that a senior financial official could offer on the economy of Argentina. For those who follow these issues, this is a fascinating account of the extraordinary confrontation between Cristina Fernández de Kirchner's incompetent and corrupt Administration and a competent, principled central bank head. The technical issues raised in the book continue to be covered in the financial press and continue to plague Argentina.

For me, the quality of the translation is a great disappointment. I'm familiar with the jargon of the field, but the translation is so poor as to render sections almost completely incoherent. The translator, originally from Ohio, is a native speaker, but his English is not graceful and, in some instances, not grammatical. He is completely unfamiliar with the technical mechanics of banking and finance and does not convey any of those elements clearly. One has to infer rather than understand clearly what steps had been taken. Publishing this book under the author's name is an insult to him.

That said, I couldn't put this book down. This book details a major marker in the downward spiral of Christina's regime. It would be a service to Redrado to retranslate the book. It would make a compelling account that much more interesting.
4.0 out of 5 stars Memoir of Argentine Banker. 17 Mar. 2012
By Lynn Ellingwood - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Martin Redrado was the chief of the Central Bank of Argentina during a financial crisis in the early 2000s. He led the country out of financial collapse and did it by rejecting the recommendations of the World Bank and other world organizations. He feels he has permanently stopped the common collapse of Argentina's banking system and put it on the course of prosperity. He tries to explain what often happens in developing countries' economies and how delicate they are to what happens elsewhere in the world market. I'm don't pretend to understand the financial world and the world economy but I was curious to learn more about Argentina since it was able to recover by doing exactly what the World Bank and others told them not to do. Greece is often mentioned as a country which should follow suit. I'm not sure the austerity measures imposed upon Greece will help the people or their country and I could see what could happen next if the people simply give up. Argentina gave a ray of hope to developing countries and its worthwhile to take a closer look. This book helps a reader do that whether you think he is "full of himself" or accurate in his beliefs.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cleaning up after the largest default in history 16 April 2011
By Aaron C. Brown - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I sympathize with A. Tegtmeier's criticism of the egotism of the author. Within the first few pages you learn he chats with the President of Argentina on a first-name basis, flies to Paris to speak to the world's central bankers but flies home without sleeping because he is so important and hobnobs with powerful people around the globe. He is constantly mentioning his possessions, job perks and importance; while coolly dissecting everything else from the decorations at the Presidential Palace to the economic "soundness" of rival bureaucrats in such certain tones you think they came to him inscribed on stone tablets from God.

However, that should not deter you from reading this excellent account of the financial struggles of Argentina from 2004 to 2010. Argentina should be one of the richest country in the world due to its natural resources, educated and energetic population and small necessity for military defense. Instead it has been a chronic inflicter of financial disasters on foreigners for over two centuries, and has hobbled its own economy as a result. Of course it has political issues as well, but it was economic mismanagement that sparked the movements that mismanaged everything else. The political ship of state gets righted periodically, only to be sunk by new economic disasters.

Redrado gives a clear and insightful account of what happened this time, and how it happened. Other reviewers have complained that the story is too technical, but that is not fair. Everything is explained in simple terms. He does use a bit of mild jargon here and there, but it's stuff any reader with general knowledge could look up quickly. One reason it seems confusing is Redrado is a pragmatist who will not admit that. The things he does are straightforward and easy to understand, once he explains the background and logic. But he often inserts some complex nonsense to make everything seem more consistent theoretically. He is a central banker who understands trade and banking and finance in all their messy details, but who presents himself as an armchair academic economist.

This excellent book is a perfect foil to Barry Eichengreen's Exorbitant Privilege. That tells the story of the US dollar, the currency that is so strong it causes problems for the US and the world; while Argentina deals with the same issues from the perspective of a currency that is so weak it causes problems for Argentina and the world. To round out your understanding, pick up Perry Mehrling's The New Lombard Street about how the recent financial crisis affected central banking. All three books are short and easy to read, Eichengreen and Mehrling's are well-written and easy for noneconomists to understand.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Very difficult to read, at least for me 1 Dec. 2012
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
First, I want to say that I believe the author is clearly a compentent and highly educated banker. That does not make this book easy to follow at all. Second, I will not be finishing this book because it completely lacks a coherent story after me plodding through the first 68 pages. It is a waste of my time because I simply cannot follow what is going on. I did browse the rest of the book and it looks to be pretty much the same format. The author jumps from one time period to another time period sometimes several times on the same page. Third, it is a major distraction for me as he discusses so many different people, sometimes in the span of a single page, that it is just too much to comprehend. He tells you people's positions, full names, and ancillary background information in the middle of telling you why he was talking to the person in the first place! Finally, he seems to expect the reader to know about the past financial crises of Latin America without explaining them. For example, he has referred to the Tequilla Effect several times without saying what it was. Turns out it was just a name for a sudden devaluation of the Mexican peso that affected Mexico and Argentina. Yes, I had to look that up.

I read technical documentation as part of my daily job, but I think for someone to enjoy this book they need the following:

1. Patience for an author who digresses into sub-stories frequently
2. Some historical knowledge of financial crises in Latin America or the willingness to look them up as they appear in the text.
3. A background in banking and/or macroeconomics

I think if you had all three of those things, you would likely find this book interesting. The author clearly knows a lot of the worlds major players in banking and finance. For example, he has referred to speaking with Alan Greenspan on multiple occassions already. He also describes his first-hand contact with all the major players in Agentine politics, as well as discussions with central bankers all over the world.

Ultimately, this book is just too difficult for me to read because I don't meet the pre-requisites that I listed above. Especially #1: I want a narrative that I can follow. I do not like one that jumps back-and-forth between various time periods, discussing different people, and many different background stories. I simply get lost in the minutiae.
1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars No quarter: the limits of translation? 12 Mar. 2011
By Cecil Bothwell - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Perhaps the chief problem with Martin Redrado's analysis of Argentina's modern economic policy is inelegant translation. The English version I reviewed feels awkward, even stilted, with linguistic redundancies that could surely be smoothed in a less literal but truer offering.

However, I doubt that. Reading through the awkwardness, the chief problem I had with No Reserve is the narrowness of its subject matter. The subtitle suggests a broad philosophic overview of governance, but the text zeroes in on the arcane world of central banking.

I think it's fair to say that I am a political wonk. As an elected official the whole arena of public policy carries more than average interest for me, and I looked forward to reading Redrado's memoir. The experience has been a severe disappointment.

This book may be of interest to specialists, but it definitely isn't for the general reader, not even to the general wonk.
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