Stress Test: Reflections on Financial Crises Hardcover – 15 May 2014
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"Sensational ... Tim's book will forever be the definitive work on what causes financial panics and what must be done to stem them when they occur." (Warren Buffett)
"Deals with issues far bigger than anything on the Man Booker long list." (Anne Ashworth The Times)
"Stress Test is an absolutely compelling account of the financial crisis, written in a clear, graceful style with striking honesty at every step along the way." (Doris Kearns Goodwin)
"This is a lucid, fascinating, and extremely important book … Geithner does something unusual: he engages in substance. With both insight and humility, plus a good dose of wry humor, he explains what really happened during the financial crisis. No matter your political persuasion, you will find this book educational, enlightening, and interesting." (Walter Isaacson)
"A fascinating memoir about life in the maelstrom of the financial crisis … Earlier books have described much of what happened that September, but Geithner was present for all the frantic meetings, the thousands of phone calls ― and in the case of Lehman, the failure to find a buyer that could keep it alive. New problems cropped up almost weekly, if not daily. He explains each in easy-to-understand language and what the issues were that shaped the responses… There could be another crisis someday, of course, but what Geithner and his colleagues did has made one far less likely." (USA Today)
From the former Treasury Secretary, the definitive account of the unprecedented effort to save the U.S. economy from collapse in the wake of the worst global financial crisis since the Great DepressionSee all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
This book should definitely be required reading for anyone who thinks he knows what caused the 2008 crisis and who thinks he knows how to prevent future crises. Geithner makes it very clear how a combination of a vast number of factors, many unrelated, worked together to cause the events of 2007 onwards. He doesn't try to pin the blame on any one subset of all the actors, but tries to explain clearly and concisely how actions taken (or not taken) led to the events discussed.
He does throw in some interesting anecdotes and asides, but I feel he could have gone a little further to give a more human touch to all the events that unfolded. I found it particularly amusing how many administration officials were under the impression that he was an ex-Goldmans banker, whereas he had never worked for any bank in any capacity.
I do share his despondency about how difficult it will be to enact the desired changes to make our global financial system safer going forward. My conclusion would definitely be that it would be better to attempt to fix the US political system first. Then and only then could any meaningful supervision and regulatory authority for the financial system be put in place. Almost unbelievable that US politicians would push hard for greater supervision of all consumer finance firms, just not those offering car loans, or greater supervision of all banks, just not the two biggest in the particular State that the politician represents.
All in all, a great read, but just be aware that the author, on balance, will want you to be sympathetic to the subject!
1. Geithner was the only person who worked both at Fed and in the treasury
2. gives a new insight into the life of Obama administration,
3. replies to the Sheila Bair's criticism,
4. tells about the European developments from the American perspective,
5. tells more about Geithner as a person
Of course his critics might have a different view ... I'm not close enough to it to judge.
Critics forget that politics is the art of the possible. Geithner, Paulson and Bernanke would be the first to admit that almost every policy action was a second or third best solution. Any meaningful criticism must take account of political and practical constraints. The treatment of Lehman Brothers is an extreme case in point. With hindsight, the failure of Lehman looks necessary in order to scare the body politic into underwriting the far greater liabilities of AIG and supporting Paulson's demand for $700bn in TARP money, no strings attached.
I recommend reading the Epilogue - which describes the eventual outcomes - before starting this book. One of the ironies in policy-making is that the best public servants rarely get credit. Not only did Geithner, Paulson and Bernanke save us from catastrophe, they were right on all the major calls. It was right to aggressively ease monetary policy and counteract the widespread financial panic with the Fed's balance sheet. Their opponents who pontificated about moral hazard and inflation will be damned by history - persistently low inflation and profound risk aversion are the legacies of 2008.
On fiscal policy, Geithner also wins hands down. American output recovered faster than Europe's and the UK's, it's budget deficit improved more rapidly, and US GDP growth has been far better than the average post-banking crisis recovery.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Book is new, perfect outside and it was delivered insanely fast. Really satisfiedPublished 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
Great books. Allows one to view and live the greatest crises of our time in an honest way. The choices where hard but ultimately necessary.Published 14 months ago by haleemmod
As an insight into how our elite govern us, it is very revealing.Unashamed and quite open about the attempt to bailout every bank possible on the basis that one major bank going... Read morePublished 15 months ago by mr v richardson
Very comprehensive and reads like a story. Excellent detailed anecdotes and punctuated with details and differing perspectives. Very insightful.Published 16 months ago by Amazon Customer
This is truly an outstanding book. Tim's account of the emerging market crises during the 1990s, the lead up to the Financial Crisis in 2008 and its root causes, the thinking... Read morePublished 21 months ago by Tim Salter
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