13 Bankers: The Wall Street Takeover and the Next Financial Meltdown
Call Number: HG 2491 .J646 2010
Publication Date: 2010
Even after the ruinous financial crisis of 2008, America is still beset by the depredations of an oligarchy that is now bigger, more profitable, and more resistant to regulation than ever. Anchored by six megabanks--Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, Wells Fargo, Goldman Sachs, and Morgan Stanley--which together control assets amounting, astonishingly, to more than 60 percent of the country's gross domestic product, these financial institutions (now more emphatically "too big to fail") continue to hold the global economy hostage, threatening yet another financial meltdown with their excessive risk-taking and toxic "business as usual" practices. How did this come to be--and what is to be done? These are the central concerns of 13 Bankers, a brilliant, historically informed account of our troubled political economy. nbsp; In 13 Bankers, Simon Johnson--one of the most prominent and frequently cited economists in America (former chief economist of the International Monetary Fund, Professor of Entrepreneurship at MIT, and author of the controversial "The Quiet Coup" in The Atlantic)--and James Kwak give a wide-ranging, meticulous, and bracing account of recent U.S. financial history within the context of previous showdowns between American democracy and Big Finance: from Thomas Jefferson to Andrew Jackson, from Theodore Roosevelt to Franklin Delano Roosevelt. They convincingly show why our future is imperiled by the ideology of finance (finance is good, unregulated finance is better, unfettered finance run amok is best) and by Wall Street's political control of government policy pertaining to it. nbsp; As the authors insist, the choice that America faces is stark: whether Washington will accede to the vested interests of an unbridled financial sector that runs up profits in good years and dumps its losses on taxpayers in lean years, or reform through stringent regulation the banking system as first and foremost an engine of economic growth. To restore health and balance to our economy, Johnson and Kwak make a radical yet feasible and focused proposal: reconfigure the megabanks to be "small enough to fail." nbsp; Lucid, authoritative, crucial for its timeliness, 13 Bankers is certain to be one of the most discussed and debated books of 2010.
The Shifts and the Shocks: What We've Learned-and Have Still to Learn-from the Fianancial Crisis
Publication Date: 2014
From the chief economic commentator for the Financial Times, a brilliant tour d’horizon of the new global economy and its trajectory There have been many books that have sought to explain the causes and courses of the financial and economic crisis which began in 20078. The Shifts and the Shocks is not another detailed history of the crisis, but the most persuasive and complete account yet published of what the crisis should teach us about modern economies and economics. The book identifies the origin of the crisis in the complex interaction between globalization, hugely destabilizing global imbalances and our dangerously fragile financial system. In the eurozone, these sources of instability were multiplied by the tragically defective architecture of the monetary union. It also shows how much of the orthodoxy that shaped monetary and financial policy before the crisis occurred was complacent and wrong. In doing so, it mercilessly reveals the failures of the financial, political and intellectual elites who ran the system. The book also examines what has been done to reform the financial and monetary systems since the worst of the crisis passed. Are we now on a sustainable course?” Wolf asks. The answer is no.” He explains with great clarity why further crises seem certain” and why the management of the eurozone in particular guarantees a huge political crisis at some point in the future.” Wolf provides far more ambitious and comprehensive plans for reform than any currently being implemented. Written with all the intellectual command and trenchant judgment that have made Martin Wolf one of the world’s most influential economic commentators, The Shifts and the Shocks matches impressive analysis with no-holds-barred criticism and persuasive prescription for a more stable future. It is a book no one with an interest in global affairs will want to neglect.