13 Bankers: The Wall Street Takeover and the Next Financial Meltdown

By Simon Johnson, James Kwak
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.
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.
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.
Lucid, authoritative, crucial for its timeliness, "13 Bankers" is certain to be one of the most discussed and debated books of 2010."


NEWS & OPINION: The Best Business Books of 2010 from strategy + business

Posted November 24, 2010, 10:28 PM with category of Publishing Industry
strategy + business's "best of" list is always a special treat—in large part because it's never just a list, but a series of essays. The magazine gathers together a different team of experts each year, and each takes the task of writing on their chosen category and the books in it. I've listed their picks below, linking to the essays at the head of each category. Read more

STAFF PICKS: Bloomberg Picks 30

Posted November 19, 2010, 9:02 PM with category of Management & Workplace Culture
Here's a list we missed late last month. Though the post is rather cryptically titled Hellhound Bites Citigroup, Schwarzman Finds Gold Mine: Top Business Books, Bloomberg's James Pressley explains exactly why they put the list together: With so many business books being published each month, we’re often asked for recommendations. Here are 30 of our favorite hardbacks published this year. Read more

NEWS & OPINION: Amazon's Best of 2010

Posted November 4, 2010, 7:28 PM with category of Management & Workplace Culture
Amazon has announced their Best of 2010 list, and a business book cracked the top 10 overall choices. Michael Lewis's The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine barely did so, coming in at number 10. (Two other books in the top ten that may appeal to nonfiction readers are The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot and The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration by Isabel Wilkerson, which came in at numbers one and five respectively. Read more


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ISBN: 9780307379054

About the Hardcover

Publisher Pantheon Books
Publish date 03/30/2010
Pages 304
ISBN-13 9780307379054
ISBN-10 0307379051
Language English

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