Tim Geithner’s *Stress Test*

I quite am enjoying this book, which I find to be readable and also one of the best introductions to the history of America’s financial crisis.  The argumentation is conceptual throughout, though it should be recognized this is indeed an apologia.  Gretchen Morgenson offers some critical remarks on book in this regard.  Here is one good bit from that review:

…he fails to answer one of the most crucial questions about the crisis: How did he and his regulatory colleagues at the Fed, with their army of researchers and high-powered economists, miss the immense and obvious buildup of risk in the financial system that led to the crisis?

See Felix Salmon’s remarks too.

I also found Stress Test to be a good story of an American public servant, but perhaps a kind of career which is becoming increasingly rare.  Geithner writes:

Larry once said he could envision me as the managing partner of a law firm, or running some big institution, if only my credentials weren’t so thin.

There is also this:

When I left Treasury at the end of the Clinton administration, my colleagues put together tongue-in-cheek recommendations for my next job; for instance, Rubin suggested I could be Larry’s biographer.  Greenspan proposed “first assistant to the deputy to the managing director of the Asian Monetary Fund,” his wry way of celebrating its nonexistence.

You can buy the book here.


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