In STRESS TEST former Treasury Secretary TIMOTHY GEITHNER writes the Tim's book will forever be the definitive work on what causes financial panics and . Stress Test: Reflections on Financial Crises is a memoir by former United States Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner, written as an account of the. Praise. A Financial Times Best Book of “He's written a really good book — we might as well get that out of the way, as so much else about Timothy F.
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Stress Test: Reflections on Financial Crises e mais milhares de eBooks estão .. The book reaches its climax with the stress tests backed by promises of capital. Start by marking “Stress Test: Reflections on Financial Crises” as Want to Read: Timothy Geithner has the unusual habit of showing up in the middle of international crises. He wrote Stress Test: Reflections on Financial Crises as a distinguished fellow at the Council on Foreign. A Financial Times Best Book of “He's written a really good book — we might as well get that out of the way, as so much else about Timothy F. Geithner.
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The crisis he describes might just as well have been an act of God. Basically no one noticed what was happening inside the financial system until after it happened.
A few of the important people with a privileged view expressed concerns about the risks being taken, but most said nothing. Geithner counts himself in the minority.
Do our banks really have enough? Once the ship hits the iceberg, Geithner becomes more central to the action. His job, as he sees it, is to do what he can to plug the hole, and to cram as many people as possible into lifeboats, without worrying too much about appearances. But he is immediately faced with an appearance problem: Before he can save any women and children, he has to rescue the drunks in first class who owned all the lifeboats.
Interestingly, Geithner has little sympathy for those who wanted to see Wall Street bankers held accountable for whatever it was they had done. He thinks it was a mistake, for example, to allow Lehman Brothers to fail in September , and writes that he would have prevented it if he could have. He claims the Treasury and Federal Reserve lacked the authority to save it. He himself is careful with the facts.
He finds it silly that many people believe Dodd-Frank changed nothing important. Yet he never explains why the roughly 5 percent capital ratio it demands of the big banks is anything like a magic number for bank safety — and he does not mention the powerful case recently made by the economists Anat Admati and Martin Hellwig that the right number is at least 20 percent.
Geithner seems genuinely to believe that the details of the behavior inside the financial industry are largely irrelevant — that investors who bought subprime mortgage bonds simply suffered from the same misconceptions as everyone else.
Why did our financiers stuff so many bad loans into incomprehensibly complex securities that even sophisticated investors were unlikely to understand, and then pressure deeply conflicted ratings agencies to declare them risk-free?
Subprime mortgage bonds, credit default swaps, collateralized debt obligation synthesized from those credit default swaps, the gaming of the rating agencies, along with the screwed-up behavior of financial elites that seem to me to lie at the heart of the financial crisis, Geithner deems scarcely worth mentioning. His job as financial crisis manager was in part the psychological manipulation of financial markets. Finally, he seems to believe that the American financial system is now more or less fully reformed.
Those who think the root cause of the crisis was the bad incentives of financiers are unlikely to be persuaded. Along the way, he also gives us a telling portrait of himself. The decisions he made are easier to criticize than they are to improve upon.
I doubt many readers will put his book down and think the man did anything but his best. On his feet he might have stammered and wavered. That in itself was always a sign he was unusually brave. Find your local bookstore at booksellers. Our Lists. Hi-Res Cover. Timothy Geithner. Online retailers Or. For others in the EU, it's worse. On his own role in the crisis, Geithner moves between quiet confidence - this is what had to be done - versus a subdued apology for not having done more.
His evaluation is the Great Recession was at least not the Great Depression. A low bar, to be sure, but one that we thankfully passed. Barring any new revelations, I would agree with Geithner's conclusion - this could have been a hell of a lot worse.
Still, there is the unanswerable question of the moral hazards of the financial system and how long it will be before another panic starts up and nobody recognizes the pattern. The fire is out, but the homeowner still smokes in bed.
View all 8 comments. Unelected Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner had more influence on the thoughts and motivations, successes and failures of ordinary Americans than Congress ever did in the years he was in office. While Congress played politics and not very well at that , Geithner did a lot some might say too much with his global role as fire extinguisher. And who was he? Those of us just watching his pronouncements and public speeches, or feeling the impact of his decisions really did not have a good Unelected Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner had more influence on the thoughts and motivations, successes and failures of ordinary Americans than Congress ever did in the years he was in office.
Those of us just watching his pronouncements and public speeches, or feeling the impact of his decisions really did not have a good picture of the man orchestrating the mayhem. Stress Test goes some way to explaining how he moved from President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York when the monetary crisis began to become U. Secretary of the Treasury in , and what he was thinking as the crisis unfolded.
It is not a book written for Wall Street insiders. It is written with the general American public, Europe, and other countries in mind. It is, in some sense, a White Paper on the crisis, telling of personalities, events, and lessons learned. It is well worth the time invested to read or listen to it. Two thoughts competed for precedence as I listened to Geithner narrate the Random House audiobook production of his book.
One was that he really is just an ordinary man in extraordinary circumstances. He never worked in the finance industry before getting a government job at Treasury in the International Affairs Division in the 's. Remember Sam Nunn? He did his duty, oh so well, but he appeared to hate the limelight. And Geithner must be an impressive thinker and proponent of his thinking in person and in writing, despite or perhaps because of, his measured and sometimes turgid prose.
He consistently had strong supporters and powerful mentors all along his path.
Something we may not value enough is his ability to withstand withering abuse from those who disagreed with him. While there may be, and undoubtedly will be, many who could do his job, not many could handle a crisis of that magnitude while listening, adjusting, and holding firm when necessary. It was a labor of love, doing that job at that time. It occurred to me that some who recommended him for the job wanted someone else to handle the crisis—to be a fall guy.
It would have been far more useful to him and to all of us if those with reasonable alternative ideas could have presented them in a civil manner.
The market scare showed us unfit and fat, at our ugliest. If anything, this may be the thing that worries me the most. One could argue now that the cash injected into the system allowed us to paper over some of the inequity issues we face, despite changes made to the regulatory system.
That someone makes an outsized salary can be remedied by tax reform, but the politics have become even more contentious and disabling. This type of meltdown crisis will probably happen again, especially if our political system continues to fail.
We may not use the methods Geithner used to repair the damage in the future, but everything he did will be considered in the next crisis, combed over and debated, regardless of political affiliation and ideology.
This is because pragmatism really does trump ideology in a crisis, no matter what the pundits and politicians say. View 2 comments. High Marks for Firefighting. At nearly six hundred pages, this tome is a first-hand account of the financial crisis that nearly upended the US financial system, forced millions of American homeowners into foreclosure and resulted in millions of lost jobs. I think Secretary Geithner's book reflects humility and balance in that he acknowledges the mistakes that he a High Marks for Firefighting.
I think Secretary Geithner's book reflects humility and balance in that he acknowledges the mistakes that he and other senior government finance and economics officials made during the crisis US Treasury, Federal Reserve Bank of NY and Board of Governors - Federal Reserve System.
I feel that Secretary Geithner, Secretary Paulson and Governor Bernanke and their staff deserve high marks for their tireless efforts and skill in working to contain the catastrophic situation that materialized once the sub-prime lending market and related securities began to collapse but I'm also feeling that there's a lot to be done with regards to preventing these sorts of financial meltdowns in the future.
Secretary Geithner pointed out in his book that Governor Volcker believes that the last useful innovation to come from the banking and financial services industry was the ATM.
He has also pointed out that Warren Buffett believes that derivative securities are financial weapons of mass destruction. Yet, we see no effort by the US Congress or banking and financial services regulatory agencies to do anything to restrict such highly unpredictable, insidious and destructive instruments from the marketplace. I believe we need a coordinated effort across the G20 to disallow these variants of Russian Roulette rather than trying to manage them.
Mike Tyson had said that all boxers have a strategy until they get punched in the face. After that, everything changes. We have to acknowledge that derivative securities are far too dangerous, unpredictable and unmanageable - unfortunately, Secretary Geithner seems unwilling to concede on this issue. View all 5 comments.
Tim Geithner is one of few very few Beltway insiders I have ever followed on Youtube. He's an awkward but strangely captivating public speaker, a humble but competent bureaucrat who rises above the political theater of Washington to deliver pragmatic solutions to our economic woes, most often in an exasperated monotone.
He's very down to earth, an easy guy to like. His book does not disappoint: Geithner, nominally a Democrat, avoids ideological pandering and derives his insights from experience and personal observations over the course of a year career in public service. To Geithner, financial crises are caused when borrowing or leverage outpaces economic growth and capital moves to unregulated markets.
They are resolved when swift, overwhelming capital injections sufficiently restore the health of the financial system, allowing insolvent banks to fail in isolation of those that are merely illiquid and salvageable. The key is to restore confidence in markets by demonstrating a serious resolve to repair them despite moral hazard concerns and assured political fallout because, ultimately, the alternative is worse.
The opposite solution, austerity, is demonstrated by Europe's sluggish recovery and skyrocketing unemployment rates. Admittedly, much of the subject matter is pretty abstract, but there are interesting portrayals of famous figures and illuminating critiques of the political games played on Capitol Hill.
Overall, a compelling read. My only reservation is Geithner's weak response to the AIG bonus scandal: It would have been a quick, easy, and relatively inexpensive fix if Geithner had not confused talent with egregious mismanagement.
I have read several books recently on the financial crisis we are just coming out of. I am sure that this will be a controversial book and people will take sides according t I have read several books recently on the financial crisis we are just coming out of. I am sure that this will be a controversial book and people will take sides according to their personal belief and only a few people will read it for the facts without pre-judgment.
Geithner starts the book with his childhood growing up in various countries as his father worked for the Ford Foundation. He says he learned to speak Hindi, Japanese and Chinese. He tells about his personal life meeting his wife getting married having children. But he spends most of the book on his employment at the Treasury. He tells about his work in the International department working on helping countries with their financial crisis such as Mexico, Japan, Indonesia and South Korea.
He says the lessons he learned helped him deal with the current worldwide financial crisis. Geithner goes into great detail about how the crisis development and people were caught off guard as people were complacent because of our long time of stability in the markets.
He implies that greed and lack of proper inspections lead to some of the problems. He explains what was wrong, and how they attempted to fix or relief some stress on the markets. He goes into depth about the stress test they designed for the banks to avoid future problems. Geithner explains what attempts were made at legislation to prevent future problems along with what is good, adequate or poor and what is missing and needs to be corrected.
The description of our dysfunctional government comes through crystal clear. He mentions Elizabeth Warren as she worked under him as temporary head of the new consumer bureau. I noted Warren was more interested in how the crisis was affecting the individual and Geithner was more interested in the institutions and countries. He has done an excellent job with this book so I wished he would have written his explanations and had someone read them maybe that would have gave us the confidence that comes with understanding.
It is obvious from the book the man did his best in an extremely difficult situation. This is an important memoir by one of the most consequential cabinet officers of the first four years of Obama presidency. Geithner's main theme is the necessity of protecting the financial system in a full-blown financial crisis forces policy makers to take counter-intuitive measures, such as government borrowing to shore up institutions whose reckless lending contributed to the crisis.
This is a thought-provoking, meaty memoir, certain to have a major impact on early historical accounts of the This is an important memoir by one of the most consequential cabinet officers of the first four years of Obama presidency.
This is a thought-provoking, meaty memoir, certain to have a major impact on early historical accounts of the Obama years.
Highly recommend this to realize that getting things done in Washington is not as easy as you think, even when the financial world was on the verge of crumbling and the Great Depression seemed eminent. Checks and balances, political pressures and public ignorance all contribute to the difficulty. The book sometimes sound like a boosting of the Obama side but overall informative. View 1 comment. This was the heavy one of the trip — it took three days.
Geithner has always been a cipher to me so I figured his autobiography and memoir on the financial crisis would help me understand him better. He did an amazing job with this book, both explaining what happened while explaining himself. The depth of his own introspection and understanding of his own being came through in the midst of incredible pressure and crisis. On the cynical end, Geithner, Paulson, and Bernanke were Wall Street cronies in bed with the largest banks, the vampire squids like Goldman Sachs, and they used taxpayer money to bail them out.
The more generous and nuanced view is that they made unprecedented moves to bail out TBTF banks because the big banks had too much power and sway over them. You can feel the struggle of Geithner trying to pull at the dominant narrative by watching the painful and uncharacteristically not-funny minute interview with Jon Stewart. Geithner sat at the very center of the storm from beginning to end.
First as head of the New York Federal Reserve, the regulator most entwined with the Wall Street firms, he oversaw the early rumblings of crisis as well as the rescue of Bear Stearns and the failure of Lehman Brothers. He expresses disdain for their excess, stupidity, and herd behavior. He wants us to know that his team bailed them out to save the economy and the public from their collapse.
And once the war was started, it was necessary to use "overwhelming force. He comes off as humble and down-to-earth. His signature is on all of our paper money and he sits at the center of a monetary system that is based purely on public trust.
He says the night before he started as Chairman of the New York Fed, he was carded when he tried to download a beer. Geithner describes himself as an ordinary guy with average grades and average ambitions--or none, really.
His narrative is an honest, just-the-facts story without much self-reflection or moralizing. His book demands that we measure their success by that metric. They saved us from collapse and earned a profit to boot! He keeps repeating: But if Geithner is the hero in this story and the bailouts were the only thing between us and another Great Depression, then why is it still so hard to feel grateful?
Part of it is that many people are still suffering. But the other part is that any story in which the protagonist saves us all from disaster by giving cash to big banks is not a story that can easily put us at ease. Maybe they just wanted to play a different game. No mass indictments Where were the armies of auditors, seizing hard drives and poring over the financial statements? Geithner was not a Goldman executive as everyone thought.
He makes this clear over and over again. He was not a Wall Street guy. But he was an umpire in that game. He is critical of both Sheila Bair and Brooksley Born former CFTC chairman who proposed that derivatives should be regulated when no one else saw them as a threat.
Everything except ditch the play book.
Or ask foundational questions: Why funnel the rescue through the banks in the first place? Is our current banking system the right intermediary for credit? I had studied the banking system from the outside so none of it was sacred to me.
Just a dogma so pervasive that everyone on the inside seems oblivious to life outside the sacred walls of Wall Street finance. And like religious fundamentalists, all challengers to their faith are seen as wrong or misguided. Fascinating book. Compared to Bernanke's more professorial approach, Stress Test is like listening to a neighbor share stories about their career. A non-technical and interesting read. If you read only one book about the financial crisis, this should be it.
I've enjoyed it so much that while I initially borrowed it from the library, I've since downloadd the Kindle version. Mar 07, Bryan Craig rated it really liked it Shelves: If you are looking for a highly read-able account of the financial crisis, this is a good one. Stress Test, by Tim Geithner, was read by Mr. He reads in an uneven tone of voice, often in a monotone, and truthfully, I fell asleep no less than three times during the time I listened to this book.
I gave it two stars, which I consider a generous rating, only because of the effort expended. He attacked the Bush administration and the GOP while he worshiped at the feet of President Obama and his cronies without admitting their responsibility in the debacle that the White House faced.
Those who disagree with his presentation will be hard pressed to finish the book; I know it was an extraordinary effort for me to complete it.
Somewhere in his diatribe of complaints and protestations, there are some facts worthy of consideration and thought. He presided as Secretary of the Treasury during a troubled time, but it was not a surprise for him.
He knew the playing field when he accepted the position as Obama knew what awaited him when he ran for office. To pretend differently, is to be intellectually dishonest. Geithner uses hackneyed phrases and trite references to illustrate his points.
His language is crude and I often found it offensive. Although he was supposed to be non-partisan in the post he occupied, his decisions were most often made for political reasons, whether it was because of those around him or himself, that was the end result.
The security of the country and the well being of the people often took a back seat to the personal demands of the powers that be. Often, opposition was not given a chance to even voice an opinion, and therefore, the opposition refused to march lock step, like lemmings, to support his wishes.
He insulted those who disagreed with him and even when he admitted that his fellow democrats were also intransigent, he always offered a codicil which reinforced his belief that the Republicans were far worse. He witnessed bank failures and a sinking car industry. He tried to prevent the failure of Bear Stearns and Aig.
He watched as Lehman failed. He was not empowered to save them with an infusion of money, and yet, after that failure, the law was changed. Was that by design? He saved Fannie and Freddie, even though Senator Frank presented their balance sheet as solvent when he appeared on television, contrary to the reality of their state of affairs.
He was stubborn and uncompromising most of the time. Geithner expresses distrust and dislike for the Tea Party because they oppose his policies and he hates the inability of Congress to act effectively. Although Geithner did achieve some positive results, he blames his failures on others, even as he admits them. The book was therefore redundant and, at times, boring. He too often tried to prop himself up, even as he complained that he was unqualified for the jobs thrust upon him.
His humility did not seem genuine since he often threw mud at others to explain his failures. If you disagreed with him, you were wrong, evil, disruptive, a saboteur.
Both Geithner and Obama ridicule those that do not agree with them. Compromise and negotiation do not seem to be their strong skills. I felt that retribution was the objective, rather than the accomplishment of goals through conciliation. He supported those who gamed and raped the system, bailing them out while standing by as those who followed the rules were got hurt and were forced to take up the burden for those who brought about the debacle.
Pretty much, the only politicians he embraced were left of left. He makes a statement that President Obama believed policy would trump politics which is contrary to a White House that dwells on optics and party politics, first and foremost. For sure, I did not understand all of the information presented, but I did get the main idea and was very disappointed by the presentation. A government which is supposed to represent everyone was being advised by someone who seemed to believe his most important job was to protect the President, rather than the country.
He spent most of his time bashing Republicans and praising Obama and the Democrats. It was the most partisan presentation of any book I have read by a government servant. He was a cheerleader for himself and the sacrifices of his wife and family, and for what he perceived as a President who was trying to do right by the country.
Today, it would seem that the situation in the world may fly in the face of that premise.