“After the collapse of Lehman Bros. in September 2008, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, then-Treasury secretary Henry Paulson and then-New York Fed president Timothy Geithner stood on the brink of catastrophe. Their decision not to bail out Lehman set off a near panic among investors and lenders worldwide.
In response, the government implemented a $700 billion bailout and has since adopted a series of rescue measures that put U.S. taxpayers on the hook for a potential $14 trillion, author Barry Ritholtz says.
The panic and the U.S. reaction spawned a wave of books. Money Bookshelf editor Gary H. Rawlins picks some of the better ones. The selection includes books that point the finger at Wall Street firms and their CEOs, that blast the government for excessive bailouts, that assail the U.S. economic policy triumvirate for letting the inflation genie out of the bottle, and that explain arcane financial derivatives and how they acted as viral agents spreading the crisis to the global economy.
•Too Big to Fail: The Inside Story of How Wall Street and Washington Fought to Save the Financial System — and Themselves by Andrew Sorkin (Viking Adult, $33). Arguably the definitive history of the banking crisis, a blow-by-blow account of how decisions made on Wall Street and in Washington in the past decade led to the crash of the global financial system.
•Bailout Nation: How, Greed and Easy Money Corrupted Wall Street and Shook the World Economy by Barry Ritholtz (Wiley, $25). Explores how the U.S. evolved from a rugged independent nation to a soft Bailout Nation, where financial firms are allowed to self-regulate in good times, but are bailed out by taxpayers in bad times.
Way cool !
Year’s best business books to make sense of financial crisis
USA TODAY, December 21, 2009