counter create hit The Financial Crisis and the Free Market Cure: Why Pure Capitalism Is the World Economy's Only Hope - Download Free eBook
Ads Banner
Hot Best Seller

The Financial Crisis and the Free Market Cure: Why Pure Capitalism Is the World Economy's Only Hope

Availability: Ready to download

John A. Allison is the longest-serving CEO of a top-25 financial institution, having served as Chairman of BB&T for twenty years. He currently serves as President and CEO of the Cato Institute and as a distinguished professor at the Wake Forest University Schools of Business. He is also one of the lead spokespersons for banking and policy reform today, appearing at John A. Allison is the longest-serving CEO of a top-25 financial institution, having served as Chairman of BB&T for twenty years. He currently serves as President and CEO of the Cato Institute and as a distinguished professor at the Wake Forest University Schools of Business. He is also one of the lead spokespersons for banking and policy reform today, appearing at universities and business groups nationwide and serving on the board of directors of the Ayn Rand Institute. He received a Lifetime Achievement Award from American Banker and was named one of the decade’s top 100 most successful CEOs by Harvard Business Review.


Compare
Ads Banner

John A. Allison is the longest-serving CEO of a top-25 financial institution, having served as Chairman of BB&T for twenty years. He currently serves as President and CEO of the Cato Institute and as a distinguished professor at the Wake Forest University Schools of Business. He is also one of the lead spokespersons for banking and policy reform today, appearing at John A. Allison is the longest-serving CEO of a top-25 financial institution, having served as Chairman of BB&T for twenty years. He currently serves as President and CEO of the Cato Institute and as a distinguished professor at the Wake Forest University Schools of Business. He is also one of the lead spokespersons for banking and policy reform today, appearing at universities and business groups nationwide and serving on the board of directors of the Ayn Rand Institute. He received a Lifetime Achievement Award from American Banker and was named one of the decade’s top 100 most successful CEOs by Harvard Business Review.

30 review for The Financial Crisis and the Free Market Cure: Why Pure Capitalism Is the World Economy's Only Hope

  1. 5 out of 5

    Patrick Peterson

    I wrote this review about Dec. 2017 and very briefly edited it several times, the last being 23 Sept. 2018 This is one great book. There are so many misconceptions of what caused the 2008 financial crisis, "great recession" and subsequent long, drawn-out "recovery" that are carefully skewered in this book and alternatives made clear, that I hardly know where to begin. So I will give you a list of just some of the key elements in the financial tragedy that were totally preventable if sound economic I wrote this review about Dec. 2017 and very briefly edited it several times, the last being 23 Sept. 2018 This is one great book. There are so many misconceptions of what caused the 2008 financial crisis, "great recession" and subsequent long, drawn-out "recovery" that are carefully skewered in this book and alternatives made clear, that I hardly know where to begin. So I will give you a list of just some of the key elements in the financial tragedy that were totally preventable if sound economic policies, as explained in the book, were understood and followed: - Too loose, then too tight monetary policy, culprit: The Federal Reserve Board - Moral hazard for banks, culprit: FDIC - Federal housing policies/subsidies, culprit: various government agencies, Congressmen & Presidency - Rating agency oligopoly and change in payments structure, culprit: Federal government agencies' policies - Massive Government players in housing bubble, culprit: Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae with Congressional mandates - Government regulations diverting bank managements' limited attention away from key business risks to political risks, culprit: SEC - Rule of Law in tatters, Property Rights dismissed, culprit: TARP, Congressional grant to unaccountable government officials Starting to get the picture? Not only did Allison explain the causes of the crisis, but he also detailed the policies that would cure the situation, using the best, most relevant historical facts and theoretical methods. His predictions of how the actually implemented government policies would create a very, very slow and weak recovery have played out just about exactly right. THIS is very telling of the accuracy of his account. Reading this book in tandem with listening to Michael Lewis' best selling book "The Big Short" (and seeing the movie too) was a fascinating, if infuriating, experience. The contrasts between the two different accounts could not be more stark. Allison's calm, reasoned, explanation of the historical, theoretical and practical reasons behind the crisis and then ongoing great recession covered all the bases. But Lewis' dramatic focus on particular financial traders and his fixation on some great (but unaccounted for) upwelling of private "greed" and incompetence (how's that for an incongruent combination?), virtually totally ignoring the very real GOVERNMENT policies and depraved actions was just about too much to take. Was Lewis just incompetently ignorant of all the key facts and ideas that Allison patiently explained? Or did he purposely leave them out of his narrative for some reason(s)? I urge you to read these two books and come to your own conclusions. ------------ Started reading this book yesterday, 1 aug. 2017, finally. It had been on my To Read list and bookshelf since it came out in 2013. The beginning is sooo good. Reminds me of the later book John Allison wrote just after this, but which I read first: The Leadership Crisis. I reviewed that here: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show... I am also listening to the audiobook "The Big Short" by Michael Lewis at the same time. The contrast in understanding of the overall economic, or even just financial system is night and day. Lewis gets into (and highlights or makes a centerpiece) many more details about his take on personalities, motivations, personal morality, values, foibles etc. much more than Allison. Allison deals with some of those issues too, but much more believably, kindly and accurately as far as the big picture. And Allison deals with the benefits for everyone of living an individual, decent life. Drama emphasis vs. truth seeking emphasis - which do you want to rely on? As I read and listen to more of these two books, I will try to compare and contrast them, to give you a good flavor of each. But as of about 60 pages into Allison (and also having read his other similar book) and having listened to 3+ chapters of the Lewis book (and seen the movie based on it), I can tell you, if you care about the truth in how the world really works, you will love Allison. If you have a massive grudge against free markets, and like an incredibly short-sighted, narrow, biased view of descriptions of people, financial products, and organizations, Lewis is your man. Those initial observations held up throughout both books. But don't take my word for it - check out both yourself. See who YOU think was describing the more accurate picture of what actually happened and who is to blame for the crisis, all the massive disruption of people's lives and lousy economy afterwards. ---- The author debated the topic of the cause of the 2008 crisis on 20 Feb. 2019: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-soho...

  2. 5 out of 5

    Pedro Jorge

    rating: 3.6/5 This book provides a great discussion on the topics of regulation and how politics and naive intentions influence banking. It's great to read an insider's view of what went wrong in the banking industry during the crisis. Allison was a super-successful banker who also studied a lot on the topic of free enterprise and capitalism. His criticisms of the industry are very insightful, even if too simplified at times. I specially enjoyed the real life examples of how regulation distorted rating: 3.6/5 This book provides a great discussion on the topics of regulation and how politics and naive intentions influence banking. It's great to read an insider's view of what went wrong in the banking industry during the crisis. Allison was a super-successful banker who also studied a lot on the topic of free enterprise and capitalism. His criticisms of the industry are very insightful, even if too simplified at times. I specially enjoyed the real life examples of how regulation distorted the market and gave a crony advantage to the unhealthy banks. Also, I stand with the author in his claim that the main problem is philosophical. This is one of the most important points one has to realize before action can be put in place. The main problem with our economy is the lack of self-reliance, self-esteem and this whole collectivist mentality, the equalitarian mentality. Even if I don't agree with all of the author's points, or if I would put them in another way, I must congratulate him for bringing this to the table. I recommend this book to everybody. My main upsets were that sometimes it gets a little repetitive and it definitely is a simplified book (which can be a good thing for starters, but may get to the nerves of cynical leftists); I don't always enjoy his fundamental view of banking, even though I favor free banking; I don't always agree with his view of the economy and of economic growth; and I don't always agree with his policy recommendations. The book gets a little bit too disperse towards the end. Overall, I mostly value it for the real life examples of bad regulation and for the priviledge of reading a former banking CEO who has a pure capitalistic mentality

  3. 4 out of 5

    Ron Housley

    The Financial Crisis and the Free Market Cure How Destructive Banking Reform Is Killing the Economy by John A. Allison (©2013 McGraw Hill) a short book report by Ron Housley I had the good fortune to hear John Allison deliver a lecture several years ago and I was stunned by the scope and detail he was able to bring together into one unified talk. He establishes his credibility right out of the shute by deftly integrating varying aspects of his subject into a readily understandable whole. He has The Financial Crisis and the Free Market Cure – How Destructive Banking Reform Is Killing the Economy by John A. Allison (©2013 McGraw Hill) — a short book report by Ron Housley I had the good fortune to hear John Allison deliver a lecture several years ago and I was stunned by the scope and detail he was able to bring together into one unified talk. He establishes his credibility right out of the shute — by deftly integrating varying aspects of his subject into a readily understandable whole. He has total command of the tiniest detail; and he at once has the total concomitant command of all the governing principles. He may very well be the Steve Jobs of banking. And now he has written a book! Stop and catch your breath for a moment. An early chapter (the one entitled “What Happened?”) will give you a great example of Allison’s rapid fire but sweepingly comprehensive style of sharing his account. He does it with no teleprompter. You will witness the perspective of a “player” (Allison himself) who is able to assess the contribution to a problem of a vast myriad of input factors… Take, for instance, the 2008 financial crisis — where the Fannie & Freddy story reads like a thriller, with tones from “The Big Short” at every turn. In spite of all the New York Times stories during the housing bust of 2008, an important but obscure and largely unaccepted fact remained: Freddy and Fanny had amassed liabilities in excess of 5.5-Trillion; they had practically no assets; at times they operated at a 1000 to 1 leverage ratio(!). It was 100% a government creation; and the NYT blamed “free market capitalism” for the bust(!). When the Wall Street Reform Act was signed into law in July 2010, we saw a frightening spectacle: the authors of the reform bill were the SAME politicians most responsible for the bubble in the first place: Dodd and Frank themselves. It is a delight to witness how Allison assembles the relevant facts together in support of a point; he is a master. And one of the primary points that he makes is that systemic failure of the financial markets can occur ONLY as the result of government policy. FANNY AND FREDDY – Did you know… Fanny & Freddy got into the subprime business under pressure from the Clinton administration. They were created to support the mortgage industry’s loan origination business, but wound up taking over that business for themselves. It is one more story of how an enormous enterprise grew up right under the noses of clueless Americans and ultimately contributed to the destruction of wealth of those many clueless millions from coast to coast. Even today, most American voters do not know what happened (or is happening) to their life savings. MARK TO MARKET – Did you know… Allison’s is the only clear explanation I’ve ever heard of mark-to-market accounting — which was the subject of endless sound-byte reporting back a few years ago. Allison’s punch line is: “Fair-value accounting is inconsistent with this concept [that business be valued as going concerns], because it effectively assumes that the businesses’s assets are being liquidated under stress.” (p.104) I had not realized how important the forced accounting methods were in contributing to the 2007-2009 economic downturn; the bureaucrats in charge finally relaxed their irrationality in April 2009, allowing the downward spiral to end. Mr. Allison’s own experiences with BB&T are sprinkled in for us, a common theme turning out to be: “How could we know what random and destructive policy actions government policy makers would take next?” — pertinent at nearly every level of economic decision making. As a corollary to the mark-to-market accounting debacle, there is the story of how it came to be that stock optons were expensed, even though they never represented an expense at all(!). It is on par with the attempt of the Indiana State Legislature (in the 1930s) to legislate pi to be an even 3-point-zero (π=3.0). When politicians attempt to trump reality, reality always wins. THE “SHADOW BANKING” SYSTEM – Did you know… Now comes the fascinating chapter about derivitives and what is known as the “shadow banking” system. The MainStreet Media has treated this subject with the same superficiality and misapprehension as they did when “reporting” on mark-to-market accounting. Among the points entirely evaded are these:  funding left the commercial banking system due to government rules and regulations that made commercial banking less competitive  The Fed bailed out the money funds, creating the illusion that they are not a risky investment  Freddy and Fanny basically drove commercial banks out of the traditional prime home mortgage business  Derivitives, which the MainStreet Media loves to decry, are mostly instruments to reduce risk and their use as speculation is seen only on the fringes  when a company prepares itself for bankruptcy, the process can be handled without crashing the financial system; but Lehman Brothers did not so plan, because it expected to be bailed out  those in charge of bailouts were mostly from Goldman (e.g., Sec Treas Hank Paulson is a large Goldman shareholder) and they hated Lehman Brothers  an “organized” bankruptcy (of e.g., AIG parent company) could proceed without disrupting financial markets  the AIG bailout was essentially a redistribution of wealth from taxpayers to holders of Credit Default Swaps, essentially Goldman Sachs;  the contribution to the crisis of Bernanke inverting the yield curve is almost never discussed by the MainStreet Media; instead, the media keep telling us that Bernanke is an “expert.” BAILOUTS – Did you know… In the end, Allison asks: “Was “saving” Goldman and AIG about SYSTEMIC risk or about crony capitalism?” (p129) I don’t recall the Wall Street Journal or the New York Times framing the question quite that way at the time? Instead, they kept telling us that our government “had” to infuse billions in order to prevent total economic catastrophe; and so, Americans swallowed hard and accepted it, but they did not understand it. Allison laments that Goldman is an advocate of special deals from Washington and is not an advocate of free markets. “If the U.S.Constitution were enforced, crony capitalism would not work because the politicians and bureaucrats would hot have the authority to hand out favors to their friends.” (p129) REGULATION – Did you know… The consequences of the Dodd-Frank bill are clear: (a)it makes US firms less competitive; (b)it drives resources out of the US; (c)it reduces job creation; (d)it lowers US standard of living. Nowhere in the press do we see any such analysis. Again, Americans swallowed hard and accepted it, but they have not understood it. In his final lament about the bailouts, Allison shares with us: “The reward for running a good business is to have your worst competitors bailed out by the U.S. government and then to have massive new regulations that punish your company for sins it did not commit.” (p130) Mr. Allison uncovers the MYTH that deregulation caused the financial crisis; that myth is put to bed once and for all. MARKET CORRECTION – Did you know… Often, an UNDERSTANDING comes about as the specific result of how an explanation is framed. In his discussion of MARKET CORRECTIONS, Allison frames another view of what happened in 2007-09. He says (p159) that instead of accumulating capital to invest in technology or manufacturing, that the US was “CONSUMING residential real estate on a grand scale.” At the same time the massive federal Stimulus spending allocated more on consumption vs. production. While citizens tried to save, the politicians dramatically reduced savings for investment by spending on consumption. This is said to be the real tragedy of the $16-trillion debt WHAT HAPPENED? – Did you know… We are treated to a devastating indictment of Bernanke and Paulson (their “decisions were random and dishonest” — (p. 164). Even a “60 Minutes” exposè would be hard pressed to design a presentation capable of engaging the average American citizen — the average American appears to have issues with basic thinking skills on far less complex issues. Their verdict on Bernanke and Paulson should have been: they are incompetent and dishonest, a perfect storm for a financial crisis. It seems that a nearly total absence of honesty and objectivity lay behind the financial crisis — but since an underlying understanding is several abstraction layers deep, most people (e.g., the Average American voter) do not take the trouble to grasp what happened. Instead, they have been taught to go along with what the authority figures say, with the pronouncements of regulators and politicians. This is an IMPORTANT book — which answers ALL of the false and misleading rationalizations that we hear to justify what the government policy makers have done to us! It is a treasure trove. How many Americans believed Bush/Bernanke/Paulson when they asserted that not passing TARP would lead to another Great Depression? They injected fear, and the masses went along with it. But what really happened? TARP – Did you know… Or, take a peak at an insider’s view of the TARP scandal. TARP, as with Dodd-Frank, proves more harmful to healthy banks than to companies that should have failed. TARP was a curse for the healthy companies because it kept irrational competition in business. A notable example: Citigroup — a company which malinvested itself into bankruptcy THREE (3) times, and each time was bailed out by the government, allowing it to become bigger and worse next time. That’s so basic a point — but I don’t recall the discussion ever gracing the pages or airwaves dominated by the MainStreet Media. HISTORY – Did you know… The other discussion that we don’t hear about is the history of the 1920s vs the 1930s. In the early 1920s there was a severe economic correction, which was over quickly because the government did not interfere; the correction was deep, but it ended quickly. By contrast in the early 1930s, the severe economic contraction then was sustained for an entire decade because the government implemented massive regulations, massive taxes and massive spending. TARP turned out to be just another way for government to do all three. We are reminded of another historical comparison…. a) one result of the Great Depression was to scare Americans away from stocks for a quarter of a century (stocks didn’t regain 1929 levels until 1954). b) today’s “crash” happened as Americans suddenly realized that housing is consumption and not investment — will it similarly be a quarter of a century before housing returns to the “pre-crash” (pre-2008) levels? BANKING SYSTEM CURES – Did you know… We get a glimpse of an entire culture in its death throes. Then, Mr. Allison lays out the prescription for our return to economic health, but sadly, we can expect NONE of his recommendations to ever gain the attention or respect of those in power; consequently, we can brace ourselves for an “incredibly destructive crisis” in the next decade or two. Those in power are smart enough to grasp that Allison’s “achievable set of steps” would work; but they want to hang on to their power, instead. The American voter not only won’t grasp Allison’s assessment; he won’t even try to grasp it, ever. The Dodd-Frank reform bill, offered by those in power as a solution, actually worsens the situation: (a)it gives government protection to the “too big to fail” companies, virtually ensuring their ongoing risky behaviors; (b)its Durbin amendment is little more than government-mandated redistribution of wealth from bank shareholders and customers to large retailers; and (c)it gives more power to the Fed and bank regulators — more power to the very entities that created the crisis in the first place(!). In the end what it comes down to is: “stable money is the foundation for long-term prosperity” (p. 189) But what the current crop of policy makers gives us the exact opposite. Their every decision takes aim at our long term prosperity: their ever increasing regulations; their ever increasing taxes; their ever increasing spending. The scope and breath of Mr. Allison’s coverage paints the terrifying picture of how fast our country is moving from two and a half centuries of prosperity into the quagmire of a regulatory welfare state, where we must brace ourselves for unprecedented hardships and unprecedented loss of personal freedoms. Why are Americans so content when the rule of law is jettisoned, as long as it is to benefit a union? Why are most Americans so comfortable with implementing policies which have always failed in the past? How can all this be, you ask? It is all possible, says Allison, because of philosophic ideas at play here. As with Yaron Brook’s book, Allison also makes the case that what we really face here is a philosophic moral/ethical battle; he contends that the financial crisis is most basically the result of philosophic ideas, not economic ideas. He speaks of the ideas which predominate in American universities today and which are responsible for the creation of our teachers, our journalists, our politicians. Even today’s indoctrinated students might concede that we cannot indefinitely consume more than we produce. But, hampered by today’s philosophic pragmatism, they are never able to develop an action plan based on such a principle — because the dominant philosophy denies that there is any “permanent truth,” i.e., principles, to go by. In today’s universities it is acceptable, even fashionable, to be thought of as pragmatic. Students in the humanities are proud to be pragmatic; proud to claim no principles. When a whole nation of voters is pragmatic, they will vote for a candidate pledging not to reform entitlements, even when those entitlements are leading directly to bankruptcy. When we combine philosophic pragmatism with altruism, we get a veritable witch’s brew. We get a quest for equality of outcome, along with the Orwellian notion that justice means getting what we do NOT deserve. We get an entire Administration that thinks that justice consists in creating equality by hobbling the most able. We get a Congress blithely shepherding the country into the nightmare of a utopian tyranny, where monetary stability is sacrificed so that the hoards can have free stuff. We get a country on the brink, but where the citizenry is unable to see what’s happening to them. We get a citizenry voting to move faster in the same direction. In Allison’s book we get a dose of clarity to clear the fog which heretofore comprised our understanding. We get to see just how close we are to global upheaval; to a US decline into 3rd world status; to civil unrest; to union violence (like in Greece); to barbarians at the gate. Allison dares us to look at 1920 Argentina, which at the time had a standard of living equal to the US. Then it plunged itself into statism — via taxation, redistribution, and loss of individual rights. It became a 3rd world economy for decades, all mediated by the morality which condemns “selfish.” America’s own decline may have developed more slowly, starting with Teddy Roosevelt’s and Woodrow Wilson’s progressive disrespect for the Constitution. But today it has accelerated to a frightening pace: “the incredible march of the regulatory state.” (p. 259) The teachers, the journalists and the politicians have attained a frenzy of utopian idealism, destroying individual rights, expropriating wealth, oblivious to the cost in prosperity and standard of living. Our intellectuals and politicians are willing to sink a nation into 3rd world status if that’s what it takes to achieve the evil of making everyone equal. Why do they do it? They do it because they have bought into the philosophy of altruism, requiring us to sacrifice ourselves until everyone is reduced to equality. That is what they mean by “social justice.” Mr. Allison’s book demonstrates that they do not have economic ideas on their side; but they are winning because of their promotion of philosophic pragmatism along with altruism. Their philosophy is winning on the national stage. And since the Republicans mostly agree with their basic philosophic positions (about what is needed for “social justice”), a reversal of direction back toward freedom and individual rights does not seem likely to come from the Republicans. “The real challenges are philosophical, not economic,” (p252) but in order for better philosophic ideas to get a hearing, the bad economic ideas must be swept away. Brace yourself and arm yourself with the knowledge in this book!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Audra

    This book was written by John Allison, who served as the CEO of BB&T Bank for many years, and helped that company to grow into one of the largest and most successful financial institutions in the country. His knowledge, insights and years of experience working within the financial industry and with the government agencies, politicians and bureaucrats form a solid basis from which he lays out a clear and compelling case for the causes of the financial crisis and following Great Recession. This book was written by John Allison, who served as the CEO of BB&T Bank for many years, and helped that company to grow into one of the largest and most successful financial institutions in the country. His knowledge, insights and years of experience working within the financial industry and with the government agencies, politicians and bureaucrats form a solid basis from which he lays out a clear and compelling case for the causes of the financial crisis and following Great Recession. Although I had a couple of minor issues with the book (being not a financial person myself, a little bit better explanation of certain financial terms would have been nice in a couple of places, and there were a number of typos), overall I was extremely impressed with Allison's clear explanations of various aspects of the financial industry, including the use of good, simple metaphors to help concretize complex issues or aspects of the industry that are on a scale too large to easily contemplate without financial expertise. Furthermore, he digs very deeply not just into the proximate causes of the financial crisis (the "housing bubble," a massive misallocation of money encouraged by Federal Reserve monetary policy and political incentives pushing home ownership), but also into the deeper underlying economic problems that government agencies and policies represent (such as the impossibility of the sort of currency manipulation that the Federal Reserve attempts to do, the inevitable and damaging inflation that necessarily results, the monopolizing effect of agencies such as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, etc.). Allison shows clearly why it is not just that the current political and bureaucratic actors in these agencies made poor decisions (which they did), but that no one in any sort of "centralized control" position in an economy can ever make correct or good decisions - there is simply no way that one person, or one group of people, can make economic and financial decisions which actually need to be made by every single individual who is in any way part of the economy. Allison also hits very hard against the idea of any company being "too big to fail," pointing out that in fact the bigger a company is, the more important it is to allow it to fail if it does poorly, so that the people and resources of that company can be re-allocated and reinvested into parts of the economy where they will actually do some good. One aspect of the book that I especially liked were his points about incentives and human action. While laying blame on both government actors and the management/employees of various companies where it is due, he is also careful to point out the reasons why a certain CEO acted in a certain way even though it was harmful to his company in the long-term, and why a political appointee or a lifetime bureaucrat are going to have incentives that are necessarily in conflict with individuals trying to act in a market economy. He explains, often in detail, how various government regulations that are supposed to make the economy "safer" and more stable in fact have the exact opposite affect; by providing a "safety net," companies are in fact incentivized to take on more risk, rather than less, and it is U.S. taxpayers who then have to bear the burden when inevitably that risk-taking (which would not have happened in a truly free market) has negative consequences. Lastly, Allison takes his analysis one level deeper, and looks at the underlying philosophical premises in our culture today that encourage government intervention in the economy despite its proven negative consequences, and the philosophical ideas that we will need to learn (or in some cases relearn) in order to move towards a freer and more stable economy. His treatment of these issues is perhaps somewhat brief, but fits well into the context of the book, and he provides clear suggestions of further sources for a more in-depth look at the connection between philosophical and political/economic ideas. I enjoyed this book a great deal, and I definitely learned a lot. I would recommend it to anyone interested in the financial crisis and the economic, political and philosophical issues surrounding it, especially if you are looking for the views of a knowledgeable and qualified insider, and a very non-mainstream point-of-view.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Bill Brown

    It was a decent read but got a little meandering and unfocused at about 2/3 in. If you're looking for a great technical analysis of what happened, I recommend "Meltdown" by Thomas Woods.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Seth

    I read 90% of the Amazon free sample which I think is enough to review the book, based on the author's main idea as stated in the first chapter and what he blatantly left out. Based on what I read, very early in the book the author basically blames the entire financial crisis on the US Government. I admit that the US Government has done some really stupid and harmful things and is still doing such things, and in fact nearly all of the stupid and harmful federal laws are still on the books. I I read 90% of the Amazon free sample which I think is enough to review the book, based on the author's main idea as stated in the first chapter and what he blatantly left out. Based on what I read, very early in the book the author basically blames the entire financial crisis on the US Government. I admit that the US Government has done some really stupid and harmful things and is still doing such things, and in fact nearly all of the stupid and harmful federal laws are still on the books. I would say that probably half the blame for the financial crisis should be on the US Government, I would say the other half of the blame should be on the banks. For a 20-year chairman of a gigantic bank to ignore that is basically self-serving nonsense. It is beyond the pale. I can think of at least four reasons right off the bat why the banks are to blame: liar loans, illegal alien loans, subprime mortgages, and ARMs. In case the author is not familiar with the term liar loans, he knows the term "no doc" loans. That was where the bank wanted to make as big a loan as the borrower wanted in order to make as much profit as possible. The bank would basically say to the borrower, how much money would you like to borrow, tell us that and what you think your income should be to qualify for that or whatever your income actually is, whichever is higher, and we will pretend that is your income, with a wink and a nod, and without any documentation of your actual income. I have spoken to people who took out liar loans so I know they existed and I know many of them defaulted. As for illegal alien loans, whatever you think of illegal aliens, it is probably not a good idea to make a 30-year loan to someone who can be deported at any time. No doubt many of those loans defaulted. We all know what happened to subprime mortgages. They turned into an unmitigated disaster of course. As for ARMs, the bankers were gung ho to push those onto any borrowers who would take them, without explaining the complex terms. They basically had three payment options: maximum, minimum, and somewhere in between. The in between payment was an interest only payment. If you paid that, all your payment options would be the same amount next month. The maximum payment was interest and principle. If you paid that, all your payment options would be a lower amount next month because the principle decreased. The minimum payment was like an interest and negative principle payment and was only supposed to be used for temporary financial emergencies because it would cause next month's payment options to increase in cost. The bankers never explained that. They just basically said you can make any one of these three payments so of course most people just paid the minimum and their payments increased every month. That turned into another unmitigated disaster. Because the bankers just wanted to originate as many loans as possible and then dump (i.e. sell) them, bad loans became the problem of whoever bought them (i.e. everyone else).

  7. 4 out of 5

    Valentin Ivanov

    The book does a very good job in explaining the advantages of the free market model, as opposed to crony capitalism (Goldman, Citi, et al.) It dispels a lot of myths related to the supposed "deregulation of the financial markets." On the contrary -- finance and banking are one of the most regulated industries in Western Europe and the US. And indeed -- it was regulation and state intervention that caused the Great Recession. I am giving it 4/5, because the author has the unfortunate tendency to The book does a very good job in explaining the advantages of the free market model, as opposed to crony capitalism (Goldman, Citi, et al.) It dispels a lot of myths related to the supposed "deregulation of the financial markets." On the contrary -- finance and banking are one of the most regulated industries in Western Europe and the US. And indeed -- it was regulation and state intervention that caused the Great Recession. I am giving it 4/5, because the author has the unfortunate tendency to go into long rants against "leftist elites", "environmentalism", "liberal education" and the usual scapegoats one usually sees on Drudge. Nevertheless, a solid book.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Rachel Terry

    John Allison does an impressive job of explaining the complex issues surrounding the United States' financial crisis. He uses everyday examples to help explain banking, the monetary system, and how politics have come to play such an enormous role in what used to be a free market. It's a long book, but it's so worth the effort. It really helped me to fill the gaps on my understanding of the financial crisis and where we ought to go from here.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Fiddlinmike

    Having been in business for 25 years, much of which was in senior management, I found this book the most credible explanation of the financial crisis I've seen. This is the kind of description you'll get from someone with first-hand experience but not wedded to some political agenda. Well done.

  10. 4 out of 5

    LDM

    Allisons garbled and rambling prose, frequent non sequiturs, and maddening red-herrings get pretty grating after about two chapters. As someone who isnt all that savvy about intricate financial systems and derivatives and what-not, his frustratingly confused and jerky writing style really detracted from my understanding of his arguments. I get that Allison is discussing complex issues and is trying to boil these issues down for the layman, but you cant really do that effectively if your writing Allison’s garbled and rambling prose, frequent non sequiturs, and maddening red-herrings get pretty grating after about two chapters. As someone who isn’t all that savvy about intricate financial systems and derivatives and what-not, his frustratingly confused and jerky writing style really detracted from my understanding of his arguments. I get that Allison is discussing complex issues and is trying to boil these issues down for the layman, but you can’t really do that effectively if your writing isn’t worth a damn. Which is quite sad because the insights of someone directly involved in the financial and banking industries before and during the crisis could be immensely valuable. And sure, there are diamond-in-the-rough moments sprinkled throughout the plodding book, but this whole enterprise could have been so much more enlightening and forceful with someone articulate at the helm. And c’mon, I despise pudgy emotionally-inflated bureaucrats like any other good person, but I don’t think they’re quite the same as the Gestapo. Something something Godwin’s Law something something. Allison comes off sounding like yet another crotchety Randian—which, if the rumors be true, he is. (I can’t believe anyone over 16 can still be an Objectivist, but that’s neither here nor there.) So much for the financial analysis. His prescriptions for our present woes are the same-old- hat platitudes anyone even tangentially familiar with libertarian-ish ideas has heard over and over again. End the Fed. Lower taxes. Deregulate. Nothing new here. If you don’t already know these to be the best prescriptions, Allison certainly won’t change your mind after a few pages of pop analysis. This leads me to a fundamental question: for whom was this book written, exactly? I’m sure that were it not for Cato (or Allison himself…?) making it required reading for all its interns, this book would have been quickly forgotten—if not quietly passing away entirely unnoticed. Be that as it may, it will surely be remembered by us lowly interns as a book which confirms the ideological priors of some while convincing no one who isn’t already convinced. Because really, do you think anyone who isn’t already convinced would read a book entitled “The Financial Crisis and the Free Market Cure: Why Pure Capitalism is the World Economy’s Only Hope”? As Ken Layne wrote somewhere, it’s one of those “seasonal political books with snappy topical titles that repeat something the few buyers already believe.” Indeed.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Drtaxsacto

    Allison's book is a straight forward condemnation of the governmental policies that brought us into the 2008 financial crisis. His analysis is thorough although he is not the only one who claimed that Fannie, Freddie, FHA, the Fed and a raft of policies like the CRA brought down the housing market. Perhaps the most interesting discussion in the book is his discussion of Fed errors including sustaining the inverted yield curve at the early part of Bernanke's tenure at the Fed. He also does a long Allison's book is a straight forward condemnation of the governmental policies that brought us into the 2008 financial crisis. His analysis is thorough although he is not the only one who claimed that Fannie, Freddie, FHA, the Fed and a raft of policies like the CRA brought down the housing market. Perhaps the most interesting discussion in the book is his discussion of Fed errors including sustaining the inverted yield curve at the early part of Bernanke's tenure at the Fed. He also does a long discussion of the problems with being altruistic and pragmatic. It is a good argument that is reflective of broader philosophical treatments of the moral sense of markets like those offered by Fr. Robert Sirico (I did a review of his book also). What is deficient in the book is the continuous use of things like et cetera to fill out a list and his numerous cross references to his own work. (I discussed this in Chapter 7 or I will discuss that in more detail in Chapter 3) - it detracts from the substance of the book. I enjoyed the book but would have enjoyed it more without the cross references and the shorthanded literary techniques.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Jeff

    The author makes a compelling case for his overall premise, that government policies were the primary driving factors in the financial collapse. His experience as CEO of BB&T lends additional credibility to the philosophical arguments he makes in the book. There is a clear ideological slant toward limited government, individual rights and free markets, but he pulls no punches in terms of political party affiliation of the policy makers he holds responsible. He occasionally goes into some The author makes a compelling case for his overall premise, that government policies were the primary driving factors in the financial collapse. His experience as CEO of BB&T lends additional credibility to the philosophical arguments he makes in the book. There is a clear ideological slant toward limited government, individual rights and free markets, but he pulls no punches in terms of political party affiliation of the policy makers he holds responsible. He occasionally goes into some depth on technical financial topics, when necessary, but also provides simple analogies to make things more understandable. I've read several books on this topic, but somehow missed this one until now (2017), and would still highly recommend it despite being six years old.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Mike

    By far the most clear and concise explanation of the financial crisis I have read. Allison simplifies the entire situation and explains it so that anyone can understand it. I felt Geithner's "Stress Test" was more convoluted and misdirecting so it is refreshing to get the perspective of one of the few successful bank CEO's of that time. Sad to hear that Allison tried to give his perspective on the situation to Congress but was never given the opportunity. Government leadership only wanted to talk By far the most clear and concise explanation of the financial crisis I have read. Allison simplifies the entire situation and explains it so that anyone can understand it. I felt Geithner's "Stress Test" was more convoluted and misdirecting so it is refreshing to get the perspective of one of the few successful bank CEO's of that time. Sad to hear that Allison tried to give his perspective on the situation to Congress but was never given the opportunity. Government leadership only wanted to talk to the failing banks, not the successful ones. If you want to understand how things played out and what the government role was in the financial crisis of 2008, look no further.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Scott

    Overall a decent book. I found there was too much emphasis on anecdotal evidence, and particularly with Mr. Allison's experience as chairman of BB&T (it often felt self-congratulatory rather than persuasive). I also think he went too far in his use of the economic definition of "investment" and the conclusions drawn from that, and I did not think the chapter at the end regarding his philosophical views was relevant. That said, I don't disagree with most of his conclusions and arguments and Overall a decent book. I found there was too much emphasis on anecdotal evidence, and particularly with Mr. Allison's experience as chairman of BB&T (it often felt self-congratulatory rather than persuasive). I also think he went too far in his use of the economic definition of "investment" and the conclusions drawn from that, and I did not think the chapter at the end regarding his philosophical views was relevant. That said, I don't disagree with most of his conclusions and arguments and think it was a good book.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Dan Pfeiffer

    I would strongly suggest recommending this book to friends or family who have interest in the causes of the Great Financial Crisis of 2008 and what can be done to prevent another. The book is plainly written and makes the seemingly complex mechanisms of the '08 crash easy to understand for anyone. The author advocates a free market Austrian economic approach to markets and business which will rankle Keynesian and Statist adherents unless they may be interested in alternative viewpoints to I would strongly suggest recommending this book to friends or family who have interest in the causes of the Great Financial Crisis of 2008 and what can be done to prevent another. The book is plainly written and makes the seemingly complex mechanisms of the '08 crash easy to understand for anyone. The author advocates a free market Austrian economic approach to markets and business which will rankle Keynesian and Statist adherents unless they may be interested in alternative viewpoints to further their search for greater economic and organizational awareness.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Dennis McClure

    This author is earnest and dedicated. He speaks truth to power. Bureaucrats are a disaster, and he calls them out. But he's also an ideologue. I guess we all are, deep down. And he is unable to separate his free market ideology from his analysis of the facts. Bad regulators exist and they do great harm. But can we depend on an Ayn Rand utopia? I don't think so. There are no easy answers. We are condemned to struggle on.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Bryan

    While it did take me a little bit to get into the book as I was doing something else when i first started listening to it, I thought the later 2/3 seemed very strong. He provides a good explanation of Austrian economics and how that could have / should have been applied to the financial crisis. It broadened my general knowledge on the crisis, on the general mismanagement responding to many areas of that, and why many of the underlying concerns still remain. When he explains the Keynesian idea of While it did take me a little bit to get into the book as I was doing something else when i first started listening to it, I thought the later 2/3 seemed very strong. He provides a good explanation of Austrian economics and how that could have / should have been applied to the financial crisis. It broadened my general knowledge on the crisis, on the general mismanagement responding to many areas of that, and why many of the underlying concerns still remain. When he explains the Keynesian idea of paying some people to dig a large hole as a way to create jobs, and then paying others to fill it back in, it makes one wonder what other questionable ideas may have been proposed and used in response to the crises. His ideas that people should be allowed freedom to choose what to do with their money, and then get the results of that (be they good or bad), is clearly in the same vein as Mises, Hayek, and Friedman. His opposition to altruism is an echo of Ayn Rand, and he draws out that idea to its logical conclusion. He also makes an important distinction between being selfish (which he views as good) and self destructive. His support of freedom then leaves him in opposition to the typical government response with the use of compulsion, through force or decree, to acquire its means. People who are liberal in the traditional sense of the word (more modern day libertarians) and support individual freedom and those who follow Austrian economics will enjoy this book. Those who believe in Stateism, and that a strong central government should take the primary responsibility in planning economies may find his initial description of the crises accurate, but will disagree strongly with his conclusions. Even though it took me a little to get into this book, i finished the second half in less than a day. I would surely recommend this book to others.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Jeff G

    John Allison presents a case that long-term government policies (e.g. low interest rates, promotion of affordable housing) were the primary of the financial crisis. While he presents a number of good points, he at times makes unsupported assertions or simply shares his personal opinion. He clearly speaks in support of free markets in this book.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Gergely Szabo

    Considering it has changed my fundamental views on macroeconomics I would say that it's one of the most important books I have read this year. However, I think it goes too far with eliminating regulations and arguing that free markets would solve america's healthcare problems.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Sam Dunn

    I reckon this perspective is part of the answer

  21. 4 out of 5

    Kevin Vejrup

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. John Allison is prejudiced against other professions than his own (especially bureaucrats (bank regulators). His philosophical discussion was uninspiring, but he is an admirable person, dedicated to lifelong learning, and works towards a better world. The book is very interesting, eye-opening of alternative causes of the financial.crisis and well-written. He argues that housing is consumption, and not investment. Populistic government forced too much house construction and too little investment, John Allison is prejudiced against other professions than his own (especially bureaucrats (bank regulators). His philosophical discussion was uninspiring, but he is an admirable person, dedicated to lifelong learning, and works towards a better world. The book is very interesting, eye-opening of alternative causes of the financial.crisis and well-written. He argues that housing is consumption, and not investment. Populistic government forced too much house construction and too little investment, leading to wrong labor skills and a housing bubble. Political pressure made Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae pursue unhealthy subprime loans. He is an opponent of a central bank, because it removes fiscal discipline that they can print money. Since the 1990s, China exported more goods to the US, leading to lower prices. But the Fed avoids deflation, as it increases government debt, opting to inflate, practically subsidizing Chinese exports. Inverted yield curves (ca. 2006) are correlated with recessions. Central banking is price fixing, thus he recommends market-based monetary system. He is critical of the US deposit insurance program, where stable banks cover for failing banks. During the crisis, the Fed and FDIC repayed both insured and uninsured depositors at a bankrupt bank (WaMu), by taking the money from the bondholders. Thus they closed the capital market for banks, as noone would buy bonds. He identifies an incentive problem with the rating agencies, as the issuer pays for the rating. He critisizes the pick-a-payment product that allowed borrowers to pay less than the interest on mortgages, making home owners speculate on increasing house prices. He claims that government initiative caused banks to hedge against loss on loans made by themselves, leading to a risky incentive system. Fair-value accounting is about valuing according to what you can get for it, even though worth more to you (not willing to sell). This magnifies swings in economic activity (pro cyclical). The effect if derivatives on the financial crisis is grossly overstated, as only a small amount of the value is at risk. He refuses the claim of recent deregulation, and discuss the American banking regulation. He stresses the moral hazard of bail outs, which causes risky incentives for the future. He is an opponent of keynesism, as he believes people know they will be taxed later, and thus save the extra money for when that happens. The high saving rate in China, is caused by lack of babies. He proposes to reinstate the gold standard, implement flat tax rate, cut expenditures to public employees and defense (the army), promote free trade and immigration (subject to dealing with the free lunch issue and only allow entrance to people who share cultural values). He claims that minimum wage laws are the primary cause of unemployment in the US, as labor is less productive than the minimum wage rate. To reduce unemployment, he proposes to eliminate or reduce minimum wage and reduce the time eligible for unemployment benefits to six months or less. He believes the universities forgot some ideas of the founding fathers, when they hired PhDs from Europe in the late 1800. He proposes to shift subsidies from schools to students, having a system solely of private schools.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Seth

    John Allison was the CEO of one of the only large banks that stayed profitable during the financial upheaval that came to a head in 2008. During his 20 year tenure at BB&T, during which he lead based on the principles of Ayn Rand, the bank grew exponentially in its success (from assets of $4.5 billion to $152 billion). During the crisis, the federal government in essence forced BB&T to take bailout money, even though they didnt want it or need it, and they were literally the very first John Allison was the CEO of one of the only large banks that stayed profitable during the financial upheaval that came to a head in 2008. During his 20 year tenure at BB&T, during which he lead based on the principles of Ayn Rand, the bank grew exponentially in its success (from assets of $4.5 billion to $152 billion). During the crisis, the federal government in essence forced BB&T to take bailout money, even though they didn’t want it or need it, and they were literally the very first bank to pay back the money once it was legal to do so. It’s fair to say that Allison had a front seat to the financial crisis, but from the perspective of a healthy bank. During all the crazed activity in Washington running up to TARP (Troubled Asset Relief Plan—the massive bailout of the financial industry), while the Federal Reserve was propping up banks, insurance and other finance companies and dictating the sale of others, Allison tried multiple times to consult with leadership at the Federal Reserve and the Treasury. But it was in vain--those making such monumental financial decisions weren’t interested in hearing from the healthy banks, just the dangerously overleveraged ones. Drawing from his unique perspective and experience in the banking industry, Allison talks through his understanding of all the moral hazards involved with the FDIC, the government housing policies, the real estate market bubble, Fair-Value Accounting methodologies, derivatives and other investment vehicles, the politicized financial ratings agencies, the SEC, and regulation vs deregulation. Allison presents a very clear and concise argument: he lays most of the blame for the financial crisis squarely on government intervention in the markets and its interference in personal liberty. His solution: true capitalism and free markets. Apart from a brief section where he channeled some of Ayn Rand’s ridiculous, anti-Christian philosophical ideas about the supposed virtues of selfishness, I found Allison’s diagnosis and proscribed cure for our economic woes very compelling. He articulates the basic economic and philosophical principles well, and those who want a better understanding of the financial shenanigans of the last decade would do well to read this book.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Tom Gagne

    John Allison is pissed and he's not going to take it anymore! Listening to the book I could hear his frustration for what our county's monetary policy has done to make business more difficult not just for banks, but for the businesses that banks like his (BB&T) lend to. When talking about immigration policy, Allison makes another point about how immigrants can be either a drain on our social welfare or an increase in productivity. It's hard to fathom which Americans might fear more--college John Allison is pissed and he's not going to take it anymore! Listening to the book I could hear his frustration for what our county's monetary policy has done to make business more difficult not just for banks, but for the businesses that banks like his (BB&T) lend to. When talking about immigration policy, Allison makes another point about how immigrants can be either a drain on our social welfare or an increase in productivity. It's hard to fathom which Americans might fear more--college educated immigrants competing for our jobs here, or non-college-educated and other low-skilled immigrants drawing on our welfare programs. If you're not really interested in the causes of the 2008 financial crisis but are more interested in how to fix the systems, skip ahead to chapter 21. Mr. Allison begins by talking about the market needs to allow people to act in their rational self-interest in win-win scenarios rather than the lose-lose or win-lose scenarios government regulations seem to favor. All-in-all, I recommend the book. Especially if you're interested in practical examples of how Ayn Rand's "trader" approach works in the real-world--even if, and perhaps especially if, you're not familiar with her writings.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Keith McGowan

    I have read Tim Geithner's and Hank Paulsen's "insider" versions of the Great Recession. This version is from the other side if the fence, from a man who ran a banking institution that survived without being taken over or needing a bailout. As you can imagine, Allison has a different view of events. While Geithner and Paulsen gave blow by blow accounts as they raced from one crisis to the next, Allison gives a much better and more thorough analysis of the causes of the crisis. Where this book I have read Tim Geithner's and Hank Paulsen's "insider" versions of the Great Recession. This version is from the other side if the fence, from a man who ran a banking institution that survived without being taken over or needing a bailout. As you can imagine, Allison has a different view of events. While Geithner and Paulsen gave blow by blow accounts as they raced from one crisis to the next, Allison gives a much better and more thorough analysis of the causes of the crisis. Where this book breaks down is his solution. He advocates getting rid of government regulation and letting the free market resolve the problems of our financial system. First, ain't gunna happen. Our politicos have too much power to stop regulating. His "solution" is not realistic. Second, the market will resolve the problems quickly and efficiently which means an incredible amount of pain that no one is willing to endure as long as that pain can be postponed. We are indeed postponing the eventual resolution of the financial crisis by borrowing against the future.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Eric

    As the author is a former long time CEO of a bank which did not suffer a single quarterly loss during the financial crisis, I found that his views were credibly authoritative. Even though the book goes into some technical details which many may find hard to read, he effectively paints a picture of how the financial crisis was caused not by a lack of banking regulation, but by bad regulation. After causing the crisis, the efforts to fix the economy failed because they attempted to prevent the As the author is a former long time CEO of a bank which did not suffer a single quarterly loss during the financial crisis, I found that his views were credibly authoritative. Even though the book goes into some technical details which many may find hard to read, he effectively paints a picture of how the financial crisis was caused not by a lack of banking regulation, but by bad regulation. After causing the crisis, the efforts to fix the economy failed because they attempted to prevent the necessary course corrections the market was trying to effect. If you're not into economics, finance or government policy details, I'd still recommend this book solely for the chapter on philosophy. I agree with the assessment that the root problem is a poorly advised attitude the public seems to have of the role of government and good citizenship.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Chad

    This is an excellent book that is a must read for anyone wanting to understand the root cause of the financial crisis or anyone who wants to know what things our government should do or should not do to increase the prosperity and greatness of the U.S.A. The middle section of the book is a little complex if you don't have any banking knowledge, but it is still pretty straightforward. Not having a banking background I do feel I may have missed some things though. The last part of the book is a 5 This is an excellent book that is a must read for anyone wanting to understand the root cause of the financial crisis or anyone who wants to know what things our government should do or should not do to increase the prosperity and greatness of the U.S.A. The middle section of the book is a little complex if you don't have any banking knowledge, but it is still pretty straightforward. Not having a banking background I do feel I may have missed some things though. The last part of the book is a 5 star plus section that details why the root of a lot of our "societal" problems are actually due to a poor philosophical base. As in, we've chosen the wrong philosophy to follow and called bad 'good' and good 'bad'. I highly recommend this book or if you honestly don't have the time to devote to read the whole thing at least read chapters 20-24.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Steven

    Altough I did enjoy many of his thoughts it is hard to not get over his extreme republican attitude on how to fix this country. I do not agree with his feelings on the minimum wage rates, he has never tried to raise a family on $10 per hour in todays economy. I do believe that less government will help in many ways but I feel he just doesn't want any government. I can not agree that we do not need Social Security, Medicare and Medicade. Again he is a millionaire and doesn't have to worry about any Altough I did enjoy many of his thoughts it is hard to not get over his extreme republican attitude on how to fix this country. I do not agree with his feelings on the minimum wage rates, he has never tried to raise a family on $10 per hour in todays economy. I do believe that less government will help in many ways but I feel he just doesn't want any government. I can not agree that we do not need Social Security, Medicare and Medicade. Again he is a millionaire and doesn't have to worry about any of these benefits. We need reform but we do not need to do away with regulations, policies and programs. If we do away with the high salaries of these top executives in our country just maybe we could pay our workers a living wage and then they would spend and move our economy forward.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Alan Cardoso

    Awesome perspective of the 2008 global crisis from somebody who actually understands the free market and how it is SUPPOSED to work. I was specially shocked to find that Bernanke actually committed the ultimate sin that any economic leader can commit: breaking the rule of law. When he declared that he would come up with the rules of a bankruptcy on the spot, disrespecting hundreds of years of precedence, the clear expectations of all sectors of society, the laws of the country and all common Awesome perspective of the 2008 global crisis from somebody who actually understands the free market and how it is SUPPOSED to work. I was specially shocked to find that Bernanke actually committed the ultimate sin that any economic leader can commit: breaking the rule of law. When he declared that he would come up with the rules of a bankruptcy on the spot, disrespecting hundreds of years of precedence, the clear expectations of all sectors of society, the laws of the country and all common sense; he caused the markets to panic. Nobody in the media mentioned this fact, and they certainly don't seem to understand how key this was to the whole debacle.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Christopher Renner

    Very insightful analysis of the causes of the 2008 financial crisis. John Allison's perspective as a libertarian and as an experienced banker is invaluable in improving our understanding. I had to work a bit to filter the Objectivist philosophy that the author inserts occasionally (thankfully he lacks Rand's contempt for the less accomplished) and to understand the more arcane details of banking and bank regulation (Allison does an excellent job of explaining these, however). Very worthwhile as a Very insightful analysis of the causes of the 2008 financial crisis. John Allison's perspective as a libertarian and as an experienced banker is invaluable in improving our understanding. I had to work a bit to filter the Objectivist philosophy that the author inserts occasionally (thankfully he lacks Rand's contempt for the less accomplished) and to understand the more arcane details of banking and bank regulation (Allison does an excellent job of explaining these, however). Very worthwhile as a stand-alone analysis of the financial crisis or as a companion to the writings of other free-market supporters on the same subject.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Mike

    John Alison was CEO of one of America's mid-sized banks for many years. In this book he pulls no punches at all in addressing the root and proximate causes of the country's economic difficulties. He distinguishes between the impact of individuals, Government, Corporations, markets and cronyism. He makes a philosophical case and he makes a case for practical solutions. Alison is a believer in individuals and markets as the most ethical solution to our present problems and more generally to the John Alison was CEO of one of America's mid-sized banks for many years. In this book he pulls no punches at all in addressing the root and proximate causes of the country's economic difficulties. He distinguishes between the impact of individuals, Government, Corporations, markets and cronyism. He makes a philosophical case and he makes a case for practical solutions. Alison is a believer in individuals and markets as the most ethical solution to our present problems and more generally to the challenge of adding value and economic growth in a large, complex and dynamic system. I enjoyed this book.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.