After the Fall: Saving Capitalism from Wall Street-And Washington

After the Fall: Saving Capitalism from Wall Street-And Washington

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by Nicole Gelinas
     
 

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Since the first rumblings of the economic crisis began in 2007, Americans have suffered four years of recession, stagnation, and fear. The culprit is not free markets, as many have claimed, but Washington policy. The problem is how politicians and regulators have treated the nation's "too big to fail" financial industry for nearly three decades.

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Overview

Since the first rumblings of the economic crisis began in 2007, Americans have suffered four years of recession, stagnation, and fear. The culprit is not free markets, as many have claimed, but Washington policy. The problem is how politicians and regulators have treated the nation's "too big to fail" financial industry for nearly three decades.

As financial markets melted down in 2008, President George W. Bush made it clear that taxpayers stood behind large financial firms. Months later, President Barack Obama pumped nearly $800 billion in "stimulus" into the economy. A year after that, the Federal Reserve under Ben Bernanke attempted another $600 billion rescue.

Yet the economy remains stalled. Americans can't pull themselves up by their bootstraps while Wall Street, operating under government protection, is pushing them down.

The trouble started with the nation's first modern bank bailout in the early 1980s. Subsequently, modern finance began to escape the rules that had successfully governed it, including the most important regulation of all: the marketplace. Free from market discipline, the financial industry came to pose an untenable risk to the economy-a risk that culminated in trillions of dollars' worth of government bailouts. These subsidies from the taxpayers have enabled large banks to lure young college graduates with salaries and bonuses that other industries can't offer. The financial industry is competing with the rest of the economy rather than supporting it.

Fixing this problem shouldn't be difficult. A history of the financial industry from the Great Depression to the present shows clearly what Washington must do. As Nicole Gelinas explains in this richly detailed book, adequate regulation of financial firms and markets-the kind achieved from the 1930s through the 1980s-is not a barrier to free-market capitalism, but a prerequisite.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781594035258
Publisher:
Encounter Books
Publication date:
04/19/2011
Pages:
256
Sales rank:
806,290
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.70(d)

Meet the Author


Nicole Gelinas, a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) charterholder, is a Manhattan Institute senior fellow and contributing editor to City Journal. She lives in New York City.

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After the Fall: Saving Capitalism from Wall Street-and Washington 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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