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Guardians of Prosperity: Why America Needs Big Banks

Overview

Since the financial crisis, amid outrage at the likes of Citigroup and JPMorganChase and Washington’s rejiggering of the financial system, the banking industry has had one major defender: Richard X. Bove. Now he explains why big banks are the nation’s lifeline to success, and why financial disaster will ensue if we make it impossible for them to fill their role in the economy.

Bove argues that big banks are necessary to ensure America’s position in global finance; to assist ...

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Guardians of Prosperity: Why America Needs Big Banks

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Overview

Since the financial crisis, amid outrage at the likes of Citigroup and JPMorganChase and Washington’s rejiggering of the financial system, the banking industry has had one major defender: Richard X. Bove. Now he explains why big banks are the nation’s lifeline to success, and why financial disaster will ensue if we make it impossible for them to fill their role in the economy.

Bove argues that big banks are necessary to ensure America’s position in global finance; to assist corporations in achieving their goals against foreign competition; and, most importantly, to defend the average household’s access to financial services.

Limiting the major banks, he shows, is an attack on our future growth. Bove offers ways to improve the economy’s stability, including allowing some banks to be “too big to fail” and lessening the demand on liquidity so they won’t need to sell existing loans. His main argument, that we need to stop fighting our greatest guardians of prosperity, is sure to be controversial.

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Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
2013-11-04
Bank analyst Bove defends the largest American banks, and bankers in general, in a controversial counternarrative to the dominant theories about the causes of the financial crisis of 2008. Not only have they been unfairly singled out as the culprits, writes the author, but many of the proposed remedies will only make the situation worse. He cites the massive Dodd-Frank legislation and capital guidelines for the Bank of International Settlements as exemplifications of his view. Bove insists that proposed remedies from Richard Durbin, Larry Summers, Barney Frank and others "did not do what they intended to do. They did the opposite, rendering harm to everyone." The author compares the most recent financial excesses with earlier versions of what he considers a syndrome. One of his examples is "Jackson's Folly," when President Andrew Jackson's opposition to the issuance of paper currency brought on the banking crisis of 1837 and a frenzy of state-level wildcat banking and real estate speculation. Bove considers that the expansion of paper money and new avenues for credit in the 1830s was the equivalent of today's electronic derivatives, since it allowed the debt to increase beyond the income available to pay for it. He argues that it is the government, rather than the banks, that bears the major responsibility for the most recent crisis. In the 1990s, the turning points included the elimination of Glass-Steagall regulations and the loosening of Fannie Mae's credit standards. Bove truly believes that large, globally active banks have a vital part to play in maintaining America's worldwide competitive position, and he fears that weakening the banks undermines the international role of the dollar and will ultimately benefit China. The author's purpose is "to re-establish balance." A well-written, lively and provocative argument that may not sway everyone but is certainly worth consideration.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781591845782
  • Publisher: Portfolio Hardcover
  • Publication date: 12/26/2013
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 938,748
  • Product dimensions: 11.10 (w) x 7.40 (h) x 1.40 (d)

Meet the Author

RICHARD X. BOVE is a widely respected bank analyst. He appears frequently on CNBC, Bloomberg, and Fox Business and is often cited by Forbes, Fortune, The Wall Street Journal, and National Review.

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