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What we can do to prevent future meltdowns
"Washington had better read this book. Bill Isaac is absolutely on target in his acute analysis of what he rightly calls the 'Senseless Panic of 2008.' He was at the center in preventing what could have been an even worse banking debacle back in the 1980s-but it didn't happen, thanks to his level-headed leadership. If Washington politicians ignore Isaac's insights, we will ...
What we can do to prevent future meltdowns
"Washington had better read this book. Bill Isaac is absolutely on target in his acute analysis of what he rightly calls the 'Senseless Panic of 2008.' He was at the center in preventing what could have been an even worse banking debacle back in the 1980s-but it didn't happen, thanks to his level-headed leadership. If Washington politicians ignore Isaac's insights, we will pay a fearful price."
—Steve Forbes, Chief Executive Officer, Forbes, Inc.
"Bill Isaac has dedicated his life to the public policy arena. He thinks straight, and he talks straight. Washington must read Senseless Panic to learn the lessons of the past and set the course for the future."
—Lawrence Kudlow, host of CNBC's The Kudlow Report
"Bill Isaac throws down the gauntlet to Bush, Paulson, Obama, and Geithner. Their fixes and bailouts, he argues persuasively, were wrongheaded and very expensive. Learn from past crises and prevent the next collapse, says this experienced and outspoken former bank regulator. Let the real debate within the establishment begin."
—Ralph Nader, lawyer, author, and political activist
"I would respectfully urge President Obama: Read this book. Emulate success. Spend time debriefing this real-world financial expert. What other effective bank regulator, besides Paul Volcker and Bill Isaac, do you know who fixed our broken financial system for two presidents-Carter and Reagan? Nothing speaks louder than success."
—Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-OH)
"If our national leaders had listened to Bill Isaac over the past two decades, particularly when the crisis hit in 2008, we would have avoided the enormously costly financial meltdown. This book is must reading for students of financial history."
—Dr. Arthur Laffer, Chairman, Laffer Associates
"In the 2008 debate over TARP, Bill Isaac came to Washington and presented over 200 members of Congress with an alternative to the government bailout. His arguments helped convince a skeptical House to stunningly reject and vote down the bailout proposal. Although the administration, leaders of both parties, and Wall Street drove a panicked stampede toward government intervention, Bill delivered a forceful case that still counters the myth that Washington had only one viable option to address the financial crisis. Bill's book is must reading for all who care about financial and economic reform."
—Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA)
Part One: No Calm Before the Storm.
Chapter 1 Home Alone.
Chapter 2 The Early Years (1978 –1981).
Chapter 3 The Savings Bank and S&L Crises.
Chapter 4 Penn Square Fails.
Chapter 5 The Butcher Empire Collapses.
Chapter 6 Deposit Insurance Reform/Tackling Wall Street.
Chapter 7 Continental Illinois Topples.
Chapter 8 Preparing to Leave.
Chapter 9 Lessons Learned.
Part Two: Here We Go Again.
Chapter 10 Policy Mistakes—1989 through 2007.
Chapter 11 The Subprime Mortgage Problem.
Chapter 12 SEC and FASB Blunders.
Chapter 13 Schizophrenic Failure Resolution.
Chapter 14 The $700 Billion Bailout.
Chapter 15 Never Again.
Authors' Notes on Sources.
About the Authors.
Posted January 17, 2011
In his first-person account comparing the 1980s bank crisis to the 2008 financial panic, William M. Isaac excoriates government officials for needlessly stoking fear and costing taxpayers billions of dollars through the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP). Isaac, the former head of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), navigated that agency through the 1980s bank and thrift debacle, and he voices sharp opinions on the TARP's shortcomings, politicization and mismanagement. His presentation details how the government (read the FDIC) could have prevented this entire systemic mess had it responded as it had in the '80s under his lead. Unfortunately, most of Isaac's remedies are bank-centric and thus gloss over the roles nonbank financial institutions played in the 2008 crisis. He also doesn't acknowledge any of the experts who say TARP ultimately succeeded in many ways. Nonetheless, getAbstract suggests this book for its well-informed treatment of the 2008 crisis in the context of recent bank history.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.