Stress Test: Reflections on Financial Crises by Timothy F. Geithner, Paperback | Barnes & Noble
Stress Test: Reflections on Financial Crises

Stress Test: Reflections on Financial Crises

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by Timothy F. Geithner
     
 

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New York Times Bestseller

Washington Post Bestseller

Los Angeles Times Bestseller

Stress Test is the story of Tim Geithner’s education in financial crises.

 
As president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and then as President Barack Obama’s secretary

Overview

New York Times Bestseller

Washington Post Bestseller

Los Angeles Times Bestseller

Stress Test is the story of Tim Geithner’s education in financial crises.

 
As president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and then as President Barack Obama’s secretary of the Treasury, Timothy F. Geithner helped the United States navigate the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, from boom to bust to rescue to recovery. In a candid, riveting, and historically illuminating memoir, he takes readers behind the scenes of the crisis, explaining the hard choices and politically unpalatable decisions he made to repair a broken financial system and prevent the collapse of the Main Street economy. This is the inside story of how a small group of policy makers—in a thick fog of uncertainty, with unimaginably high stakes—helped avoid a second depression but lost the American people doing it. Stress Test is also a valuable guide to how governments can better manage financial crises, because this one won’t be the last.

Stress Test reveals a side of Secretary Geithner the public has never seen, starting with his childhood as an American abroad. He recounts his early days as a young Treasury official helping to fight the international financial crises of the 1990s, then describes what he saw, what he did, and what he missed at the New York Fed before the Wall Street boom went bust. He takes readers inside the room as the crisis began, intensified, and burned out of control, discussing the most controversial episodes of his tenures at the New York Fed and the Treasury, including the rescue of Bear Stearns; the harrowing weekend when Lehman Brothers failed; the searing crucible of the AIG rescue as well as the furor over the firm’s lavish bonuses; the battles inside the Obama administration over his widely criticized but ultimately successful plan to end the crisis; and the bracing fight for the most sweeping financial reforms in more than seventy years. Secretary Geithner also describes the aftershocks of the crisis, including the administration’s efforts to address high unemployment, a series of brutal political battles over deficits and debt, and the drama over Europe’s repeated flirtations with the economic abyss.

Secretary Geithner is not a politician, but he has things to say about politics—the silliness, the nastiness, the toll it took on his family. But in the end, Stress Test is a hopeful story about public service. In this revealing memoir, Tim Geithner explains how America withstood the ultimate stress test of its political and financial systems.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
A Financial Times Best Book of 2014

“He’s written a really good book — we might as well get that out of the way, as so much else about Timothy F. Geithner remains unsettled… There’s hardly a moment in Geithner’s story when the reader feels he is being anything but straightforward — a near-superhuman feat for someone who spent so much time in public life defending himself from careless and dishonest personal attacks. The decisions he made are easier to criticize than they are to improve upon. I doubt many readers will put his book down and think the man did anything but his best. On his feet he might have stammered and wavered. That in itself was always a sign he was unusually brave.” –Michael Lewis, New York Times Book Review

“An intimate take on the financial crisis… gripping… conveys in visceral terms just how precarious things were during the crisis, just how frightened many first responders were, and just what an achievement it was to avert a major depression… [Geithner] demonstrates that he can discuss economics in an accessible fashion, making the situation the country faced in 2008 and 2009 tactile, comprehensible—and harrowing—to the lay reader. Along the way, he also gives us a telling portrait of himself.” New York Times
 
“A how-to manual for anyone faced with a financial crisis… Mr Geithner was known for his brutal candor, and as an author, he does not disappoint.” —The Economist

 “A fascinating memoir about life in the maelstrom of the financial crisis… Earlier books have described much of what happened that September, but Geithner was present for all the frantic meetings, the thousands of phone calls — and in the case of Lehman, the failure to find a buyer that could keep it alive. New problems cropped up almost weekly, if not daily. He explains each in easy-to-understand language and what the issues were that shaped the responses… There could be another crisis someday, of course, but what Geithner and his colleagues did has made one far less likely.” –USA Today

“Sharply worded and candid memoir.” —Financial Times

“Geithner does an admirable job of explaining the origins and complexities of the crisis for the average person. But there’s enough detail and retrospective lessons-learned to make it valuable for students of financial history….fast-paced and colorful….Stress Test goes beyond other crisis books.” –Los Angeles Times
 
“Throughout Stress Test, one gains a deep appreciation for the heart-pumping decisions made by Geithner and his colleagues from 2007 through 2012. And he makes a compelling case that overhwelming force is necessary in crisis, and that the measures taken by the Fed and two successive administrations prevented even more pain for ordinary Americans.” –WashingtonPost.com

“An unsparing insider’s account of the financial crisis from the former Secretary of the Treasury, unpacking the hard decisions and terrible trade-offs that devastated the economy but staved off a deep, lasting depression.” —TIME.com

“The central irony of Stress Test, the new memoir by former U.S. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, is that a guy who was accused of being a lousy communicator while in office has penned a book that is such a good read…I’ve now read four or five of these first drafts of the history of the Great Recession, and I believe Stress Test represents the biggest contribution of the bunch.” —Bill Gates

“Sensational . . . Tim’s book will forever be the definitive work on what causes financial panics and what must be done to stem them when they occur.” —Warren Buffett
 
“Very few important subjects in American history have been the subject of as much disinformation and deliberate distortion as the events surrounding the financial crisis that broke in 2008. Tim Geithner’s candid, clear-headed, and refreshingly self-effacing account of his role in formulating the federal government’s response is a very welcome antidote. Geithner’s book is a triple threat: it is first-rate economic history, insightful political science, and, most important, a cogent exposition of the importance of adhering to the policies adopted in the aftermath of the crisis if we are to succeed in diminishing the likelihood of any recurrence.” —Barney Frank
 
Stress Test is an absolutely compelling account of the financial crisis, written in a clear, graceful style with striking honesty at every step along the way. Timothy Geithner brings a complex story to life with telling anecdotes and personal reflections.” —Doris Kearns Goodwin
 
“This is a lucid, fascinating, and extremely important book. Every American should read it. Geithner does something unusual: he engages in substance. With both insight and humility, plus a good dose of wry humor, he explains what really happened during the financial crisis. No matter your political persuasion, you will find this book educational, enlightening, and interesting.” —Walter Isaacson
 
“The country owes Tim Geithner great appreciation for his role in overcoming the financial crisis of 2008.  He has now indebted it further with writing a thoughtful, very readable and informative account of the conduct of policy at the edge of disaster.” —Henry A. Kissinger
 
 
 

The New York Times - Michiko Kakutani
Stress Test provides an intimate take on the financial crisis, and in this respect stands as a gripping, if subjective bookend to already published accounts…Stress Test conveys in visceral terms just how precarious things were during the crisis, just how frightened many first responders were, and just what an achievement it was to avert a major depression…Mr. Geithner, with an assist from Michael Grunwald…demonstrates that he can discuss economics in an accessible fashion, making the situation the country faced in 2008 and 2009 tactile, comprehensible—and harrowing—to the lay reader.
The New York Times Book Review - Michael Lewis
[Geithner's] written a really good book—we might as well get that out of the way…[he] is clearly more at ease, and more himself, on the page than on the stage or the screen—which is, for an American public figure, both odd and charming…There's hardly a moment in Geithner's story when the reader feels he is being anything but straightforward—a near-superhuman feat for someone who spent so much time in public life defending himself from careless and dishonest personal attacks. The decisions he made are easier to criticize than they are to improve upon. I doubt many readers will put his book down and think the man did anything but his best. On his feet he might have stammered and wavered. That in itself was always a sign he was unusually brave.
Library Journal
12/01/2013
If you want to understand how America faced down the global financial crisis of the last few years, you could ask Geithner, U.S. treasury secretary from 2009 to 2013 and before that chief executive officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Here he is with an insider's account of what strategies were adopted and why they worked—or didn't.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780804121187
Publisher:
Diversified Publishing
Publication date:
05/12/2014
Edition description:
Large Print
Pages:
896
Sales rank:
1,116,148
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 9.20(h) x 1.70(d)

Meet the Author

TIMOTHY F. GEITHNER was the seventy-fifth secretary of the U.S. Department of the Treasury and previously served as president and chief executive officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. He wrote this book as a distinguished fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations.

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Stress Test: Reflections on Financial Crises 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 26 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Other reviews for this title are typical Republican propaganda. Judge for yourself and don't listen to Boehner/Limbaugh fanatics.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Don't believe everything you hear about this book. Most of these B&N 'political pundit' commenters haven't even opened to the first page. Geithner's book is a surprisingly well written book and calling it propaganda is simply ignorant. This book is not only a detailed account of the 2008 crisis but also a personal narrative of Geithner's feelings and opinions. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading about financial matters and crises. Again, don't dismiss this book because of what others have said. Open it up and judge for yourself.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Having just finished the former Treasury Secretary's book, I have to say that it was a very entertaining read and very informative. Unlike many of the journalists and talking heads on TV, Geithner's book discusses the financial crisis from the inside. Anecdotes in the book are backed up through conversations with co-workers, family, and others working closely with him. Not only does the book paint a very different picture of Geithner than what much of the media did during his tenure, it also helps give the reader a sense of his background and why he made the choices he made. In fact it also left me with quite the reading list of books to move on to after this one (Lombard Street by W. Bagehot, Manics Panics and Crashes by C.P. Kindleberger, Complicatiions: Notes from the Life of Young Surgeon by Atul Gawande... and the list goes on). While I realize a pessimist may view my review as patronizing, I find hard to believe that most of the 1-Star reviewers have even read the book. It would appear that most of there opinions are a product of what someone else has told them about Geithner rather than reading it for themselves.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Read this book and was very engaged.. Good writing and very informative. It gives you an understanding of the stress that was happening at the time. My only question is "how about the housing market". Why is it still such a problem and should the government have done more for the housing market? The book is good and I would recommend.
NomadGorman More than 1 year ago
Mr. Geithner has written a great and important book! It's a compelling read! If more people will take the time to read this book and to really think about what he describes, it is likely that the anger, polarization, distrust and misunderstanding about the federal government and the Obama administration will be reduced. Also more of us will understand the functions and missions of the Federal Reserve and the Treasury Department. Mr. Geithner explains in a clear and readable style the saga of the financial crisis and the actions that were taken during the crisis and after by the Federal Reserve and the Treasury to keep the financial system operating, quell the panic, and support the economy to prevent a full scale depression. He continues to describe the process for developing the financial reform legislation that became the Dodd-Frank Act and also the legislation to provide a stimulus to the US economy as a whole, the American Recovery and Reinvestment act. Most poignant are his reflections on his regrets; the aspects of his service to the USA that did not turn out as well as he had wished. He describes the inadequacies of the government's programs to come to the aid of people who had lost their homes due to the explosion of the housing bubble. He also wishes he and the rest of the economic team had done a better job of explaining their recovery strategy to the American people. It is really impossible for most of us to comprehend the peril we faced or the actions that were taken at anything but a pretty superficial level. The system is just too complex! Also it's really not possible to comprehend the immense amounts of money (100s of billions of dollars) that were involved. For me, the most remarkable aspect is that Mr. Geithner's whole career prepared him to lead the rescue operations that he and colleagues implemented to save us from a much greater economic disaster and enable recovery to proceed. Thank you Mr. Geithner! PS I recommend that anyone interested in understanding the financial crisis should also read Paul Krugman's "End this Depression Now!"
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Stress Test explains how the US got into the financial crisis and how the Obama administration led to recovery.  This book is very detail orientated.  This book is great reading and you learn the history of the financial crises.  The Tea Party is me motioned in debt and the part that congress played.
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RichardLRL More than 1 year ago
Stress Test is a very thought provoking, detailed description of the story behind the Global Financial Crisis of 2008 and the REAL reasons which led to it. It is a before, during and after story - a long book but a very worthwhile read!
ryeLee More than 1 year ago
Special interest groups with their talking points can be so dishonest. Timothy Geithner is now my hero. Great book about a great American Patriot. So glad I read Stress Test.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very interesting and enlightening read. This is a great follow-up to Hank Paulson's book &quot;On the Brink&quot; .  Thank you Tim Geithner for your service. 
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Artemis- More than 1 year ago
I proudly have not read this book. I say that because of the clear dishonesty that was put before us by the Secretary of Treasury Geithner. Stress Test my **s. Geithner's credibility is completely lacking. He is a &quot;moral hazard&quot;. Geithner's total lack of concern for the working and middle class population of the USA is shocking. To me, it was treason. The programs he developed for hardworking homeowners was so thinly veiled. Karma is waiting for him. The sad truth is that his marching orders were provided by Obama, to me, an even bigger disappointment. Geithner spent years at the NYFed as a lackey for the Wall St titans, never a second &quot;regulating&quot; them, as he was appointed to do. He now works at a Wall St firm, one of the oldest around, presumably as a reward for handing over trillions to Wall St. His entire agenda upon taking his Treasury Secretary position was to help out his friends on Wall St, when that was over, he resigned and took his reward position. For better reading material, access the AIG statement of facts documents filed with the Washington Federal court that can be found on nakedcapitalismDOTcom website. While those may not entirely reflect reality, they are likely a LOT closer to it than one would find in Geithner's book. Better yet, watch the trial if you can.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Gave this as a gift. The reader finds it dry but enjoyable. Author is knowledgable about the subject. It gives the information he wanted and expected.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
What a marvelous history of the Great Recession. God bless you, Mr. Geithner, for your courage and wisdom.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Geithner is rewriting history.  A better account by Bill Isaac, Senseless Panic.  Geithner spent more time on the phone with Goldman Sachs than the FDIC.  Not an honest official and certainly not a public servant.  We will all suffer in the future from his corrupt contributions.  Also see Sheila Bair's book.  Isaac's book is endorsed by Paul Volcker, the last great central banker
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
No. Good.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anyone can write a book and that is what Timothy did. Should have discussed WHY we bailed out the banks that caused our economy and the housing market to fail.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Don't waste your time on Geithner's ongoing justification for bailing out Wall Street at expense of average Americans. Read Picketty's Capital, Elizabeth Warren's A Fighting Chance instead
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Don't waste your time on Geithner's ongoing justification for bailing out Wall Street at expense of average Americans. Read Picketty's Capital, Elizabeth Warren's A Fighting Chance instead.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is just more smoke blowing from a political tool. Only people who like being taken for suckers will find this drivel interesting. If you want real insight into the financial world I would recommend something like Capital As Power or the Automatic Earth blog.