Nothing is Too Big to Fail: How the Last Financial Crisis Informs Today

Nothing is Too Big to Fail: How the Last Financial Crisis Informs Today

by Kerry Killinger, Linda Killinger


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Go behind the scenes of the 2008 financial crisis to learn what actions led to one of the worst recessions in history, and how, without focused action from the US government and leading organizations, we may be on track to repeat our same mistakes.

In 2008, the American economy collapsed, taking with it millions of Americans’ jobs, homes, and life savings. The impending financial crisis was devastating, and many are still feeling its effects today.

Though the crisis was debilitating, the US government has yet to implement policies that would prevent a repeat of the Great Recession. The middle class continues to shrink, escalations in racial injustices prevail, and distrust of the government grows by the day. And with the country’s current fiscal policies, our economy is in a fragile place, barely strong enough to survive a shock caused by an international conflict, a cyberattack, or a global pandemic, like COVID-19.

Written by the former CEO of Washington Mutual Bank and the former vice chair of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines, Nothing Is Too Big to Fail holds a microscope to the very policies and corruption that led to this major economic recession. Authors Kerry and Linda Killinger warn that, without significant institutional change, the country has created asset and debt bubbles that could burst at any time.

No institution, government, or country is “too big to fail.” But by learning from our past mistakes and taking action to ensure our country’s businesses and government officials maintain proper fiscal responsibility, we can return our country’s economic system—and in turn, our democracy—to one that is secure.

All proceeds of this book will be donated to charity to aid in criminal and social justice, government reform, civil discourse, and community building.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781948122764
Publisher: RosettaBooks
Publication date: 03/23/2021
Pages: 568
Sales rank: 495,013
Product dimensions: 6.30(w) x 9.10(h) x 2.00(d)

About the Author

KERRY KILLINGER was the chairman, president, and CEO of Washington Mutual Bank, the sixth largest depository bank in the country prior to the financial crisis of 2008.He graduated with a BBA with honors and an MBA from the University of Iowa. He is a chartered financial analyst (CFA) and a fellow in the Life Management Institute. He was chair of the National Education Summit of Achieve and American Banker’s Banker of the year, he received President George H.W. Bush’s Points of Light Award for his philanthropy, was vice chair and chair-elect of the Financial Services Roundtable, vice chair and chair-elect of the Federal Reserve’s Thrift Industry Advisory Council, and vice chair of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Seattle. He was elected to the American Society of Corporate Executives.

LINDA KILLINGER was vice chair of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines and chair of its audit/finance committee. She was also a consulting partner in an international accounting firm specializing in strategic planning and merger/acquisitions for financial institutions. She was the publisher and editor of Overseas Business magazine. Prior to that, she was appointed by Governor Robert D. Rayas the director of administration for the Iowa Department of Human Services, which included the prison system, mental health hospitals, AFDC, and other human service programs. She was appointed by Governor Tom Vilsack to chair his Committee for a Comprehensive Housing Strategy for Iowa. She has a bachelor of science degree from Iowa State University, an MBA from Drake University, and completed additional graduate work at the Kellogg School of Management.

In 2002, Linda and Kerry founded the Kerry & Linda Killinger Foundation, an organization that helps local communities thrive by promoting government fiscal responsibility, encouraging civil discourse, and promoting the distribution of wealth, opportunities, and privileges within society. Their philanthropic work has led them to support local organizations like the University of Washington, Shriners Hospitals for Children, United Way, and the Seattle Art Museum.

Table of Contents

Introduction 1

1 "Too Clubby to Fail": Wall Street Banks Win, Thrifts and Community Banks Lose 23

2 Increased Risk Taking Due to Deregulation 93

3 Deregulation, Politics, and Criminal Prosecutions 117

4 The Four Major Waves of Change in the 1990s That Laid the Groundwork for the 2008 Financial Crisis 129

5 Washington Mutual in the Age of Consolidation of the Financial Industry 155

6 Record Profits and the Stunning Growth of Shadow Banking 171

7 Record Banking Profits and Growth, but There Is a Canary in the Mine 209

8 The Financial Crisis Hits 259

9 The Aftermath of the Financial Crisis 293

10 Part 1 Investigations and Lawsuits: 2010 311

Part 2 Investigations and Lawsuits: 2011-2014 345

11 The Fast Buildup of the Next Shadow Banking System 373

12 The Makings of the Next Financial Crisis 391

13 Recommendations to Avoid the Next Financial Crisis 431

Afterword: COVID-19 Strikes 451

Acknowledgments 471

Glossary 475

Timeline for Residential Home Lending 483

Notes 497

Index 527

About the Authors 559

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