Stress Test: Reflections on Financial Crises

Stress Test: Reflections on Financial Crises

by Timothy F. Geithner


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Stress Test: Reflections on Financial Crises by Timothy F. Geithner

From the former Treasury Secretary, the definitive account of the unprecedented effort to save the U.S. economy from collapse in the wake of the worst global financial crisis since the Great Depression.

On January 26, 2009, during the depth of the financial crisis and having just completed five years as President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, Timothy F. Geithner was sworn in by President Barack Obama as the seventy-fifth Secretary of the Treasury of the United States. Now, in a strikingly candid, riveting, and historically illuminating memoir, Geithner takes readers behind the scenes during the darkest moments of the crisis. Swift, decisive, and creative action was required to avert a second Great Depression, but policy makers faced a fog of uncertainty, with no good options and the risk of catastrophic outcomes.

Stress Test: Reflections on Financial Crises takes us inside the room, explaining in accessible and forthright terms the hard choices and politically unpalatable decisions that Geithner and others in the Obama administration made during the crisis and recovery. He discusses the most controversial moments of his tenures at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and at the Treasury, including the harrowing weekend Lehman Brothers went bankrupt; the searing crucible of the AIG bonuses controversy; the development of his widely criticized but ultimately successful plan in early 2009 to end the crisis; the bracing fight for the most sweeping financial reforms in seventy years; and the lingering aftershocks of the crisis, including high unemployment, the fiscal battles, and Europe's repeated flirtations with the economic abyss.

Geithner also shares his personal and professional recollections of key players such as President Obama, Ben Bernanke, Hank Paulson, and Larry Summers, among others, and examines the tensions between politics and policy that have come to dominate discussions of the U.S. economy. An insider’s account of how the Obama administration saved the economy but lost the American people, Stress Test reveals a side of Timothy Geithner that only few have seen.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780804138611
Publisher: Crown/Archetype
Publication date: 05/05/2015
Pages: 592
Sales rank: 237,607
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 8.00(h) x 1.20(d)

About 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, from 2003 to 2009. He wrote this book as a distinguished fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and is now president of Warburg Pincus.

Table of Contents

Introduction: The Bombs 1

1 An American Abroad 23

2 An Education in Crisis 37

3 Leaning Against the Wind 75

4 Letting It Burn 118

5 The Fall 162

6 "We're Going to Fix This" 211

7 Into the Fire 258

8 Plan Beats No Plan 311

9 Getting Better, Feeling Worse 351

10 The Fight for Reform 388

11 Aftershocks 439

Epilogue: Reflections on Financial Crises 493

Tribute to the Crisis Team 529

Acknowledgments 539

Author's Note 543

Notes 545

Index 559

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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
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.