Timothy geithner stress test reflections on financial crises

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timothy geithner stress test reflections on financial crises

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

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.
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Published 09.05.2019

Tim Geither's New Book 'Stress Test' Comes Under Fire

Yale School of Management

Home — Non-Fiction — Business Books. 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 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 s, then describes what he saw, what he did, and what he missed at the New York Fed before the Wall Street boom went bust.

What we went through on interminable conference calls in fancy office buildings obviously did not compare to the horrors of war, but ten minutes into the movie I knew I had finally found something that captured what the crisis felt like: the overwhelming burden of responsibility combined with the paralyzing risk of catastrophic failure; the frustration about the stuff out of your control; the uncertainty about what would help; the knowledge that even good decisions might turn out badly; the pain and guilt of neglecting your family; the loneliness and the numbness. In other words, the way that works. Verghese acknowledged that Geithner, the former secretary of the treasury, may seem like an unusual choice for a Medicine Grand Rounds speaker. First, as Geithner pointed out, they share common language, frequently using metaphors and analogies like containment and panic. There are also parallels between the decision-making processes and the constant risk of failure, Verghese explained.

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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. 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. 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.

Geithner remains unsettled. Geithner served as president of the New York Federal Reserve from late to and secretary of the Treasury from to , and so sat near the center of the American financial system as it prepared to self-destruct. He then had a courtside seat to the global catastrophe. He has rich material to work with, and he has contrived to preserve its freshness. His inability as Treasury secretary to explain himself, or his actions, or the financial crisis, or his beliefs about financial reform, to the wider public will leave many readers, I suspect, feeling they are hearing his voice on these subjects for the first time.

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  1. Stress Test: Reflections on Financial Crises [Timothy F. Geithner] on Amazon. com. *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. New York Times Bestseller Washington.

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