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13 Bankers: The Wall Street Takeover and the Next Financial Meltdown Hardcover – March 30, 2010
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Top Customer Reviews
Many Americans apparently do not yet understand how much influence financial institutions have in Washington, DC. Banks used to answer to Washington and were once held accountable for their actions. That is no longer is the case. We have never had such a concentrated banking system in the United States and it's dangerous that so much of our financial future is wrapped up in the big banks.
But the book is not pessimistic. Simon and Kwak offer instances from our history when elected representatives took on concentrated financial power. Each time, most Americans initially did not grasp how the system works, and this proved a major obstacle to reform. But the political leadership was able to explain what needed to be done, and to persuade average Americans that the nature of power in and around the financial sector had become so great and so distorted that something major had to be done.
The book is not anti-finance, but it is very much against the way our biggest banks operate today. The book describes exactly what needs to be done so that what happened in 2008-09 will never be allowed to happen again. Let's hope the prescription works.
The opinion in this book is all expressed through word choice. When the authors don't like an increase in lending it is "an orgy of lending." When they do, "banks responded with capital to support growth." People they disagree with "rant," while people they like "point out" or even "prove." But there's never any analysis to back up these opinions, they're painted onto what is basically a factual history. I happen to agree with more than half of their views, but if I didn't, I wouldn't have been convinced by this book. It doesn't help that everything is based on secondary sources, from which the authors take what they like and nothing else.
On the other hand, if you want a factual history, and either agree with the authors or are willing to ignore loaded words, this is an excellent choice. It's well-written, witty, up-to-the-minute and accurate. The opinions are never intrusive, and never foolish. They feel concentrations of banking power are dangerous, which is pretty reasonable, but they ignore the problems caused by the local corruption that grew up in its place. You learn about Jefferson, Madison and Jackson's principled objection to national banking, you won't learn about politicians anxious to create local bank monopolies for their friends and associates, restraining competition in order to maximize profit and control local economies.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
There are repetitive areas in the book but on the whole it presents a very comprehensive and informative of the flaws in the financial system.Published 1 month ago by M. Kolbert
5 stars for this detailed chronology and layperson description of why Great Recession occurred. How the rich get richer and regular folk will continue to pick up the tab! Read morePublished 3 months ago by MoreStories
Simply stated, 13 Bankers is a must read for anyone interested in cutting through the clutter of media nonsense to get to the heart of the matter. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Patrick Lovell
purchased for my step-daughter whom just graduated from college with a degree in Accounting, plus this buyer's price was very reasonable.Published 5 months ago by LEELEE
The definition of complex financial instruments within context was pretty well executed. However, it was written like a 7 chapter news paper article, which you have to keep putting... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Clifton Thompson
This is the book if interested in the history of banking and crisis.Published 6 months ago by Yedu H. G. Abajobir
These books make me cry. Because no matter how well researched and written (and this one is of the highest academic standard) not know the actual "system" is not going to... Read morePublished 9 months ago by Robert J.
This book seems a bit of self-conflict. It gives plenty of reasons that the system and many of its participants are corrupt. But then it excuses much of this away as groupthink. Read morePublished 11 months ago by C. Campbell