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Bailouts: Public Money, Private Profit (A Columbia / SSRC Book (Privatization of Risk)) Paperback – February 4, 2010

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Product Details

  • Series: A Columbia / SSRC Book (Privatization of Risk)
  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Columbia University Press (February 4, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0231150555
  • ISBN-13: 978-0231150552
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 5.5 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,541,426 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


A detailed study of the history of bailouts... [and] a must-read for anyone interested in the policy implications of bailouts.

(Andrew Jalil

A timely, accessible examination of government bailouts.

(Choice 1900-01-00)


Do bailouts make good financial sense and benefit the public at large? What are the ethical issues surrounding government bailouts? How far back does this history go in America and what have been the consequences of these interventions? This book tackles these questions as well as, most importantly, whether government bailouts speed up financial recovery. Compact, easy-to-read, yet firmly grounded in academic scholarship, Bailouts is an excellent introduction for nonspecialists interested in the costs and benefits of bailouts.

(Nouriel Roubini, New York University Stern School of Business, and coauthor of Bailouts or Bail-ins: Responding to Financial Crises in Emerging Economies)

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Pamela Robinson on April 14, 2010
Format: Paperback
This short volume examines the US history of trying to save companies and entire industries from bad decisions through an infusion of public money and offers alternatives to such actions.

"Bailouts: Public Money, Private Profit" finds fault, in a very calm style, with the basic concept that a government effort to save a private entity from itself is a good idea. While editor Robert E. Wright finds that some kinds of bailouts may be justified, he notes, "Taking resources from taxpayers to help stoke the fires of crisis is clearly not good policy."

He reviews past crises and government responses, the ethical issues involved, and the consequences of such interventions before suggesting that averting problems makes more sense than chasing after them. But he is cautious, too, pointing out that once the crisis occurs, failure to act can lead to dire results.

So this is not a polemical work; rather it is a serious academic book for those who are not experts but want to widen their knowledge and understand what is going on around them.
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More About the Author

Robert E. Wright is the Nef Family Chair of Political Economy at Augustana College SD.

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Bailouts: Public Money, Private Profit (A Columbia / SSRC Book (Privatization of Risk))
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