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Balancing the Banks: Global Lessons from the Financial Crisis Hardcover – May 9, 2010

ISBN-13: 978-0691145235 ISBN-10: 0691145237

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Balancing the Banks: Global Lessons from the Financial Crisis + Inside and Outside Liquidity + The Theory of Corporate Finance
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press (May 9, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0691145237
  • ISBN-13: 978-0691145235
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.8 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #274,764 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


Jean Tirole, Winner of the 2014 Nobel Prize in Economics

"This compact but powerful book by three internationally recognized European economists is well worth reading. The authors offer a thoughtful review of the current global financial crisis and a number of considered recommendations for ameliorating the next and inevitable one."--Choice

"Balancing the Banks, by three French economists, focuses on what went wrong with financial regulation and how it can be strengthened. It offers an excellent appreciation of the intrinsic dilemmas involved in regulating financial institutions, along with an explanation of why regulation is necessary, and addresses, among other topics, how to deal with distressed banks. The book provides a useful non-American view of the financial system, with lessons from practices in European countries."--Foreign Affairs

From the Inside Flap

"Three giants in the field have teamed up to offer their insightful perspectives on prudential regulation at a crucial time. The book is both academic and pragmatic, a real bridge between these two worlds. Mandatory reading for all policymakers and academics involved in the difficult subjects of banking regulation and crisis prevention."--Ricardo Caballero, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

"This is a very good book on the financial crisis by three of the best economists in the world. Unusually among top economists, all three are knowledgeable about banking and the financial system. It will have an important impact on the debate about the reform of regulation."--Franklin Allen, Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania

"This timely book provides valuable insights and suggestions from three of the foremost experts in the field of regulation."--Markus K. Brunnermeier, Princeton University

"This book offers a clear analysis of the financial crisis: causes, mechanisms, and policy. Written by top experts in economics and prudential regulation, it will be read by many economists and graduate students, as well as journalists, policymakers, the general public, and advanced undergraduate students. The scholarship is top-notch."--Xavier Gabaix, New York University

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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Michael Emmett Brady on August 15, 2010
Format: Hardcover
The authors do an excellent job of presenting their case,which is that " Yes. VAR failed .However,a revised VAR could succeed ". Unfortunately,their argument ultimately collapses although they do not realize the contradictions between the different parts of their presentation in their book.Thus,

"Take the example of the credit derivative market...But the uncertainty about the net amounts and their structure...suffices to scare the markets.As Cabolleso and Sinsek(2009)emphasize,the task of knowing not only whether one's counterparties are solvent but also whether one's counterparties counterparties are,their counterparties,and so on,becomes daunting in times of generalized stress".(p.35).

This problem,of course,is an application of the beauty contest problem first discussed by J M Keynes in chapter 3 of the A Treatise on Probability(1921,TP) in his discussions of the measurement of probabilities and later in chapter 12 of the General Theory(GT,1936).Keynes later showed in the TP that ,unless the weight of the evidence,w, was equal to 1 and there were no nonlinear probability preferences,it is not possible to assign a point estimate and/or a unique probability distribution to represent the decision problem.Interestingly,Keynes is not mentioned in the book except in one arcane footnote .Neither is Mandelbrot ,Taleb, or Ellsberg.This is because all three of the authors are committed to relying on the basic Value at Risk (VAR)approach.Their hope is that VAR can be revised and improved.Thus,

"There is another... reason why the focus on the probability of failure for individual banks may (?-author's query) have been inappropriate: the absence of systemic considerations.
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By Josh Johnson on November 24, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A professional book, highly recommend!
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Saurav B. Prasad on July 21, 2010
Format: Hardcover
This is a good book for professionals involved in reviewing banks. I found the chapter on lessons learned to be very useful. Concepts are well explained and easy to understand.
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