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The Financial Crisis Inquiry Report, Authorized Edition: Final Report of the National Commission on the Causes of the Financial and Economic Crisis in the United States [Bargain Price] [Paperback]

Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)

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Paperback, Bargain Price, January 27, 2011 --  

Book Description

January 27, 2011 1610390415 1

Official Government Edition

The definitive report on what caused America's economic meltdown— and who was responsible

The financial and economic crisis has touched the lives of millions of Americans who have lost their jobs and their homes, but many have little understanding of how it happened. Now, in this very accessible report, readers can get the facts.
  • Formed in May 2009, the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission (FCIC) is a panel of 10 commissioners with experience in business, regulations, economics, and housing, chosen by Congress to explain what happened and why it happened. This panel has had subpoena power that enabled them to interview people and examine documents that no reporter had access to.
  • The FCIC has reviewed millions of pages of documents, and interviewed more than 600 leaders, experts, and participants in the financial markets and government regulatory agencies, as well as individuals and businesses affected by the crisis.
  • In the tradition of The 9/11 Commission Report, The Financial Crisis Inquiry Report will be a comprehensive book for the lay reader, complete with a glossary, charts, and easy-to-read diagrams, and a timeline that includes important events. It will be read by policy makers, corporate executives, regulators, government agencies, and the American people.

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Editorial Reviews


Slate, December 2010
"With those books, you'll never need to read anything that emerges from the FCIC. But if you do, read the good stuff: the interviews in which it grilled executives from Wall Street and the housing industry. The commission called in the loan-makers and bankers that caused the crisis and forced them to answer questions about their businesses—all for the public record. (It also subpoenaed thousands of pages of documents from Wall Street firms, though it is not clear if it will make those public.) There's no need to get the narrative from the FCIC. But if you want, say, to hear former Lehman CEO Dick Fuld try to defend himself, that's the place to go.”

NPR’s Morning Edition
“The majority report reads a lot like a book, and a bit of a potboiler at that. The commission conducted hundreds of hours of interviews, with industry insiders, policymakers, whistle-blowers and regulators. And the pages of the majority's report are strewn with quotes from these interviews — foreboding, eye-popping quotes.”

New York Times, February 2, 2011
“The report is full of fascinating information, rich detail and fine documentary evidence.”
New York Times, January 30, 2011
”The report still makes for compelling reading because so little has changed as a result of the debacle, in both banking and in its regulation.”
Minneapolis Star-Tribune, January 29, 2011
“At 662 pages, the FCIC report amounts to a sweeping forensic examination of a crisis that the commission says could have been avoided. The conclusions are written with style and infused with an appropriate tone of outrage, buttressed by more than 700 interviews (including one with Minnesota lawyer Prentiss Cox) and millions of documents.”
New York Times, February 13, 2011
“full of fascinating detail”

New York Times
, February 17, 2011
“Actually, the report — and the online archive of testimony, interviews and documents that are now available — is a treasure trove of invaluable information about the causes and consequences of the Great Recession.”


New York Review of Books, April 28, 2011
“The most comprehensive indictment of the American financial failure that has yet been made…The definitive history of this period.”
Forbes, April 18, 2011
“The report is very comprehensive, is well written and provides study material for much more extensive analysis.”


About the Author

The Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission was created by Congress in May 2009 to investigate the roots of the financial crisis. Its members include Chairman Phil Angelides, Vice Chairman Hon. Bill Thomas and Commissioners Brooksley Born, Byron S Georgiou, Senator Bob Graham, Keith Hennessey, Douglas Holtz-Eakin, Heather H Murren CFA, John W Thompson and Peter J Wallison.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 576 pages
  • Publisher: PublicAffairs; 1 edition (January 27, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1610390415
  • ASIN: B0057D8S6I
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 5.4 x 1.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #712,429 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
58 of 67 people found the following review helpful
By MT57
I would describe the book as really two books. The first 40% or so is more of an analysis of developments in economy and finance over the 20 or so years leading up to the crisis of 08, and the last 60% is more of a narrative of the events of the crisis in the last half of 08. The latter portion heavily reminded me of Sorkin's book, Too Big to Fail. It similarly relies heavily on interviews with high level executives, officials and so on. I understand that, if you are trying to write something that you want the general public to read, you would opt for the chronological narrative of the second half of the report. However, having read Sorkin's book, I felt a little frustrated that there was little added insight here, considering the time, resources and investigative power the commission had.

As far as the analysis goes, it is decent enough if not particularly dazzling. There aren't a lot of surprises here if you have followed the issue over the past 2-3 years. There is nothing like the explosive effect of the Pecora report in the 1930's, on which this commission was modeled. I think that is in part due to the much more active media we now have now; compared to the 1930's, so much in here has come out more or less already.

The only real function that the analytical section performs is to package up what has already been disclosed and assert in a general way what weight should be given to what cause(s). Every factor gets mentioned and given some role; the different political appointees on the commission apparently disagree over how much weight should be given which factors.
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37 of 48 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars UNREADABLE PRINT!! February 1, 2011
By Bob C
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
WARNING: The print size and quality of this publication will make it unreadable to many people (as it is for me).

The main font is tiny, and the font for the footnotes is vanishingly small. The cheap printing method has also resulted in a font with very low contrast. A further problem is that the margins are narrow even near the spine, so the lines of print curve out of sight as you try to read them.

I am able to read all sorts of books and have reading glasses to do so, yet I am unable to read this book. The Amazon entry for this book should warn potential purchasers of the readability issue.

Unfortunately, the version of the report from the Government Printing Office uses the same format. This is a travesty.

For many people, the best choice at present is to download the entire report for free (as a single PDF). On screen, the print size can be adjusted at will. That is how I intend to read the report. If I need to excerpt some pages, I can print them from the PDF. Pages printed from the PDF at least have excellent contrast, even though there is no way to adjust the font size. The report can be downloaded here: [...]

In addition to the readability issue, potential purchasers should be aware that this Authorized Edition from PublicAffairs does not include the index to the report. The index must be downloaded (as a PDF) from the publisher's website.
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27 of 35 people found the following review helpful
This report spends over 500 hundred pages to reach a conclusion that basically targets the rating agencies as the main culprit in the economic collapse that is now referred to as the Great Recession.The real problem was the passage of legislation that eliminated the firewalls erected in the mid 1930's to prevent what happened .Three major problems can be identified.It is clear that if these three types of events had not occurred,then the Great Recession could have been prevented.

The three major factors making the Great Recession inevitable were (a) the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act(GS) of 1933 in 1999 , (b) the passage of the Commodities Futures Modernization Act (CFMA) of 2000,and (c) the planned and organized restructuring of the American banking system ,started by Jimmy Carter in 1978,to create megasized banks through periodic waves of mergers,acquisitions and takeovers.It should be emphasized that the major supporters of these actions in the late 1980's to 2000 were Bill and Hilary Clinton,F D Raines,Rubin ,Summers, Senator Dodd,Barney Frank,Senator Schumer and the usual array of Libertarian Republican supporters of Wall Street casino capitalism ,such as Phil and Wendy Gramm.Repealing Glass Steagall allowed the private commercial banks to again set up investment bank units to engage in financial speculation.This was the primary problem that occurred in the mid to late 1920's.Highly speculative,leveraged ,margin account loans financed the stock market bubble while balloon payment loan financing of mortgages created the bubble in housing.This double bubble led directly to the Great Depression of the 1930's. The same type of double bubble led to the Great Recession of the 2000's,as well.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Pretty disappointing February 5, 2011
Like many, I have been following the parapatetic hearings of the FCIC over the past year, and while I didn't expect this report to be completely earthshattering, I also didn't it expect it to be so mediocre in terms of analyzing the myriad problems and, more importantly, recommending legislative, regulatory, and structural solutions. The only conclusion the report seems to draw, in the end, is "this is probably going to happen again," which is borderline pathetic. I wish the commissioners and staff had read some of the classics published in the wake of the 1929 stock market crash--like The Great Crash 1929 or Krugman's The Return of Depression Economics and the Crisis of 2008 and especially the original blueprint for this kind of commission report, Stock Exchange Practices: The Final Report of the Pecora Commission which at least makes for highly entertaining reading. Hopefully this won't be the last inquiry into the 2008 meltdown undertaken by the government. What we really need is a "truth and reconciliation" commission, to bring out ALL the facts and come to grips with what we REALLY need to do to make sure systemic weaknesses are addressed, and regulations (and regulators) in place to police the inevitable simple human greed and irrationality.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars The book was in excellent condition, arrived on time and was at a ...
The book was in excellent condition, arrived on time and was at a fair cost. As regarding the contents, I found it explanatory if not enlightening but one couldn't expect any... Read more
Published 1 day ago by blumenberg
5.0 out of 5 stars Nails the mortgage crisis.
This report lays the blame for the financial crisis and the collapse of the Western economy where it belongs, with the big banks.
Published 3 months ago by John M. Beal
5.0 out of 5 stars A great reference on what happened
I bought this for the same reasons I got the 911 official inquiry report. I read that tome cover to cover. Truth is the first few chapters will give you all you need to know. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Paul 1946
5.0 out of 5 stars Financial History Like No Other Description
The pleasant surprise that came with reading this congressional account of the investigation into the financial meltdown was that yes, elected officials can write a truthful... Read more
Published 15 months ago by Trading Central
5.0 out of 5 stars I only thought it would be interesting, but not much more than most of...
This book, and ESPECIALLY the dissenting views, held SO MUCH MORE information for me than I already knew. Read more
Published 15 months ago by James R. Amling
1.0 out of 5 stars It gives a biased perspective
Very readable, but after getting through 2/3'd of it I found it less than objective. Read the dissenting opinion at the end of the book before you spend too much time on the book. Read more
Published 18 months ago by E. Guttman
1.0 out of 5 stars Government Propaganda!
This book is worthless. No official government takes any responsibility for his actions, specially the members of the Financial Committee who would lash out at anyone asking... Read more
Published 18 months ago by EDS XXX
4.0 out of 5 stars More than a good report
The report is very well written and looks systematically into the subject. The report uses a wide variety of angles (rating agencies, regulators, financial institutions, private... Read more
Published 23 months ago by Pieter - Rotterdam/Netherlands
3.0 out of 5 stars Financial Crisis report
Provides good information about the roles of the sub-prime mortgage fiasco,The collapse of the housing bubble and the predatory role that Wall Street played in mortgage-backed... Read more
Published on November 25, 2011 by Larry T. Caudill
4.0 out of 5 stars By far the best telling of the financial crisis story
Forget everything you ever knew about government reports -- after you get through the front matter you find yourself immersed in a gripping step-by-step story of how the finanical... Read more
Published on September 16, 2011 by W. D ONEIL
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