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Full Faith and Credit: The Great S & L Debacle and Other Washington Sagas Paperback – September 1, 2000
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I found the book to be well written, and very up-front about the authors biases. It was refreshing that the hidden agenda was right out in the open for everyone to inspect, just the way the author maintains that good government should operate. As Seidman states in his introduction:
"Why write about these experiences?" Of course, I share the goals of most memoirists: to immortalize my contribution to society; even scores with my enemies; provide financial security for my old age, confirm the taxpayers worst suspicions about their government; and generally leave a record of my adventures for the benefit of future historians".
Seidman's excellent explication of the S&L crisis and the activities of the Resolution Trust Corporation are filled with wonderful wry observations, like this:
"My friends, there is good news and bad news. The good news is that the full faith and credit of the FDIC and the U.S. government stands behind your money at the bank. But the bad news is that you, my fellow taxpayers, stand behind the U.S. government."
The whole RTC game was simply a duration play, unwinding short (less than 30 years) and borrowing long (issuing 30 year US bonds), and Seidman walks us through the technicals of that obvious play.
Seidman is not as bad as Larry Summers in the smug-self-satisfied brilliant observer, but at times he is pretty close. He is certain of his analysis, but truth is the daughter of time and some of his observations have since been proven to be opinion, not fact.
Still, an excellent read in these bizarre times.