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The Financial Crisis Inquiry Report: The Final Report of the National Commission on the Causes of the Financial and Economic Crisis in the United States Paperback – March 23, 2011


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Editorial Reviews

Review

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.”

 

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 662 pages
  • Publisher: BN Publishing (March 23, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1607963523
  • ISBN-13: 978-1607963523
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.5 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,034,689 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

A very readable analysis of an incredibly complex subject.
J. M. Ulmer
Pages printed from the PDF at least have excellent contrast, even though there is no way to adjust the font size.
Bob C
This double bubble led directly to the Great Depression of the 1930's.
Michael Emmett Brady

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

59 of 68 people found the following review helpful By MT57 on January 28, 2011
Format: Paperback
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 By Bob C on February 1, 2011
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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28 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Michael Emmett Brady on February 4, 2011
Format: Paperback
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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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Erik on February 11, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The FCIC's report begins with a tedious, disorganized rambling, with much unnecessary material, about the Commission's Mission and Background, Intentions of the Report, Impact of the Crisis, the Commission's actions, Limitations of Commission's Charter, what is in the Report, thank yous, and an unbelievably garbled set of pseudo-conclusions, without the headings, and without structure.

For example, the Commission carries on about what it wasn't asked to do - referencing TARP, the Transportation Safety Board, etc. It would have been sufficient to say "Congress did not ask the Commission to offer policy recommendations."

The crisis was caused, as has always been the case, by persons taking unreasonable, even illegal, risks in a quest for quick wealth. The impetus to pursue that quest arose from the Federal Reserve's easy money policy, not with standing the FCIC's protests to the contrary. They were allowed to take those risks, and allowed to infringe on the law, by recent administrations and by the US congress, who dismantled or thwarted prior regulations and their enforcement, and failed to adapt and enforce new regulations appropriate to new financial chicanery. The failures of administrations and congress were a consequence, in some cases, of pursuit of misguided ideologies, and, in others, simply the pursuit of office.

That is what the Commission should have concluded, and perhaps did, more or less, but you don't need 500 plus pages to do the job.

A English teacher from back in the day when we taught Latin and Greek in high school would give the report a D minus for composition. Well, we probably don't deserve any better.
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The Financial Crisis Inquiry Report: The Final Report of the National Commission on the Causes of the Financial and Economic Crisis in the United States
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