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The Financial Crisis: Who is to Blame Hardcover – September 7, 2010

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Editorial Reviews


"Balanced, succinct, authoritative and remarkably comprehensive."
The Times

"In this eminently readable account of the current crisis, Howard Davies writes with a wealth of experience."
The Oldie

"Financial crisis is a many-headed hydra and unravelling its causes a Herculean task. In The Financial Crisis: Who is to Blame?, Howard Davies makes significant progress."
Times Higher Education

"An admirable summary of issues for normal people who have a life outside finance."
Evening Standard

"Davies' expertise and nuance regarding the crisis shines through and provides a fascinating account of a situation we shall hopefully never see again."
Business Destinations

"An excellent primer."
Financial World

"It's hard to think of anyone better qualified than Howard Davies to evaluate the competing arguments about what caused the worst financial crisis and recession since the 1930s."
Robert Peston, Business Editor for BBC News

"Davies offers the most comprehensive post-mortem yet of the Great Crisis -- essential reading for those who are trying to fix a still precarious post-crisis world."
Stephen S. Roach, Chairman‪ of Morgan Stanley Asia

"Howard Davies' lucid and panoramic account of the financial crisis and the reasons for it is crisply and entertainingly written. It is a great primer for anyone hoping to understand how a complex set of causes united to lead to the near-collapse of global finance in 2008."
John Gapper, Associate Editor and Chief Business Commentator, Financial Times

About the Author

Howard Davies is the director of the London School of Economics and Political Science. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Polity; 1 edition (September 7, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0745651631
  • ISBN-13: 978-0745651637
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 0.9 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,555,517 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Howard Davies is director of the London School of Economics and Political Science. Prior to his current appointment he was chairman of the Financial Services Authority, the UK's single financial regulator since 1998.

Howard Davies had previously served for two years as Deputy Governor of the Bank of England after three years as Director General of the Confederation of British Industry. From 1987 to 1992 he was Controller of the Audit Commission. From 1982 to 1987 he worked for McKinsey & Company in London and during 1985 -1986 was seconded to the Treasury as Special Adviser to the Chancellor of the Exchequer. He had previously worked at the Treasury and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, including two years as Private Secretary to the British Ambassador in Paris.

Howard Davies was educated at Manchester Grammar School and Merton College, Oxford, where he gained an MA in history and modern languages. In 1979 he was awarded a Harkness Fellowship and in 1980 took an MSc in management sciences at Stanford Graduate School of Business, California. Between 2002 and June 2010 he was a Trustee of the Tate. He is a member of the governing body, Royal Academy of Music; and in 2004 was elected to an Honorary Fellowship at Merton College. In 2004 he joined the board of Morgan Stanley as a non-executive director. He was appointed to the Board of Paternoster in 2006 as a non-executive director, and chaired the Man Booker Prize in 2007. In 2009 he became an advisor to the Government Investment Corporation of Singapore.

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Jonathan Gifford on April 20, 2012
Format: Paperback
If you would like to be better informed about the still-current financial crisis ('the most destructive economic event of the last eighty years') and you don't mind putting in a bit of effort, then this is a thoroughly rewarding read.

Davies is Director of the London School of Economics and Political Science and, not surprisingly, he knows his stuff. He is also a lucid and engaging writer; he says that the book emerged from his notes for an LSE course module on the financial crisis, and that is how it reads: as a lively series of lectures giving a concise resumé of current thinking about the ultimate causes of our current plight. A lot is packed in to a few pages, and you have to keep your wits about you. A certain amount of probably inevitable technical language creeps in (often delivered by the writers that Davies quotes, rather than by Davies himself). You will need to keep abreast of your CDO's (collateralized debt obligations), your CDS's (credit default swaps) and your LTCM's (long-term capital management). But this is probably kid's stuff to you, and even I managed, more or less, to keep a grip.

Where the book doesn't quite deliver is on the question, emblazoned on the cover, of 'Who is to blame?' Which is a bit of a letdown. When I read a book by such a luminary as Davies, I would like to be given a concise answer that I can wheel out to impress my friends and colleagues. 'The current financial crisis? Ah, yes, I can explain that. As Howard Davies says . . .'

But Davies is not so obliging, and makes us work harder. Very much the academic, he points out that some people think this; but then again other authorities think that. And, of course, there is the respected view that the answer lies elsewhere altogether.
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