- Paperback: 464 pages
- Publisher: Harvard University Press (October 25, 2004)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0674016092
- ISBN-13: 978-0674016095
- Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.2 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 6 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #714,177 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
When All Else Fails: Government as the Ultimate Risk Manager
Use the Amazon App to scan ISBNs and compare prices.
Customers who bought this item also bought
David Moss's book makes an innovative and persuasive contribution to the history of regulation and social policy in the United States...This is a major work in the field. (John Coatsworth, Harvard University)
I am very enthusiastic about this book since I have learned so much from it about the origins of our economic institutions and about the fundamental principles by which our government creates value for society. It is a profoundly enlightening book. (Robert J. Shiller, author of Irrational Exuberance)
When All Else Fails very effectively explores the search for protection from the risks of modern life...We need more books like this that seamlessly combine economics and political analysis to help us understand the history of important areas of public policy. (Harvey M. Sapolsky, Massachusetts Institute of Technology)
When All Else Fails is a dazzling and bold new intellectual history of the relation between government and the economy in the United States...Like John Kenneth Galbraith, Moss has a gift for making economics and finance come alive...He could well turn out to be one of our leading public intellectuals in addition to being a first-rate scholar. (Deborah Stone, Brandeis University)
This is an important book that should reshape public debate on the relationship between governments and private markets...It should penetrate Washington as well as Cambridge, should spur debate in Regulation as well as the Journal of Political Economy, and should be read by George W. Bush as well as students in courses on political economy and on business government relations...The time is certainly right. (Kenneth A. Oye, Massachusetts Institute of Technology)
This is an important book...Moss combines the insights of economics, history, law, and political science to create a new framework for understanding government...His risk management framework cuts through the liberal/conservative debate in U.S. politics because it demonstrates continuities where others have seen only divides. (Tom Baker, University of Connecticut)
David Moss...offers a novel perspective on the extraordinary expansion of government. Where once it confined its remit to the bare essentials of defence, internal security and the enforcement of private-property rights, today's leviathan spreads into every corner of national life, not just by taxing and spending but also by regulating. Much of the growth, Mr. Moss argues, has come from the state's unique ability to reallocate risk. Government has expanded its reach because it is the ultimate risk manager...[An] enlightening book. (The Economist 2002-05-11)
Moss examines public policy attempts to either spread or shift the burden of risk from a favored group to others by tracing major US social reform movements...Given the antistatist nature of American democracy, Moss concludes that government's redistribution of various risks of its favored citizens has served as a substitute for a more significant redistribution of income. Readers interested in the historical roots of American institutions should find this book a treat. (R. Kelly Choice 2002-11-01)
This is a useful and worthwhile book for anybody interested in the evolution of U.S. government risk management or effective policy design. Professor David Moss argues that the U.S. government has since its inception acted as a manager of risk due to its unique ability to enforce action...Moss deserves congratulations for showing government policy to be more than self-interested rent seeking and for revealing the reasoning behind government risk management--a recommended book. (Thomas Kemp Journal of Economic Issues)
David Moss's book makes an innovative and persuasive contribution to the history of regulation and social policy in the United States...This is a major work in the field. (John Coatsworth, Harvard University) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top customer reviews
I am grateful to the author for staying in a disciplined way on the topics, and not overstaying or getting lost in digressions.
In my quest to learn a historical background to risk management, I previously read "Freaks of Fortune," which started with sea voyage insurance and walked through slavery and other 19th century institutions which are (arguably) risk management attempts. I like these sorts of books, which take a broad view of what arrangements in society may be considered "risk management," from family arrangements to various customs, to major legislation, and go in a scholarly and methodical way through the pertinent history.
"A risk to the economy"
We see these phrases in the media now more and more. What they imply is the mutalization of all risk i.e. the risks that individual managers take of "too large to fail" institutions will be borne by the government, and therefore all of us.
If JPM or C rolled over today - would the US government let it happen? Would the IMF? Would the BIS? Of course not. We are all implictly short a load of puts on collective market risk. This incentivizes individual managers to make riskier bets (and actually forces them to do so, if they want to remain competitive). This therefore raises the strike of these puts higher and higher i.e. things can go very badly much sooner, and individual institutions are LESS insulated from market volaitlity than they were 30-40 years ago.
Sub-prime moral hazard is playing itself out now (q1 '08). Credit creation through innovation unlocks equity and allows for economic expansion. This is a reasonable policy goal. However, Moss' claim is that this innovation (unlike in Silicon Valley), comes with a built in safety net that encourages excessive risk taking.
Sure to rise on AMAZON's sales rankings, this is an excellent work that walks through the practical implications of the USGOV absorbing failed risk. I always tell my students "risk is the probability things will turn out badly" but am now thinking of switching it to "risk is the probability you'll hear `hi, we are from the government and we are here to help.' In your practical career in finance."
Soon to be on every Washington Wonk's bedside, so jump in and actually read this excellent book so you'll be ahead of the game.