Stress Test: Reflections on Financial Crises by Timothy F. Geithner

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Stress Test is the story of Tim Geithner’s education in financial crises.

As president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and then as President Barack Obama’s secretary of the Treasury, Timothy F. Geithner helped the United States navigate the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, from boom to bust to rescue to recovery. In a candid, riveting, and historically illuminating memoir, he takes readers behind the scenes of the crisis, explaining the hard choices and politically unpalatable decisions he made to repair a broken financial system and prevent the collapse of the Main Street economy. This is the inside story of how a small group of policy makers—in a thick fog of uncertainty, with unimaginably high stakes—helped avoid a second depression but lost the American people doing it. Stress Test is also a valuable guide to how governments can better manage financial crises, because this one won’t be the last.

Stress Test reveals a side of Secretary Geithner the public has never seen, starting with his childhood as an American abroad. He recounts his early days as a young Treasury official helping to fight the international financial crises of the 1990s, then describes what he saw, what he did, and what he missed at the New York Fed before the Wall Street boom went bust. He takes readers inside the room as the crisis began, intensified, and burned out of control, discussing the most controversial episodes of his tenures at the New York Fed and the Treasury, including the rescue of Bear Stearns; the harrowing weekend when Lehman Brothers failed; the searing crucible of the AIG rescue as well as the furor over the firm’s lavish bonuses; the battles inside the Obama administration over his widely criticized but ultimately successful plan to end the crisis; and the bracing fight for the most sweeping financial reforms in more than seventy years. Secretary Geithner also describes the aftershocks of the crisis, including the administration’s efforts to address high unemployment, a series of brutal political battles over deficits and debt, and the drama over Europe’s repeated flirtations with the economic abyss.

Secretary Geithner is not a politician, but he has things to say about politics—the silliness, the nastiness, the toll it took on his family. But in the end, Stress Test is a hopeful story about public service. In this revealing memoir, Tim Geithner explains how America withstood the ultimate stress test of its political and financial systems.

From the Hardcover edition.

Title : Stress Test: Reflections on Financial Crises
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 0804138613
Edition Language : English
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 592 pages


Trish rated it ★★★★☆

May 29, 2014

Unelected Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner had more influence on the thoughts and motivations, successes and failures of ordinary Americans than Congress ever did in the years he was in office. While Congress played politics (and not very well at that), Geithner did a lot (some might sa...

Vicar rated it ★★★★☆

June 03, 2014

High Marks for Firefighting. Low Marks for Fire Prevention Thus far, I've managed to read about ninety percent of Secretary Geithner's new book, "Stress Test". At nearly six hundred pages, this tome is a first-hand account of the 2007 financial crisis that nearly upended the US financial system, f...

Stuart rated it ★★★★☆

May 19, 2014

Tim Geithner is one of few (very few) Beltway insiders I have ever followed on Youtube. He's an awkward but strangely captivating public speaker, a humble but competent bureaucrat who rises above the political theater of Washington to deliver pragmatic solutions to our economic woes, most often i...

Jean rated it ★★★★☆

June 04, 2014

I have read several books recently on the financial crisis we are just coming out of. I read “On the Brink” by Hank Paulson the former Secretary of Treasury, “House of Debt by Alif Mian and Amin Safi, economist, describes the large amount of empirical research done since 2008. Now I have read “St...

Edgar rated it ★★★★★

May 16, 2014

This is an important memoir by one of the most consequential cabinet officers of the first four years of Obama presidency. Geithner's main theme is the necessity of protecting the financial system in a full-blown financial crisis forces policy makers to take counter-intuitive measures, such as go...

Aloha rated it ★★★★☆

September 28, 2014

Highly recommend this to realize that getting things done in Washington is not as easy as you think, even when the financial world was on the verge of crumbling and the Great Depression seemed eminent. Checks and balances, political pressures and public ignorance all contribute to the difficulty....

Brad rated it ★★★★★

May 26, 2014

This was the heavy one of the trip – it took three days. Geithner has always been a cipher to me so I figured his autobiography and memoir on the financial crisis would help me understand him better. He did an amazing job with this book, both explaining what happened while explaining himself. The...

Mehrsa rated it ★★★★☆

July 06, 2014

If you’ve read the books and academic articles or even watched the movies about the financial crisis, you’ve mostly heard a unified and compelling narrative. On the cynical end, Geithner, Paulson, and Bernanke were Wall Street cronies in bed with the largest banks, the vampire squids like Goldman...

thewanderingjew rated it ★★☆☆☆

July 21, 2014

Stress Test, by Tim Geithner, was read by Mr. Geithner. He reads in an uneven tone of voice, often in a monotone, and truthfully, I fell asleep no less than three times during the time I listened to this book. I gave it two stars, which I consider a generous rating, only because of the effort expe...

Joseph rated it ★★★★★

June 27, 2014

I wish I had looked at the notes at the end before I read this book. It would have made it easier to follow. I read the Kindle edition and did not realize that the notes explained some of the terms that I actually took the time to check. The notes explained the terms better than several sources I...

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