Three books, three different views on the financial crisis. But what is clear is that changing the system will take time—and that our best hope is simplicityby Jonathan Ford / April 26, 2010 / Leave a comment
Published in May 2010 issue of Prospect Magazine
Some of the 13 bankers who asked Obama for help: where are they all now?
by Simon Johnson and James Kwak (Pantheon, £17.48)
The Big Short
by Michael Lewis (Allen Lane, £25)
by John Lanchester (Allen Lane, £20)
In March 2009, 13 bankers went to the White House to ask President Obama for help. Among them were the chief executives of America’s biggest financial firms: Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, Bank of America and Morgan Stanley. The banking system was still in crisis, the shares of many institutions were at dangerous lows. The bankers got what they wanted. Obama, new to the job, did what was needed to restore confidence. In return he hoped that the bankers would not pay fat bonuses and would support his plans to overhaul financial regulation. The message that came out of the meeting was clear. As the bankers stood on the White House steps, they repeated the same mantra: “We’re all in this together.”