The Savings and Loan Crisis: Lessons from a Regulatory Failure sets the record straight about what actually happened to our banking institutions in the 1980s. As is documented by the highly respected and diverse group of former regulators, scholars and practitioners contributing to this book, the collapse of this industry was caused by a confluence of adverse economic conditions and misguided regulatory decisions. Poorly designed deposit insurance, faulty supervision, and restrictions on investments prevented savings and loans from adapting to a changing financial marketplace. Unable to use financial innovations, savings and loans could not hedge interest rate and credit risks. These factors blocked portfolio diversification and lay at the root of the crisis. The savings and loan crisis was an accident, but it was an avoidable one. Most of the factors responsible for causing and exacerbating the industry's problems were preventable, as is made clear in this volume. This book also provides an insider's view of the transformation of the financial services industry in the United States since the 1980s: how the managers and owners make decisions about product offerings and investments; how the regulators monitor performance and enforce the rules; and how Congress and the Administration influence and are influenced by the financial services industry. Lastly, it focuses attention on the lessons that should have been learned from this difficult period in the history of U.S. banking, and that should help prevent future banking crises everywhere.
The Investment Perspective revisits the ancient story of three men and the fateful gift that would shape their destinies. Compelled by their benefactor to engage in a game of chance, they are torn between two motives so old as to transcend culture, race, religion and time. Their choice and ours, when faced with the same struggle, is of such consequence as to make all other questions shrink in comparison. This book seeks to shed light on this common perplexity and to follow its ramifications to their ultimate end. While its message has sober implications, it is intended to give hope and encouragement toward a simple course which if pursued, will yield dividends of meaningfulness, significance and ultimately, joy.
For most Americans, the savings and loan industry is defined by the fraud, ineptitude and failures of the 1980s. However, these events overshadow a long history in which thrifts played a key role in helping thousands of households buy homes. First appearing in the 1830s savings and loans, then known as building and loans, encourage their working-class members to adhere to the principles of thrift and mutual co-operation as a way to achieve the 'American Dream' of home ownership. This book traces the development of this industry from its origins as a movement of a loosely affiliated collection of institutions into a major element of America's financial markets. It also analyses how diverse groups of Americans, including women, ethnic Americans and African Americans, used thrifts to improve their lives and elevate their positions in society. Finally the overall historical perspective sheds new light on the events of the 1980s and analyses the efforts to rehabilitate the industry in the 1990s.
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