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Friday, July 14, 2017

Essays on the Financial Crisis

The financial crisis that peaked in the United States during the fall of 2008 is an excellent case study of what can go wrong with leadership and corporate governance in business, financial ethics, government regulation directed both to the firm level and that of the financial system itself, and legal accountability for the culprits. The collection of essays begins with a series of essays on Lehman Brothers, with particular attention on its last CEO, Richard Fuld. Given the fraud surrounding subprime-mortgage bonds at numerous banks, the second part of the book looks at why legal accountability was so elusive in the United States. Weaknesses in the financial regulation, with particular attention to whether agencies had been captured by their respective regulated firms, comprises the third part. The fourth part examines the culpability of the Federal Reserve Bank, which had perhaps been too close to its regulated banks to anticipate the crisis. The book concludes with essays on why business ethics had been so very weak. The careful reader will take from the book a sense that the financial system remained vulnerable even after government attempts to reduce the systemic risks of a big bank going under.