By Simon Johnson, James Kwak
Regardless of its key position in developing the ruinous monetary concern of 2008, the yank banking has grown larger, extra ecocnomic, and extra immune to law than ever. Anchored by way of six megabanks whose resources volume to greater than 60 percentage of the country’s gross family product, this oligarchy proved it may first carry the worldwide economic climate hostage after which use its political muscle to struggle off significant reform. 13 Bankers brilliantly charts the increase to energy of the monetary area and forcefully argues that we needs to get a divorce the large banks if we wish to steer clear of destiny monetary catastrophes.
Updated, with new research of the government’s fresh try and reform the banking undefined, it is a well timed and professional account of our stricken political financial system.
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Extra resources for 13 Bankers: The Wall Street Takeover and the Next Financial Meltdown
Qxp 14 8/23/07 11:12 PM Page 14 Part I: Bond Appetit! S. Treasury bonds (guaranteed by the United States government) pay one interest rate, General Electric bonds pay another rate, and General Motors bonds pay yet another rate. Can you guess where you’ll get the highest rate of interest? You would expect the highest rate of interest to be paid by General Motors (currently a somewhat shaky company). Why? Because lending your money to GM involves some risk. If GM were to go bankrupt, you might lose a good chunk of your principal.
Qxp 18 8/23/07 11:12 PM Page 18 Part I: Bond Appetit! I also discuss the very complicated and often misunderstood concept of bond returns. S. Treasury bond yielding 6 percent, and you may hold it for 20 years, to full maturity. And yes, you’ll get your principal back, but you may actually get far more or far less than 6 percent interest on your money! It’s complicated, but I explain this variation in a way you can understand — I promise! — in Chapter 4. Introducing the Major Players in the Bond Market Every year, millions — yes, literally millions — of bonds are issued by thousands of different governments, government agencies, municipalities, financial institutions, and corporations.
Local businesses are also more likely to accept a check drawn on a local bank. Then there’s the “bank experience,” which may be especially important if you’re a parent. Each of my two children has a saving account at the corner bank, and they love going there for the free plate of cookies. At all savings banks in the United States, deposits are insured up to $100,000 by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). Even if the bank goes under, you’re covered. The interest rates paid by local banks tend to be very modest, more modest than those paid by most bonds.
13 Bankers: The Wall Street Takeover and the Next Financial Meltdown by Simon Johnson, James Kwak