Reviews for Bull By The Horns : Fighting To Save Main Street From Wall Street and Wall Street From Itself

Book News Reviews
In her account of how the US government dealt with the financial mess at the core of the Great Recession, Bair, the chair of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp (FDIC) from 2006-2011, dispels myths and gives her account of the key players' roles. Bair, who grew up on "main street" in rural Kansas, shares her belated qualms about the bank bailouts, and revelations regarding how the government and the big banks' regulator worked to protect them against greater regulation. Annotation ©2013 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (

Choice Reviews 2013 March
In her unremitting, vitriolic attack directed primarily (but not exclusively) at Timothy Geithner (secretary of the US Treasury when this review went to press, and president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York during the recent global financial crisis), Bair exposes much of the infighting in regulatory policy as well as a vindictiveness that perhaps comes with her controversial role during the crisis and its aftermath. Whether Bair's account from her years (2006-11) as chair of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) is accurate is a matter for future historians. (A few critics have already questioned the veracity of many of her recollections.) Nevertheless, Bair's book raises once again an old but unresolved question: should US financial regulation, presently distributed among multiple financial industry regulators, be consolidated into a single regulatory authority, or should the current organizational disarray be perpetuated? On the one hand, the latter option enabled Bair to vigorously pursue FDIC's specific mandates, and thus speaks emphatically for a checks-and-balances approach. On the other hand, decisions by committee are rarely optimal, and compromising is always time-consuming, which suggests that a single head (such as the UK's Financial Services Authority, which is presently being dismantled, or Japan's Financial Services Agency) is preferable. Summing Up: Recommended. All collections. General Readers; Lower-division Undergraduates; Upper-division Undergraduates; Graduate Students; Researchers/Faculty; Professionals/Practitioners. J. Prager New York University Copyright 2013 American Library Association.