Stress Test: Reflections on Financial Crises by Timothy F. Geithner
Tim Geithner provides another insider’s perspective, serving as the Secretary of the Treasury from 2008 after Hank Paulson. However, Geithner’s account is different. He was one of the few who had a history of public service, and so could discuss 2008 within the context of his experiences with crises in the 1990’s while at the New York Fed. His writing style is also more brutally honest, and he does not pull any punches in explaining the terrifying conditions they had to face and describing the policy makers they had to deal with.
A History of the United States in Five Crashes: Stock Market Meltdowns That Defined a Nation by Scott Nations
Scott Nations is a longtime trader, financial engineer, and CNBC contributor. In his book, he recounts, with a good amount of drama, the conditions and events that were behind the five significant stock market crashes that occurred since the beginning of the 20th century. Nations is able to identify specific situations linked to each crash and shows how crashes are linked to each other. Ultimately, the painful lessons they’ve provided have made us stronger, by giving us direction as to how to avoid making these mistakes in the future.
The Lost Bank: The Story of Washington Mutual — The Biggest Bank Failure in American History by Kirsten Grind
Kirsten Grind tells the story of how Washington Mutual, a onetime smallish bank based in Seattle, managed to build itself up to a major financial institution with billions in assets, only to lose it all during the housing crisis because of unscrupulous mortgage practices. She gives a gripping account of the events through this tragedy’s primary players: the bankers, the home buyers and the lenders, the accountants and lawyers, and the shareholders. As a result of her reporting on this story from the beginning, Grind was named a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and the Gerald Loeb Award. This is the one book where you walk away with feelings of sympathy for the people who were involved.