Steps Test: Reflections on the Financial Crisis
by Timothy F. Geithner
Published in May 2014
Thibault’s Score: 3/5
Former Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner’s biography paints the story of an unimpressive bureaucrat swept away by the sheer power and magnitude of the 2008 financial crisis.
Geithner was the child of an employee of the Ford Foundation and an artist who grew up travelling across Asia. As an adult, he became a dull and obedient bureaucrat who worked hard, followed all of the rules, and made his way to the top of the financial hierarchy.
Geithner describes his time at the Federal Reserve of New York, and later at the Department of the Treasury. He comes off as a fearful and anxious individual, easily stressed and indecisive. A common reoccurring theme is that he cannot help but imagine that his own actions played a role in the crisis, although he argues that the crisis would have been far worse if not for his actions.
I was slightly disappointed that the book didn’t go into the economics of the Department of the Treasury’s decisions. The book was did paint a great portrait of the minds of the people in the government’s boardrooms.
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