Books shed light on financial crisis

Wall Street’s historic district, with the New York Stock Exchange on the right and the JP Morgan & Co. building on the left. (CC Photo from epicharmus’ Flickr account.)

In today’s Wall Street Journal, Simon Johnson explains what three new books about the financial crisis tell us.

(Simon Johnson is co-founder of the blog BaselineScenario, co-author of “13 Bankers,” to be published in April, and a professor at MIT’s Sloan School of Management.)

Wall Street executives “won,” Johnson said. They “kept their jobs, their bonuses and their pensions; they benefited from unprecedented rule changes and unlimited monetary and fiscal support; and their firms became even bigger and more dangerous to the economic health of society.”

Johnson explains that Andrew Haldane, head of financial stability at the Bank of England, “has become blunt about the way our banking system interacts with (and rips off) taxpayers.” Johnson quotes Haldane in a recent paper:

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