Ben S. Bernanke, Timothy F. Geithner, Henry M. Paulson Jr.
MixedLos Angeles Review of BooksFirefighting is mercifully short and succinct, yet all the key elements of the chronicle are here ... The book is also surprisingly well-written ... However, for those who followed the crisis more closely the interest does not lie in new information, of which there is really none, but in how the authors assess their own efforts with the benefit of hindsight. Needless to say, they think they got it mostly right, while honourably admitting they had to scramble and improvise given the opacity of the financial sector when the crisis started and the speed at which previously unthinkable events unfolded ... No doubt these policymakers did a solid job in extraordinarily challenging circumstances. Their policies worked, and they worked rather well. But they were not the only policies available, nor do their choices have a strong claim to being the best ones...What they do not seriously consider is whether their policies to restart credit flows could have worked even with a less bailout-friendly approach, saving both money and political anger. These are the ideological blind spots revealed by reading Firefighting between the lines.