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The Bankers' New Clothes:
What's Wrong with Banking and What to Do about It
Updated Edition
Anat Admati & Martin Hellwig
With a new preface by the authors

Anat Admati, One of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People for 2014
Winner of the 2013 PROSE Award in Business, Finance & Management, Association of American Publishers
Co-Winners of the 2014 Bronze Medal in Economics, Axiom Business Book Awards
One of BloombergBusinessweek Best Books of 2013, selected by Jason Furman (chairman of the U.S. Council of Economic Advisors)
One of Choice's Outstanding Academic Titles for 2013
One of The Wall Street Journal's Best Nonfiction Books of 2013
One of Financial Times ( Best Economics Books of 2013
Selected for the ‘Moyers & Company’ Recommended Books List 2014
Shortlisted for the 2013 Deutsche Wirtschaftsbuchpreis (German Business and Economics Book Award), sponsored by Handelsblatt, the Frankfurt Book Fair, and Goldman Sachs
Shortlisted for the 2013 Spear's Book Award in Business

Paperback | 2014 | $18.95 | £14.95 | ISBN: 9780691162386
424 pp. | 5 1/2 x 8 1/2 | 6 line illus. 4 tables.
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eBook | ISBN: 9781400851195 |
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(Admati on CBS News)

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(Admati on EconTalk)

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(Admati on Fox Business Network)

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(Admati on KALW Today on Your Call)

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(Admati on NPR Morning Edition)

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(Admati on Nightly Business Report)

(Anat Admati & Martin Hellwig,
Peterson Institute for International Economics)

(Anat Admati, Stanford Graduate School of Business)

The past few years have shown that risks in banking can impose significant costs on the economy. Many claim, however, that a safer banking system would require sacrificing lending and economic growth. The Bankers' New Clothes examines this claim and the narratives used by bankers, politicians, and regulators to rationalize the lack of reform, exposing them as invalid. Anat Admati and Martin Hellwig argue that we can have a safer and healthier banking system without sacrificing any of its benefits, and at essentially no cost to society. They seek to engage the broader public in the debate by cutting through the jargon of banking, clearing the fog of confusion, and presenting the issues in simple and accessible terms.


"Insightful."--Floyd Norris, New York Times

"[I]mportant."--John Cassidy,

"Crucial."--Jim Surowiecki,

"In their recent book, Anat Admati and Martin Hellwig convincingly make the case for much stronger and simpler borrowing limitations for banks."--Roger Alcaly, New York Review of Books

"Ms. Admati and Mr. Hellwig, top-notch academic financial economists, do understand the complexities of banking, and they helpfully slice through the bankers' self-serving nonsense. Demolishing these fallacies is the central point of The Bankers' New Clothes."--John Cochrane, Wall Street Journal

"Professor and journalist Admati and economic researcher Hellwig argue that it is possible to have a well-balanced banking system without any cost to society; weak regulations and lax enforcement is what caused the buildup of risk unleashed in the crisis. Here, they aim to demystify banking and expand the range of voices in the debate; encouraging people to form opinions and express doubts will ensure a healthier financial system as people understand the issues and influence policy. . . . The authors push for aggressive reform by outlining specific steps that can be taken to change our banking system for the better."--Publishers Weekly

"In a year of important books about the recent economic crisis, the most important one told us simply how to stop the next one."--Wall Street Journal, Best Nonfiction 2013 selection

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Table of Contents:

Preface to the Paperback Edition ix
Preface xiii
Acknowledgments xvii
1The Emperors of Banking Have No Clothes 1
PART I Borrowing, Banking, and Risk 15
2How Borrowing Magnifies Risk 17
3The Dark Side of Borrowing 32
4Is It Really "A Wonderful Life"? 46
5Banking Dominos 60
PART II The Case for More Bank Equity 79
6What Can Be Done? 81
7Is Equity Expensive? 100
8Paid to Gamble 115
9Sweet Subsidies 129
10Must Banks Borrow So Much? 148
PART III Moving Forward 167
11If Not Now, When? 169
12The Politics of Banking 192
13Other People’s Money 208
Notes 229
References 337
Index 363

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