Former Federal Reserve chair Alan Greenspan recently said that the risk management paradigm is broken; thus our understanding of financial regulation no longer makes sense. More generally, the recent financial crisis obliges us to rethink the relationships among "financial markets" and "governments."
In Out of Crisis financial analyst David Westbrook illuminates the intellectual, business, and policy errors that have led us into the present morass. Through a vivid legal and political analysis he shows how the ideologies of the right and left have distorted financial thinking and policy. The book sketches the emergence of a new understanding of risk management and bureaucratic regulation that can be gained by learning from these errors. Out of Crisis begins the tasks of rethinking the structures that constitute financial markets and exploring how such structures may be strengthened. By taking responsibility for the markets we build to do so much of our society's work, we may yet become mature capitalists.
"With Out of Crisis, David Westbrook has written a
characteristically rich, critical and original narrative of the
financial prevailing economic calamities and what to learn from
– Larry Cunningham, George Washington University
"The recent crisis involved an extraordinary sequence of
financial market failures. … David Westbrook employs
wide-ranging social science skills to make us aware of this wider
context, and thereby to see markets, and their occasional failures,
in a new light. Fascinating, original, and illuminating."
– Charles Goodhart, London School of Economics and Political Science
"As a matter of political theory, then, Westbrook suggests we
break out of the conventional analytical dichotomy between
emphasizing one or the other of "the (free) market" and "the
(regulating) government." Rather, markets themselves are one mode
of shared governance and they should be deliberately and
democratically constructed to achieve certain societal goals and
avoid certain perils. This is the greatest contribution of Bert's
– Lyman Johnson, Washington and Lee University
"This, I believe, is an important book for our times."
– Nick Krafft, Open Economics
"Westbrook draws on his wide knowledge of law, finance, literary
theory, cultural anthropology, and political history to guide us
through our recent disaster and introduce us to the looming hazard
of having lost an elite consensus on which policy and day-to-day
business is predicated."
– Mae Kuykendall, Michigan State University
"Westbrook's book . . . provides clear elucidation on the shaky
foundations on which our financial system was built . . . .
Westbrook points to the need for a rethink of finance and suggests
in this respect a better interdisciplinary dialogue between law and
– Rosa Lastra, Queen Mary, University of London, in International Finance, Summer 2010.
"Professor Westbrook's fascinating new book is not just an
exegesis of the recent financial crisis – it is a compelling
and entertaining diatribe against some of the sacred cows of
finance, among them the notions that markets are presumed
efficient, corporations can self-regulate, sophistication matters,
risk management reduces risk, and securities regulation makes
– Frank Partnoy, University of San Diego and author of Infectious Greed: How Deceit and Risk Corrupted the Financial Markets
Though short, this book contains much to help the reader begin
to understand fully what happened and why. If I could put a copy in
the briefcase of every financial regulator and executive in the
world, I would.
– Richard Whelan, Irish Times, April 12, 2010
Purchase from Paradigm Publishers