There are many people to thank for this book. Most importantly, I am grateful to my wife Martha Zaslow. She is a wonderful life partner and her encouragement and support mean much to me. I shall never forget Nepenthe and her enthusiasm about the book. Our sons, Benjamin and Joshua, and our daughter-in-law, Mirah, also have been wonderfully supportive over the years and in this effort.
The Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission learned many lessons about governance, management, and the financial crisis that are reflected in this book. The research staff, led by Greg Feldberg, fermented with ideas and discussions. The investigative staff, led by Chris Seefer, taught me much about conducting interviews and eliciting information. Many other members of the staff, including Hillary Allen, Tom Borgers, Brad Bondi, Ron Borzekowski, Al Crego, Vic Cunicelli, Jobe Danganan, Desi Duncker, Mike Easterly, Scott Ganz, Bob Hinkley, Carl McCarden, Joel Miller, Donna Norman, Steve Sanderford, Kim Shafer, Alexis Simendinger, Mina Simhai, Landon Stroebel, and Art Wilmarth, greatly contributed to my thinking and ideas that emerge in this book. It was a wonderful experience. I am deeply grateful to chairman Phil Angelides, Wendy Edelberg, and Tom Greene for bringing me on board. Chairman Angelides worked tirelessly and made a major national contribution with his dedication to place not only the Final Report but also important documents and interviews on the public record so that we can better understand the crisis and its causes. Thanks to the Commission, participants in the financial sector—CEOs, traders, risk officers, supervisors, and others—can speak in their own voices in this book.
There have been many reviewers of this book. Friends and colleagues who provided insights about chapters of this book include Gary Cohen, formerly general counsel of the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission who has returned to Los Angeles to continue his career as a transactions and private funds attorney; Gregory Feldberg, formerly research director at the Commission; Raymond Natter, former senior official of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and now a Washington financial services attorney; and Alex Pollock, formerly CEO of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago and now resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. Thanks for taking the time and being so thoughtful in your comments! Thanks too to Douglas D. Evanoff, vice president in the economic research department of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, who invited me to present some of my findings and conclusions to the Chicago Fed’s Conference on Bank Structure and Competition in 2011. He has been extremely supportive over the years and I am grateful.