Surprised Again!--The Covid Crisis and the New Market Bubble (Paperback)
"What will not surprise you is the wisdom, wit, and insight that Alex Pollock and Howard Adler bring to this indispensable guide to financial prophecy. The future may be a closed book, but you must open--and read--this one."--James Grant, Grant's Interest Rate Observer"This book serves as an excellent introduction to modern economics and monetary policy, presenting it cleaner than in any textbook, and with a complete absence of pedantry."--Law & Liberty "Surprised Again will demystify finance for students and give experts a deeper understanding of things they thought they knew."--Christopher DeMuth, Distinguished Fellow, Hudson Institute and former President, American Enterprise Institute
"A masterful survey of the financial sector and its post-COVID dependence on easy money from the Federal Reserve. This book is the first place to turn for a clear exposition of key financial topics--housing, municipal debt, pension funds, student loans, cryptocurrencies, and more. The reader will be surprised yet again at the extent of financial problems lurking below the surface."--Thomas H. Stanton, Johns Hopkins University
About every ten years, we are surprised by a financial crisis. In 2020, we were Surprised Again by the financial panic of the spring triggered by the Covid-19 pandemic. Not one of the 30 official systemic risk studies developed in 2019 had even hinted at this financial crisis as a possibility, or at the frightening economic contraction which resulted from the political responses to control the virus. In response came the unprecedented government fiscal and monetary expansions and bailouts. Later 2020 brought a second big surprise: the appearance of an amazing boom in asset prices, including stocks, houses, and cryptocurrencies.
Alex Pollock and Howard Adler lived through this historic instability while serving as senior officials of the U.S. Department of the Treasury. Their book lays out the many elements of the panic and its aftermath, from the massive elastic currency operations which rode to the rescue by financing the bust with unprecedented government debt, to the consequent asset price boom, which included a renewed bubble in house prices financed by government guarantees. It considers key leveraged sectors such as commercial real estate, student loans, pension funds, banks, and the government itself. It reflects on how to understand these events both in retrospect and prospect.
About the Author
AlexJ. Pollock is a Senior Fellow of the Mises Instituteand the author of Finance and Philosophy: Why We're Always Surprised (Paul Dry Books) and Boom and Bust: Financial Cycles and Human Prosperity. He wasPrincipal Deputy Director of the Office of Financial Research, U.S. Treasury, from November 2019 to February 2021, and has been a fellow of the R StreetInstitute and the American Enterprise Institute, president and CEO of theFederal Home Loan Bank of Chicago, and a director of CME Group, AscendiumEducation Group, and the Great Books Foundation. Pollock's work includes the studyof financial systems and their recurring crises; the politics of finance, risk, and uncertainty; central banking; and housing finance. He is a graduate ofWilliams College, the University of Chicago, and Princeton University, and helives in Lake Forest, Illinois. Howard B. Adler is an attorney andformer government official. From May 2019 through January 2021, he served asDeputy Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for the Financial StabilityOversight Council, where he was responsible for monitoring the financialstability of the United States during the first year of the Covid-19 crisis. Hewas awarded the Treasury's Distinguished Service Award for his efforts by theSecretary of the Treasury. Mr. Adler was a partner for over thirty years in theGibson, Dunn & Crutcher, LLP law firm, where he served as co-head of boththe firm's Corporate Transactional Practice Group and REIT Practice Group.Prior to joining Gibson Dunn, he served as Executive Vice President and GeneralCounsel of The Riggs National Bank of Washington, D.C. Mr. Adler has alsoserved as the Treasurer of the Washington, D.C. Bar and on the Board ofGoverning Trustees of American Ballet Theatre. He is a graduate of Johns HopkinsUniversity and New York University School of Law, and he lives in theWashington, D.C. area.