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Jimmy Stewart Is Dead: Ending the World's Ongoing Financial Plague with Limited Purpose Banking

ISBN: 978-0-470-60901-9
256 pages
February 2010
Jimmy Stewart Is Dead: Ending the World
Discover how the global financial plague is poised to return, and what can be done to stop it

This is not your father's financial system. Jimmy Stewart, the trustworthy, honest banker in the movie, It's a Wonderful Life, is dead. And so is his small-town bank, Bailey Savings & Loan. Instead, we're watching It's a Horrible Mess with Wall Street (aka the Vegas Strip) playing ever larger craps with our economy and our tax dollars.

This book, written by one of the world's most respected economist, describes in lively, humorous, simple, but also deadly serious terms the big con underlying the big game the web of interconnected financial, political, and regulatory malfeasance that culminated in financial meltdown and brought us to our economic knees. But it also proposes an amazingly simply solution Limited Purpose Banking to make Wall Street safe for Main Street.

  • This book, as well as the financial fix described within it, have received rave reviews from a veritable who's who of policymakers and economics, plus five economics Nobel Laureates
  • Written by a leading economist whose insights on this topic are unparalleled
  • Outlines the first and only proposal to fundamentally fix our financial disaster for good

Jimmy Stewart Is Dead will fundamentally change the way you think about the economy, financial markets, and the government.

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Foreword by Jeffrey Sachs.

Preface.

Acknowledgments.

Chapter 1. It’s a Horrible Mess.

Chapter 2. The Big Con: Financial Malfeasance, American Style.

Chapter 3. Uncle Sam’s Dangerous Medicine.

Chapter 4. “This Sucker Could Go Down”.

Chapter 5. Limited Purpose Banking.

Chapter 6. Getting from Here to There.

Chapter 7. What About?

Chapter 8. Conclusion.

Afterword. Fixing the Rest of Our Economic Mess.

Notes.

About the Author.

Index.

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LAURENCE J. KOTLIKOFF is a William Fairfield Warren Professor of Economics at Boston University, Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research, Fellow of the Econometric Society, and former Senior Economist, President's Council of Economic Advisers. Coauthor of The Coming Generational Storm and Spend 'Til the End and author of The Healthcare Fix, and Bloomberg columnist, Kotlikoff publishes extensively in the nation's leading newspapers, magazines, and financial websites on financial reform, taxes, saving, growth, deficits, Social Security, healthcare, pensions, and personal finance.
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"Kotlikoff has presented a thought-provoking proposal that merits attention in the debate over financial regulation."
—Kenneth Silber, FrumForum.com, March 2010

"Jimmy Stewart Is Dead makes for provocative reading. We certainly have squandered much of America's business and economic strength in the pursuit of personal gain and huge if not obscene bonuses. … It might just be easier to find another Jimmy Stewart. I'd call him Mr. Smith. And I'd ask him to go to Washington."
—Philip Moeller, U.S. News & World Report

"Kotlikoff grabs us by the collar, brilliantly unveiling the truth about our financial system. With scintillating arguments, vivid examples, and terrific wit, he offers a powerful reform that stops banks from gambling and restricts them to their legitimate purpose, 'connecting borrowers to lenders and savers to investors.' This is economics at its very best: deeply insightful and powerfully useful. It will change the global debate."
—JEFFREY SACHS, Director of The Earth Institute, Quetelet Professor of Development and Health Policy, Columbia University

"Financial reform needs something simple, clear, and, most of all, effective. Read this book to get and understand the answer."
—GEORGE SHULTZ, Distinguished Fellow, the Hoover Institution, former U.S. Secretary of the Treasury, and former U.S. Secretary of State

"At last! A real financial page-turner. Kotlikoff calls out the bad actors behind the financial crisis and nails them cold. But he also tells us how to prevent it from happening again. It's called Limited Purpose Banking. Anyone can read this book—and everyone should."
—SCOTT BURNS, Financial Columnist, Universal Press Syndicate

"Jimmy Stewart Is Dead is a page-turner, as fast-paced as The Simpsons, with new insights on every page. As fun as it is, Jimmy Stewart is also deadly serious. It describes our deep financial problems and offers an amazingly simple financial fix to prevent an even worse crash. Everyone should read this book."
—GEORGE AKERLOF, Koshland Professor of Economics, University of California at Berkeley, Nobel laureate in Economics

"Kotlikoff's book makes an impassioned, coherent, and convincing case for Limited Purpose Banking."
—ROBERT E. LUCAS, Jr., John Dewey Distinguished Professor of Economics, University of Chicago, Nobel laureate in Economics

"This book is 'must' reading for everyone who cares about the future of the American economy."?
—ROBERT W. FOGEL, Walgreen Distinguished Service Professor, University of Chicago, Nobel laureate in Economics

"Kotlikoff is right. Unless we institute fundamental reforms, there will be an even greater crisis. This well-written book is a must-read for those concerned with reforming the financial system."
—EDWARD C. PRESCOTT, W. P. Carey Chair in Economics, Arizona State University, Nobel laureate in Economics

"Certainly we need to abandon today's hazardous financial system. Kotlikoff's Limited Purpose Banking plan is one of the best visions to surface so far."
—EDMUND PHELPS, McVickar Professor of Political Economy, Columbia University, Nobel laureate in Economics

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