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Back from the Brink: 1000 Days at Number 11 (English Edition)
 
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Back from the Brink: 1000 Days at Number 11 (English Edition) [Format Kindle]

Alistair Darling
4.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (1 commentaire client)

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Présentation de l'éditeur

In the late summer of 2007, shares of Northern Rock went into free-fall, causing a run on the bank - the first in over 150 years. Northern Rock proved to be only the first. Twelve months later, as the world was engulfed in the worst banking crisis for more than a century, one of its largest banks, RBS, came within hours of collapse.

Back from the Brink tells the gripping story of Alistair Darling's one thousand days in Number 11 Downing Street. As Chancellor, he had to avert the collapse of RBS hours before the cash machines would have ceased to function; at the eleventh hour, he stopped Barclays from acquiring Lehman Brothers in order to protect UK taxpayers; he used anti-terror legislation to stop Icelandic banks from withdrawing funds from Britain. From crisis talks in Washington, to dramatic meetings with the titans of international banking, to dealing with the massive political and economic fallout in the UK, Darling places the reader in the rooms where the destinies of millions weighed heavily on the shoulders of a few. His book is also a candid account of life in the Downing Street pressure cooker and his relationship with Gordon Brown during the last years of New Labour.

Back from the Brink is a vivid and immediate depiction of the British government's handling of an unprecedented global financial catastrophe. Alistair Darling's knowledge and understanding provide a unique perspective on the events that rocked international capitalism. It is also a vital historical document.


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4.0 étoiles sur 5 ANOTHER PERSPECTIVE 3 mai 2014
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
If you want to find out more about what was happening during Labour's last days in office, this is for you. Well-written and absorbing account.
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Amazon.com: 3.8 étoiles sur 5  5 commentaires
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3.0 étoiles sur 5 Has promise, but feels rambling and disjointed 16 septembre 2011
Par David Finnigan - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
Having read both 'On The Brink' and 'Too Big To Fail', I wasn't expecting to learn a whole lot of new stuff from this book, but I was nonetheless looking foward to a Euro-centric view on the GFC. Unfortunately, the book seems less about the GFC and more about the politics and performance of the then ruling Labour party. Fair enough, but I guess I was expecting something more along the lines of these other books.

Reading this book is a frustrating experience, too, as he chops and changes all the time. He'll start describing how he was dealing with a bank crisis, then suddenly switch to backgrounding some internal debate within the Labour party happening at the same time, and then when he comes back to saving the bank - voila! - it's all resolved without really explaining what happened in any detail. The two books mentioned above were much more clearly laid out, with chapters and sections being chronological and staying on topic - if only 'Back from the Brink' were the same....
2.0 étoiles sur 5 Great opportunity wasted 4 juillet 2014
Par Spelga - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
This was a great opportunity wasted. It read more like "What Alistair did next". Rather than reflecting on the positions of the major players, how policy was reached, how decisions were enacted, etc. - it is a chronicle of 'I' and 'me'. Very disappointing, especially for a player at the heart of a major global crisis.
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5.0 étoiles sur 5 More Than A Diary of Meetings 12 septembre 2011
Par John F. Leamons - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
As head of the UK Treasury from June 2007 until a few days after the Labour Party's electoral defeat in May 2010, Alistair Darling played a key role in the attempt by the world's central bankers and finance ministers to manage the financial crisis, a crisis that erupted within a month of his taking office. This book offers an insider's perspective on the crisis and a great deal more. The artful way in which the narrative is structured allows Darling to work in all sorts of asides without seeming to ramble. The reader learns something of Darling's family--several generations of it--and his political career; the Treasury's budget process; the means by which Labour politicians attempt to reconcile politics and policy; the differences amongst the UK, EU, US, France and China with respect to governmental process; the peculiar physical layout of Numbers 10-12, Downing Street; how the Chancellor of the Exchequer did his own grocery shopping and cooking, and stacked his own dishwasher; and the author's difficult relations with the Bank of England's governor, Mervyn King, and with Gordon Brown, who had himself headed the Treasury until he showed Tony Blair the door of Number 10.

In taking shots at King and Brown, Darling is careful. Although he implies that King took the Bank of England into politics and sided with the Conservatives ahead of the election, he says merely that King "came far too close to ... appearing to side with the Tories." He suggests that King leaked information to the Conservatives but does not flatly accuse him of having done so. Darling's criticisms of Brown are often couched as criticisms of Brown's advisers, whom Darling refers to as "attack dogs." The book contains a fair amount of praise for Brown, but one gets the impression that this has been included in order to make the account seem balanced and thereby add weight to the criticisms. Darling is on firm ground in claiming that he saw earlier than Brown that the recession would be bad and hard to shake. And it is incontestable that when the Conservatives took office they greatly augmented the power of the Bank of England.

The book's drier passages are relieved by bright anecdotes and observations, and many of the book's zingers are appropriately targeted and quite effective. Again and again Darling expresses his incredulity at the arrogance, cupidity and blindness of bankers. And he expresses surprise, or feigns it, at the strange machinery which passes for government in the United States.

In a particularly effective passage Darling explains in very simple language why austerity is bad policy in a time of recession.

Darling's account of the Lehman Brothers weekend (September 12-14, 2008) differs from that given by Henry Paulson in his book, ON THE BRINK. We will never know what really happened on Lehman Brothers weekend but, for what it's worth, the account in BACK FROM THE BRINK seems more plausible than the one in ON THE BRINK. (We'll have to wait a bit for OVER THE BRINK, in which Ben Bernanke will tell the story of being Fed chief during the Perry administration.)

Gordon Brown may be a force of nature and Mervyn King may be a careful thinker, but you wouldn't want to spend a lot of time with either. In these pages you will enjoy spending a couple of hours with Alistair Darling. He seems like a nice guy. And he may have had the best seat in the house for the biggest show of the century so far.
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5.0 étoiles sur 5 One of the best autobiographies 13 septembre 2011
Par Mr. Samuel Forbes - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
Of all the autobiographies I have read, this has to be one of the most impressive. As well as giving an account of the post Blair-Government led by Prime Minister Gordon Brown and yet another candid insight into the New Labour project, crucially, this book captures the seriousness of the credit crunch and the actions taken by the British Government to avert complete disaster.

It is difficult to comprehend the significance of the unfolding crisis, and the never ending news of yet more calamity as banks neared collapse and countries flirted with default. But what is clear is the sense of Churchillian action and bravery that was needed in order to prevent the complete collapse of the British and world economy.

This book gave me an insight into the nuances and complexity of the crisis. But it also left me with a sense of grieving too. New Labour's accomplishments were many. Yet I couldn't help feel that its potential was not fully realised as a result of the style of Gordon's involvement in the Cabinet, a style that gently eroded during the first 3/4 of New Labour's time in power but soon escalated into self destruction during the last few years leading up to the coalition government. Perhaps this is unfair and more to do with the culture that was allowed to develop because of the leadership style in place. Nonetheless, what a pity that a Government that was coming of age was soon let down by seemingly adolescent behaviour.

In many ways, the reader is left with both enormous respect for the legacy of the New Labour government and the actions taken by Alistair during the financial crisis, but also by a sense of significant lost opportunity.

I suspect that New Labour will be remembered for as much as its lost potential as it will be for its positive impact on the British people.
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Four Stars 19 juillet 2014
Par Robert England - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié|Achat vérifié
Good read
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