A journalist's informed audit of the factors that brought America's S&Ls to grief. Where other annalists have focused on the predators whose buccaneering became a public scandal, Washington Post correspondent Day offers detailed, damningly documented perspectives on a wealth of political influences, putting paid to the notion that economic reverses, fraud, or junk bonds were primarily responsible for the solvency woes of thrift institutions. After providing a back-to- basics rundown on the industry's origins as a Washington-favored source of residential mortgages, she addresses the rush to deregulation that began toward the end of the Carter Administration and that set S&Ls on a slippery down-slope during the 1980's. Among other unintended consequences, Day points out, the introduction of laissez-faire triggered a scramble for brokered deposits and encouraged risky lending practices that soon resulted in soaring default rates. Though obviously in extremis by mid-decade, entrepreneurial thrifts were allowed to keep their difficulties under wraps. Day attributes the paucity of disclosure and seizures to a host of causes. To begin with, Reagan-era regulators were at least tacitly enjoined to avoid action that might increase budget deficits; accordingly, they endorsed stopgap measures as well as accounting gimmicks designed to help troubled associations weather interest-rate storms and, later, to paper over capital shortfalls. In the meantime, the author explains, S&L executives and their lobbyists kept pressure on lawmakers beholden to them because of campaign contributions. While the overdue tab run up by pillaged and incompetently supervised thrifts was finally presented to taxpayers following the 1988 presidential election, government agencies, Day cautions, are bungling the salvage operation mandated by 1989 bailout legislation; the meter is still running, she reports, and the reckoning could eventually reach $1 trillion or more. An unsparing and perceptive briefing on a pocketbook issue whose complexities appear beyond the grasp of mass media.

Pub Date: March 29, 1993

ISBN: 0-393-02982-4

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Norton

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 1993

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...



Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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From the national correspondent for PBS's MacNeil-Lehrer Newshour: a moving memoir of her youth in the Deep South and her role in desegregating the Univ. of Georgia. The eldest daughter of an army chaplain, Hunter-Gault was born in what she calls the ``first of many places that I would call `my place' ''—the small village of Due West, tucked away in a remote little corner of South Carolina. While her father served in Korea, Hunter-Gault and her mother moved first to Covington, Georgia, and then to Atlanta. In ``L.A.'' (lovely Atlanta), surrounded by her loving family and a close-knit black community, the author enjoyed a happy childhood participating in activities at church and at school, where her intellectual and leadership abilities soon were noticed by both faculty and peers. In high school, Hunter-Gault found herself studying the ``comic-strip character Brenda Starr as I might have studied a journalism textbook, had there been one.'' Determined to be a journalist, she applied to several colleges—all outside of Georgia, for ``to discourage the possibility that a black student would even think of applying to one of those white schools, the state provided money for black students'' to study out of state. Accepted at Michigan's Wayne State, the author was encouraged by local civil-rights leaders to apply, along with another classmate, to the Univ. of Georgia as well. Her application became a test of changing racial attitudes, as well as of the growing strength of the civil-rights movement in the South, and Gault became a national figure as she braved an onslaught of hostilities and harassment to become the first black woman to attend the university. A remarkably generous, fair-minded account of overcoming some of the biggest, and most intractable, obstacles ever deployed by southern racists. (Photographs—not seen.)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1992

ISBN: 0-374-17563-2

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1992

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