A primer that, for all its occasional oversimplification, provides valuable perspectives on the past, present, and, possibly, future of the US financial system. Crawford (a financial consultant) and Sihler (Business Administration/Univ. of Virginia) reject the notion that the domestic financial system is in crisis, or even real danger. Indeed, they make a persuasive case that the traditional network encompassing commercial banks, thrift institutions, insurance companies, and brokerage/investment-banking houses is undergoing convulsive change. The old order, the authors argue, is giving way to a new one composed of pension funds, mutual funds, the well- heeled subsidiaries of nonfinancial enterprises, and money- management firms. Charting the goods and services that have taken the initiative from established sources, Crawford and Sihler discuss: so-called shelf registrations, which allow securities issuers to minimize the use of underwriters; mutual funds and pension pools that let professionals serve the savings as well as investment needs of growing numbers of individuals; the development of financial futures markets; the securitization of loans; and the emergence of an investment advisory. In addition to generally astute commentary on the welter of reform/restructuring proposals now on the national agenda, the authors offer some common-sense suggestions of their own. Noting that government and its regulatory authorities tend to guard the status quo, they point out that oversight might be more effective if exercised along functional rather than industry lines (which are fast blurring). In like vein, they advocate a more competitive and equitable system that would put paid to costly and misguided efforts to bail out relics like small-town banks that, for the most part, have been overtaken by demand-driven events. A generally informed and informative text with helpful charts and graphs throughout.

Pub Date: Nov. 25, 1991

ISBN: 0-88730-515-6

Page Count: 256

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 1991

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This early reader is an excellent introduction to the March on Washington in 1963 and the important role in the march played by Martin Luther King Jr. Ruffin gives the book a good, dramatic start: “August 28, 1963. It is a hot summer day in Washington, D.C. More than 250,00 people are pouring into the city.” They have come to protest the treatment of African-Americans here in the US. With stirring original artwork mixed with photographs of the events (and the segregationist policies in the South, such as separate drinking fountains and entrances to public buildings), Ruffin writes of how an end to slavery didn’t mark true equality and that these rights had to be fought for—through marches and sit-ins and words, particularly those of Dr. King, and particularly on that fateful day in Washington. Within a year the Civil Rights Act of 1964 had been passed: “It does not change everything. But it is a beginning.” Lots of visual cues will help new readers through the fairly simple text, but it is the power of the story that will keep them turning the pages. (Easy reader. 6-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-448-42421-5

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Grosset & Dunlap

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2000

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Noted jazz and pop record producer Thiele offers a chatty autobiography. Aided by record-business colleague Golden, Thiele traces his career from his start as a ``pubescent, novice jazz record producer'' in the 1940s through the '50s, when he headed Coral, Dot, and Roulette Records, and the '60s, when he worked for ABC and ran the famous Impulse! jazz label. At Coral, Thiele championed the work of ``hillbilly'' singer Buddy Holly, although the only sessions he produced with Holly were marred by saccharine strings. The producer specialized in more mainstream popsters like the irrepressibly perky Teresa Brewer (who later became his fourth wife) and the bubble-machine muzak-meister Lawrence Welk. At Dot, Thiele was instrumental in recording Jack Kerouac's famous beat- generation ramblings to jazz accompaniment (recordings that Dot's president found ``pornographic''), while also overseeing a steady stream of pop hits. He then moved to the Mafia-controlled Roulette label, where he observed the ``silk-suited, pinky-ringed'' entourage who frequented the label's offices. Incredibly, however, Thiele remembers the famously hard-nosed Morris Levy, who ran the label and was eventually convicted of extortion, as ``one of the kindest, most warm-hearted, and classiest music men I have ever known.'' At ABC/Impulse!, Thiele oversaw the classic recordings of John Coltrane, although he is the first to admit that Coltrane essentially produced his own sessions. Like many producers of the day, Thiele participated in the ownership of publishing rights to some of the songs he recorded; he makes no apology for this practice, which he calls ``entirely appropriate and without any ethical conflicts.'' A pleasant, if not exactly riveting, memoir that will be of most interest to those with a thirst for cocktail-hour stories of the record biz. (25 halftones, not seen)

Pub Date: May 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-19-508629-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Oxford Univ.

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1995

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