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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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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Possibly inspired by the letters Cleary has received as a children's author, this begins with second-grader Leigh Botts' misspelled fan letter to Mr. Henshaw, whose fictitious book itself derives from the old take-off title Forty Ways W. Amuse a Dog. Soon Leigh is in sixth grade and bombarding his still-favorite author with a list of questions to be answered and returned by "next Friday," the day his author report is due. Leigh is disgruntled when Mr. Henshaw's answer comes late, and accompanied by a set of questions for Leigh to answer. He threatens not to, but as "Mom keeps nagging me about your dumb old questions" he finally gets the job done—and through his answers Mr. Henshaw and readers learn that Leigh considers himself "the mediumest boy in school," that his parents have split up, and that he dreams of his truck-driver dad driving him to school "hauling a forty-foot reefer, which would make his outfit add up to eighteen wheels altogether. . . . I guess I wouldn't seem so medium then." Soon Mr. Henshaw recommends keeping a diary (at least partly to get Leigh off his own back) and so the real letters to Mr. Henshaw taper off, with "pretend," unmailed letters (the diary) taking over. . . until Leigh can write "I don't have to pretend to write to Mr. Henshaw anymore. I have learned to say what I think on a piece of paper." Meanwhile Mr. Henshaw offers writing tips, and Leigh, struggling with a story for a school contest, concludes "I think you're right. Maybe I am not ready to write a story." Instead he writes a "true story" about a truck haul with his father in Leigh's real past, and this wins praise from "a real live author" Leigh meets through the school program. Mr. Henshaw has also advised that "a character in a story should solve a problem or change in some way," a standard juvenile-fiction dictum which Cleary herself applies modestly by having Leigh solve his disappearing lunch problem with a burglar-alarmed lunch box—and, more seriously, come to recognize and accept that his father can't be counted on. All of this, in Leigh's simple words, is capably and unobtrusively structured as well as valid and realistic. From the writing tips to the divorced-kid blues, however, it tends to substitute prevailing wisdom for the little jolts of recognition that made the Ramona books so rewarding.

Pub Date: Aug. 22, 1983

ISBN: 143511096X

Page Count: 133

Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Oct. 16, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 1983

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