Unfinished Business The Unexplored Causes of the Financial Crisis and the Lessons Yet to be Learned Tamim Bayoumi

Publication date:
11 Sep 2018
Yale University Press
296 pages: 197 x 127mm
54 b-w figs.


A penetrating critique tracing how under-regulated trading between European and U.S. banks led to the 2008 financial crisis—with a prescription for preventing another meltdown

There have been numerous books examining the 2008 financial crisis from either a U.S. or European perspective. Tamim Bayoumi is the first to explain how the Euro crisis and U.S. housing crash were, in fact, parasitically intertwined.
Starting in the 1980s, Bayoumi outlines the cumulative policy errors that undermined the stability of both the European and U.S. financial sectors, highlighting the catalytic role played by European mega banks that exploited lax regulation to expand into the U.S. market and financed unsustainable bubbles on both continents. U.S. banks increasingly sold sub-par loans to under-regulated European and U.S. shadow banks and, when the bubbles burst, the losses whipsawed back to the core of the European banking system. A much-needed, fresh look at the origins of the crisis, Bayoumi’s analysis concludes that policy makers are ignorant of what still needs to be done both to complete the cleanup and to prevent future crises.

Tamim Bayoumi is deputy director in the strategy, policy, and review department at the IMF. He wrote this book while he was a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics. He lives in Washington, DC.

“The healthiest impact from Unfinished Business, Tamim Bayoumi’s well-written polemic, could be to give [the financial crisis] a new name. For him, this was the north Atlantic financial crisis. Created jointly in the US and western Europe, it also had its worst effects in these areas.”—John Authers, Financial Times

“A worthwhile and occasionally bracing analysis of all that went wrong, of the terrible cost and of all that remains to be done.”—Paschal Donohoe, Irish Minister for Finance, Irish Times

“This book about the causes and possible cures for the Great Financial Crisis has many excellent parts. . . Lots of fresh, sensible thinking about what went wrong and on international monetary economics.”—Charles Goodhart, Financial World

“Bayoumi has succeeded in saying something both new and true about the financial crisis of 2007-12 in this important book.”—Martin Wolf, Books of the Year 2017: Economics, Financial Times