Not only is free-market capitalism good for the economy, says John A. Allison, it is our only hope for recovery. As the nation’s longest-serving CEO of a top-25 financial institution, Allison has had a unique inside view of the events leading up to the financial crisis. He has seen the direct effect of government incentives on the real estate market and how government regulations only make matters worse. In this provocative book, he discusses why regulation is bad for the market and for the world, what we can do to promote a healthy free market, how we can help end unemployment in America, the truth about TARP and the bailouts, and how Washington keeps entrepreneurs from building a better future for everyone. With shrewd insight, alarming insider details, and practical advice for today’s leaders, this analysis is nothing less than a call to arms. Allison explains how government incentives helped expand the real estate bubble to unsustainable proportions, how financial tools such as derivatives have been wrongly blamed for the crash, and how Congress fails to understand that it should not try to control the market — and then completely mismanages it when it tries.
Before assuming the presidency of the Cato Institute on October 1, Allison served as chairman of BB&T from 1989 to 2009, during which it grew from $4.5 billion in assets to $152 billion, becoming America’s 10th-largest financial services institution. After his retirement, he served as a distinguished professor at the Wake Forest University Schools of Business. Allison received a Lifetime Achievement Award from American Banker and was named one of the decade’s 100 most successful CEOs by Harvard Business Review.