Books by Oonagh McDonald
Cryptocurrencies: Money, Trust and Regulation
The advent of new digital currencies has challenged our notions about money, its function and purpose and our faith in the financial and banking structures that underpin its legitimacy. Oonagh McDonald examines the challenges, opportunities and threats that cryptocurrencies pose to existing fiat currencies and their potential to change how global finance operates.
Beginning with Bitcoin, she charts the rise of cryptocurrencies over the past decade, including the failures of existing regulatory frameworks and the many fradulent initial coin offerings. The potential for Libra, Facebook’s blockchain-based payment system, is considered in depth. The book examines the motivations of central banks as they become increasingly interested in the opportunities for an alternative global stable digital currency and assesses their experiments with blockchain, smart contracts and digital tokens. The future of cash is also considered. The book concludes that notions of trust and credit will ultimately protect commercial bank money from the threat of new digital currencies.
Holding Bankers to Account
In the wake of the financial crisis, the UK finally introduced the Senior Managers Regime, designed to put the onus on chief executives and directors when staff are found guilty of serious rule-breaking on their watch. As Macdonald rightly says, it should have been there when Barings collapsed, and certainly should have been put in place in the aftermath. The test now will be whether the SMR — and its equivalents around the world — serves the twin purpose of deterring wrongdoing and holding miscreants to account when deterrence fails.
‘Finally an authoritative and balanced account of LIBOR, foreign exchange and precious metals price-fixing scandals, written by a scholar deeply familiar with financial market transactions and their history.’…Oonagh McDonald ‘pinpoints the weaknesses in internal governance and external regulation that corrupted these markets, and offer a compelling roadmap for reform.'
-- Professor Charles Calomiris, Columbia Business School
'Oonagh McDonald has produced another forensic inquiry into the workings of the financial markets. Her deeply researched book into misbehavior on the part of bans and other institutions in the LIBOR and FOREX markets deserve to be read by everyone concerned with well-behaved markets.'
-- Lord Meghnad Desai
'Obviously written by someone who did their homework. McDonald has the background, pedigree, and knowledge base to make her case. While the collapse of the housing, MBS, and structured markets during the crisis got all the headlines, McDonald details the deceitful ways in which traders were manipulating vital benchmarks. She clearly walks her readers through the machinations of both individuals and firms, their impacts, and the (sometimes comically frustrating lack of) punishments and penalties. I highly recommend this book to anyone looking for more than a simple hot take on one of the most egregious set of conspiracies in the history of finance.'
-- Simon Z
'In the wake of the financial crisis, the UK finally introduced the Senior Managers Regime, designed to put the onus on chief executives and directors when staff are found guilty of serious rule-breaking on their watch. As Macdonald rightly says, it should have been there when Barings collapsed, and certainly should have been put in place in the aftermath. The test now will be whether the SMR — and its equivalents around the world — serves the twin purpose of deterring wrongdoing and holding miscreants to account when deterrence fails.'
-- Patrick Jenkins - Financial Times Financial Editor
Click here to download and read the entire article: https://www.ft.com/content/19bce3b8-7249-11e9-bf5c-6eeb837566c5
Lehman Brothers: A Crisis of Value
On September 12th 2008, Lehman Brothers was valued at 639 billion US dollars. On Monday 15th September, it was worth nothing. How could trillions of dollars seemingly melt into air? Lehman Brothers had a long and prestigious history, and certainly until the end of 2007 had appeared to be conducting a very successful business. Its collapse was the largest bankruptcy in American history and is widely regarded as a crucial event in triggering the turmoil in the markets that triggered the global financial crisis. In this book, Dr. Oonagh McDonald, unravels the events of that fateful September weekend.
‘The collapse of Lehmann Brothers unleashed the crisis which became the Great Recession. Oonagh McDonald has written a clear and analytical account of what happened and why.”
-- Lord Meghnad Desai, Labour Peer, House of Lords and author of The Rediscovery of India
'This balanced, lively, fact-filled and lucid examination of the factors that produced Lehman's failure is teeming with insightful analysis. It weaves together little-known facts to dispel commonly believed myths. If you are going to read one thing to gain a deep understanding of why and how Lehman collapsed, this is it.'
-- Charles Calomiris, Henry Kaufman Professor of Financial Institutions, Columbia Business School
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac: Turning the American Dream into a Nightmare
This book examines the role of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and other key players in the American mortgage market, in precipitating the current global financial crisis. From President Clinton's announcement of the 'National Home Ownership Strategy' in 1995 to its collapse in 2008, this book deftly explains the aims and consequences of extending mortgage lending to people who could not afford home ownership. Bankers, investment banks, rating agencies and derivatives have all been awarded their share of the blame, while politicians, regulators and government agencies have successfully avoided theirs. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have been implicated, but the true story of their marriage made in hell has never been told.
A sampling of reviews on Amazon:
"Ms. McDonald lays out how good intentions and contributory negligence of political power-players converted the American Dream from a reward for hard work into an entitlement for those who failed."
-- Louis S. Harvey, President, Dalbar, Inc.
" It is astonishing and somewhat unsettling that the best scholarly work about Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and their role in the 2008 financial crisis should have produced by Oonagh McDonald, a British student of the financial markets. The book is doubly useful because Ms McDonald cannot be accused of bias on an issue that has become excessively politicized in the US. If you want to know how US government housing policy led to the financial crisis, it is in these pages."
-- Peter J. Wallison, Arthur F. Burns Fellow in Financial Policy Studies, American Enterprise Institute
"More than any book I have read on the financial crisis, this captures the perils of politically driven lending. Oonagh McDonald shows how ideology, in this case a misplaced belief that home ownership is always good, deterred both public scrutiny of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and market discipline. Supposed regulators became cheer-leaders and executives lined their pockets in the name of the American dream. And it remains unclear whether the monsters at the heart of the sub-prime crisis - now in state care - will be killed off, as this book rightly suggests they should be."
-- Jane Fuller, co-director of the CSFI (Centre for the Study of Financial Innovation) think-tank and former financial editor of the Financial Times
"Dr. Oonagh McDonald has produced a book that is scholarly and comprehensive, but at the same time, despite the complexity of the subject-matter, lucid and eminently readable."
-- Nigel Lawson, Financial Times
“Oonagh McDonald is a rare combination, at least for the U.S., of politician and academician, having held professorships and written previous books on business and finance. Her book is a thoroughly researched, practically definitive tome”.
-- Gene Epstein, Barron’s
"Oonagh McDonald has written a thoroughly researched and heavily documented book in which she shows that an ideological bias in favor of low-income lending led the U.S. government to promote subprime and other low quality mortgages, and caused both the mortgage meltdown and the global financial crisis." Read More.
-- Peter Wallison, Forbes.com
The Future of Retail Banking in Europe: A View from the Top
Within Europe, the banking sector is commencing a period of considerable change and consolidation. Advances in technology, competition from the non-banking sector, the introduction of the Euro, a European Central bank and, possibly, pan-European Regulation, combined with the challenge from US banks, increased mergers and changing practices means 21st century banking is changing immeasurably. The Future of Retail Banking in Europe is written in an accessible style by Oonagh McDonald and Kevin Keasey, two of the leading authorities in the field and includes:
This book will be essential reading for middle and senior managers in the banking and financial service sectors, both suppliers and investors in the banking sector, and MBA students.
"…this is a serious, well-researched reference work and one that anyone responsible for business strategy in a bank, building society, or a centralized lending operation should read…"
Mortgage Finance Gazette , October 2002
The authors, however have done a highly diligent and professional job in surveying the current banking scene in Europe…"
European Business Forum, Winter 2002/2003
"…essential reading for middle managers in the banking and financial services sectors, suppliers, investors and MBA students…"
Financial World, April 2003
"…so much information in so convenient and readable survey…"
Journal of Financial Regulation and Compliance, May 2003
Other works by Oonagh McDonald
McDonald is also the author of the following monographs:
- Parliament at Work, The Future of Whitehall
- The Impact of the Euro on the Bond and Equity Markets
- Retirement Income: Are Annuities the Answer
- Choices: An Independent Report to Encourage the Debate on Retirement Income
- External Auditors and Banking Regulation