The Accounting Historians Journal Vol. 18, No. 1 June 1991
PATTI A. MILLS, EDITOR Indiana State University
REVIEW OF BOOKS AND OTHER PUBLICATIONS
R. Dan Brumbaugh, Jr., Thrifts Under Siege (Cambridge, MA: Ballinger Publishing Company, 1988, 214 pp., $39.95).
Paul Zane Pilzer, Other People's Money (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1989, 269 pp., $17.95).
Stephen Pizzo, Mary Fricker, and Paul Muolo, Inside Job: The Looting of America's Savings and Loans (New York: McGraw Hill and Company, 1989, 443 pp., $18.95).
A Review Essay: The Savings and Loan Crisis
by James Schaefer University of Evansville
In the winter of 1989, the seriousness and magnitude of the S & L crisis became everyday news. Fraud, insider abuse, poor management practices, regulation, and deregulation have all been stated as major contributions to the problem. While the full costs of the crisis, ultimately to be borne by U.S. taxpayers, will not be known for some time, official estimates (including interest) have exceeded $400 billion [U.S. Congress. House Committee on Ways and Means 1989, p. 20], prompting predic-tions that the industry itself has been destroyed.
The accounting profession has two areas of risk exposure from the S & L Crisis. One is the use by S & L's of regulatory accounting principles (RAP) instead of GAAP. The second is the concern that the auditors, while not responsible for the crisis, could have "at least sent up a warning shot" [The New York Times, March 12, 1989]. These two risks provide important re-search opportunities for accounting historians.
REGULATORY ACCOUNTING PRINCIPLES
From 1932 until 1989 federally chartered savings and loans (thrifts) were regulated by the Federal Home Loan Bank Board.