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America: Underwater and Sinking

by James B. Lockhart III

Politicians’ polls are at an all-time low. Most Americans are frustrated with Washington. The country’s biggest program, Social Security, is only twelve years from insolvency, and two of the nation’s largest financial institutions, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, are well into their second decade of conservatorships as wards of the state. In America: Underwater and Sinking, James B. Lockhart, a former submarine officer with the US Navy who went on to play a large part in the government’s response to the Global Financial Crisis, tells an important story about managing government agencies that—in submarine parlance—are deep underwater, then provides solutions on how to help them and the overall government surface. As President Geroge H. W. Bush once said, “There is nothing more fulfilling than to serve your country and your fellow citizens, and to do it well.” Underwater is about trying to do it well.

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