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The Power of Nothing to Lose: The Hail Mary Effect in Politics, War, and Business

William Morrow / Harper Collins Publishers (2021)

William L. Silber

The Power of Nothing to Lose: The Hail Mary Effect in Politics, War, and Business shows how presidents, generals, dictators, and ordinary people have used the power of downside protection to alter history. A simple strategy, similar to the Hail Mary pass in football, encourages risky ventures that favor the ‘deciders’ but hurts innocent bystanders, causing collateral damage that requires attention.


How the White Metal Shaped America and the Modern World

Princeton University Press (2019)
William L. Silber

This is the story of silver’s transformation from soft money during the nineteenth century to hard asset today, and how manipulations of the white metal by American president Franklin D. Roosevelt during the 1930s and by the richest man in the world, Texas oil baron Nelson Bunker Hunt, during the 1970s altered the course of American and world history. FDR pumped up the price of silver to help jump start the U.S. economy during the Great Depression, but this move weakened China, which was then on the silver standard, and facilitated Japan’s rise to power before World War II. Bunker Hunt went on a silver-buying spree during the 1970s to protect himself against inflation and triggered a financial crisis that left him bankrupt.

The Triumph of Persistence

Bloomsbury Press (2012)
William L. Silber

Over the course of nearly half a century, five American presidents--three Democrats and two Republicans--have relied on the financial acumen, and the integrity, of Paul A. Volcker. During his tenure as chairman of the Federal Reserve Board, when he battled the Great Inflation of the 1970s, Volcker did nothing less than restore the reputation of an American financial system on the verge of collapse. After the 2008 financial meltdown, the nation turned again to Volcker to restore trust in a shaky financial system: President Obama would name his centerpiece Wall Street regulation the Volcker Rule.

The Great Financial Crisis of 1914 and the Origins of America's Monetary Supremacy

Princeton University Press (2007)

When Washington Shut Down Wall Street unfolds like a mystery story. It traces Treasury Secretary William Gibbs McAdoo's triumph over a monetary crisis at the outbreak of World War I that threatened the United States with financial disaster. The biggest gold outflow in a generation imperiled America's ability to repay its debts abroad. Fear that the United States would abandon the gold standard sent the dollar plummeting on world markets. Without a central bank in the summer of 1914, the United States resembled a headless financial giant.


Unpublished (1998)
William L. Silber


Pit Deception combines the story of the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center with a speculative attack on silver trading located in the Commodity Exchange at Four World Trade Center. It is a fictional account of the terrorist plot that brings financial intrigue center stage.