Books

Tom has written and edited several books:

Managing Risk and Performance BookManaging Risk and Performance: A Guide for Government Decision Makers, co-editor with Douglas W. Webster, (John Wiley & Sons, 2014).

Federal executives face the question, “What are the risks that could prevent my agency from achieving its mission and objectives?” Any number of diverse risks may be present, from cyberattacks to failure to comply with legal or policy requirements to the unexpected loss of talented employees. As with major private corporations, agencies of the U.S. government must identify risks that potentially threaten their missions, and implement effective policies to address those risks. Sound risk management empowers a government agency to be more agile and efficient as it navigates increasingly turbulent waters of domestic politics, budgetary constraints, and media and congressional scrutiny, to name a few. Properly executed risk management strategies can deliver bottom-line benefits to government agencies in the form of cost savings and increased operational efficiency. This book introduces fundamental principles of risk management and how to apply them. With real-world examples—of successes and failures—from within the federal government and direct lessons from the global financial crisis, the book provides a comprehensive road map for creating, managing, and supporting effective risk management programs within government agencies.

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why some firms thrive Why Some Firms Thrive While Others Fail: Governance, Management, and the Financial Crisis,  Oxford University Press, 2012

The financial crisis revealed fundamental shortcomings in both public and private American institutions. While the firms that were successful each found their own way to weather the crisis, unsuccessful firms were remarkably alike in their inability to cope and in the mistakes they made. This book examines which financial firms survived the crisis and which ones failed. He analyzes how differences in governance, organization, and management between these firms led to their success or failure, and how government supervision and regulation failed to prevent the crisis. Based on interviews that the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission conducted with CEOs, risk officers, traders, and others at major financial firms, the book systematically outlines how successful firms, like JP Morgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, Wells Fargo, and others used a multitude of approaches to distinguish themselves in operational competence and intelligent discipline, while unsuccessful firms, like Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and Countrywide, and others uniformly failed to prepare for possible low-probability, high-impact events. The book concludes with a call for strengthening organizational design, governance, and risk management, by identifying clear attributes that distinguish successful firms from the others.

“Tom Stanton’s book should be high-priority reading for senior managers and policymakers.  Careful consideration of the well-reasoned arguments in this book will necessarily be part of any serious effort to reform our financial regulatory system, strengthen firm governance and risk management, and promote greater overall financial stability—all critical prerequisites to assuring a strong and resilient economy, and rising standards of living, over time.”
– Richard Spillenkothen, former director of Banking Supervision and Regulation, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System

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Meeting the Challenge of 9/11

Meeting the Challenge of 9/11: Blueprints for More Effective Government, editor, M.E. Sharpe Publishers, 2006

9/11 revealed serious public sector shortcomings in such areas as border security and immigration control, cybersecurity, and first responses to hostile acts. This book focuses on how to make government more effective, especially in our post-9/11 era of heightened concern for national and homeland security. This is a top-to-bottom guidebook for improving government organization and performance. While it specifically addresses the key issues of homeland security (biodefense, border security, immigration control, and infrastructure protection), it has a broader agenda – the renewal of an effective, well-managed government.

“This is an excellent collection of essays by top public administration scholars….these scholars are not, for the most part, disaster or homeland security scholars. But the authors and the editor are to be commended for using September 11 as an organizing idea and as a point in time that calls for more careful thinking about the organization, management, and delivery of key government services. Those concerned with public management in the homeland security era will find this book very useful and thought provoking.”
– Journal of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, Vol. 4, no. 2, article 8, 2007

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Making Government ManageableMaking Government Manageable, coeditor with Benjamin Ginsberg, Johns Hopkins University Press, 2004

What are the basic concepts of executive organization and management? How does executive organization affect management? How can executive organization and management be improved? This book brings together a distinguished group of authorities from both the academic and political worlds to explore problems relating to the organization and management of government.

The authors begin with a brief overview of the development of executive organization and management to the present day. They then offer examples of problems in federal department organization and management. They also raise the question of the effectiveness of third-party government—cases in which the private sector under contract with the government performs services for which the government is responsible and, in the process, makes policy for which the government becomes responsible. The authors conclude with a discussion of cases in which agencies have enjoyed some measure of success through reforming and reorganizing their internal structures and processes.

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Government-Sponsored Enterprises: Mercantilist Companies in the Modern World Government Sponsored Enterprises: Mercantilist Companies in the Modern World, AEI Press, 2002

A government-sponsored enterprise (GSE) is a privately owned, federally-chartered financial institution with nationwide scope and specialized lending powers that benefits from an implicit federal guarantee of all its obligations to enhance its ability to borrow money. The six GSEs are: Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Farmer Mac, Sallie Mae, the Farm Credit System, and the Federal Home Loan Bank System. Ths book is about the institutional design and the structure of the GSE as a special type of institution authorized, defined, and shaped by law. As with A State of Risk, this book points to structural vulnerabilities that caused the largest GSEs, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, to fail and go into government hands in September 2008.

A book review in Public Budgeting & Finance calls this book “authoritative” and “an indispensable tool for the public finance professor,” winter 2003, pp. 114-116

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A State of Risk: Will Government Sponsored Enterprises be the Next Financial Crisis? A State of Risk: Will Government Sponsored Enterprises be the Next Financial Crisis? HarperCollins, 1991

Concerns expressed in this book helped lead to enactment of several pieces of legislation to improve oversight of the safety and soundness of government sponsored enterprises and set new capital standards for their operations. The book also presents for the first time (at pp. 181-2) the idea of contingent capital that currently is the subject of policy deliberations as a part of financial reform.

“…perhaps the most effective advocate for safety and soundness regulation has been a private individual: Thomas Stanton…Stanton’s 1991 book State of Risk and his personal lobbying were influential in the legislative process leading to the passage of the [1992 Federal Housing Enterprises Financial Safety and Soundness Act].” 
– Jonathan G.S. Koppell, The Politics of Quasi-Government, Cambridge University Press, 2003, p. 107.

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