Phillip L. Zweig

Announcing Amazon Kindle Edition of "Belly Up: The Collapse of the Penn Square Bank"

April 20, 2012

Tags: Penn Square Bank, Continental Illinois National Bank, banks and banking, bank failures, "Too Big to Fail, " financial crisis, Paul Volcker, Federal Reserve Board, Comptroller of the Currency, Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., Oklahoma, oil and gas, energy lending, bank regulation and supervision, financial services industry

I'm delighted to announce the publication of the Amazon Kindle edition of my 1985 national best-seller, "Belly Up: The Collapse of the Penn Square Bank." It's more timely than ever, and available for just $7.99 at! Here's the link: It's coming soon to Barnes & Noble's Nook eReader as well.

Penn Square's failure on July 5, 1982 triggered what was then the worst banking crisis since the Great Depression and foreshadowed the 2008 financial collapse. Among other things, it led to the 1984 U. S. government rescue of giant Continental Illinois National Bank, which gave rise to the "Too Big to Fail" doctrine. The parallels between the ongoing crisis and the Penn Square debacle are many, and they are uncanny. Only the "assets" (toxic subprime mortgages vs. shaky energy loans to wannabe oilmen) and the players have changed. It's safe to say that if bankers, borrowers, investors and policymakers had understood and applied the lessons of Penn Square and Belly Up, there would not have been a 2008 financial crisis.

Belly Up received rave reviews from The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Fortune, Barron's and many other publications. For more background on the Penn Square episode and reviews of "Belly Up" and "Wriston," please visit my web site at

Please help spread the word by forwarding this email to friends and colleagues and posting on Facebook and other social media sites. Many thanks.

Phil Zweig

Selected Works

The definitive biography of the man who revolutionized the American banking industry.
The incredible tale of the outrageous Oklahoma energy lender that nearly brought down the U. S. banking system