A very good history of the financial meltdown, written like a mystery-thriller. The level of detail is just right. A great follow-up to her book on Enron. Not as entertaining as The Big Short, but worth it nonetheless if you want to understand why your mortgage is under water.
I do not usually take the time to rate books, though I appreciate it when others put in a thoughtful review. This is actually my first Audible rate/review and I chose to do it specifically because I think so highly of this book. Bear in mind that I am a neophyte when it comes to market matters. Prior to listening to ATDAH, the only financial type book that I had read or listened to was Alan Greenspan's book, The Age of Turbulence. That was probably not the best choice for a newcomer and told me nothing much about the background to the 2008 crisis, which was what I was looking for. Like so many others, I wondered how such a financial mess could come about and how it was that it had caused avowed free market capitalists to clamour for bailouts. After many futile attempts to find a satisfactory answer, I saw the authors of ATDAH on the Daily Show and thought this book might just give me what I was looking for. It did, in spades. I recommend it to anyone I know who is looking to enlighten themselves as to the ingredients that went into the disastrous mix.
When I read "Too Big to Fail" about the story of the financial meltdown of 2008, I expected some background information about how this whole mess started. Instead, it was a story about the people participating in that mess.
"All the Devils Are Here" is all about the facts; facts about people, events, corporations, successes and failures. Sometimes your head might hurt from all the financial acronyms, even though they’re all explained in some details. But there’s just too many of them and they all sound the same.
However, it’s still a great a read that has a lot of details about how the financial meltdown and its roots since the Regan administration.
One thing is completely true about this book, the title.
Winston Churchill called World War II the ???preventable war.??? He was referring to the failure of Britain, France and the US to stop Hitler at an early stage before he had accumulated such power and momentum that he could not be stopped short of a major war. Those who had looked closely at Hitler???s Germany were very concerned. Those who remained preoccupied with their own immediate interests preferred to overlook the risks of Nazi Germany.
This excellent book makes clear that much the same led to the financial crisis of 2008. Those who looked closely at the growth and sordid practices of the subprime lending business were appalled and concerned that it could not end well. Those who preferred to look the other way were the only people who could and should have stopped this financial monster early on: the major Wall Street firms, the ratings agencies, FNMA and FHLMC, and the federal banking regulators. All of the private firms allowed their immediate interests in profits, bonuses, and competitive standing to blind themselves to the huge potential losses they would face when the market finally came to appreciate the ludicrous credit quality of the subprime loans on their books. The federal regulators in turn showed insufficient interest in the abuses in the subprime market that were brought to their attention early on by states attorney general and other private parties. The regulators had no clear grasp on what was going on and did not take steps to address the problem until it was too late.
The book is the best and most comprehensive I have seen on the causes of the 2008 financial crisis.
I listened to every minute of this audio download, despite its length and my lack of training in finance and economics. The detail went over my head but the story is mesmerizing and very competently read by the narrator. The story is best when it gets into stories, as with the characters involved in AIG and Merrill Lynch. Why not 5 stars? I guess because of the overwhelming amount of detail, but that didn't stop me from listening!
awesome, thorough, excellent review, going back to the 80s. I read the big short which i loved. this is a little more factual, goes back further in history so you can put the crisis in better context, and a very complementary analysis. really worthwhile for anyone trying to understand what happened. its amazing you think things are awful and can't get worse, and you are still a decade away from the final meltdown. unbelievable what actuallyhappened.
as you might expect from well respected journalists. This is not, "The Big Short." They go into depth on a couple of the players. Definitely not a feel good book. Spoiler Alert: the epilogue ends with, "Maybe we'll get it right next time." I think they forgot to include, "Either way we'll make a boatload of money." Very in depth reporting of a very long process that will affect us for a very long time.
All last week, NPR Planet Money has been talking about Fannie Mae and the whole housing loan and government backing. Podcast #262: Fannie And Freddie's Rise And Fall and #263: What Comes After Fannie And Freddie. It's very interesting how poor the two system is run and has yet learned their lessons with bad loans, bad mistakes, bad, bad, bad. It's amazing how AIG was poorly run and got bailed out. The book was just okay. I think that NPR had too much hype, promoting this title. The same information is in Too Big to Fail, The Big Short, Lords of Finance, and many others that I've read. The best part of this book is how Ameriquest was filing false or no papers for loans. I was disappointed at this book because it didn't cover anything about the failures of government home loans refinancing and that mess and how people are loosing their homes because the banks still doesn't gets it. Over hype book. If you read the previous titles that I mentioned above, skip All the Devils Are Here because you are not learning anything new. I gave it three stars just because it was a tolerable read.
If you are looking for a book that deals with the recent financial crisis this is not the book for you. If you believe God did it and the earth is a couple thousand years old and we lived with the dinasours then yes, this book is for you. It's more a biblical rev up the fear book. Where were these people during the plaque; now that would have been a time to be afraid.