A complete history of everything that went wrong.
This book provides a reasonably unbiased view of the policies, the good intentions, the abuses and the sheer ignorance that preceded the financial crisis of 2008. It discusses the American Dream and how it evolved into the current ideal of home ownership and how politicians flew that flag in order to curry favor with voters and how the financial institutions rushed in to take advantage. It doesn't point fingers as much as it tells the story about a system built to fail from the start.
I've read a couple of books about the financial crisis and what makes this book stand out is the fact that it goes way back in time, long before anyone had ever thought of a credit default swap or even the sub-prime bubble and details the policies, government infighting and good intentions that formed the foundation for what was to transpire much, much later.
Yes, I probably will read it agian. There are so many characters involved in the obscene public rip off to bail out the banks and wall street after the government set the pins up in the first place. When I cool down I will listen to it again.
its breadth. I have read quite a number of books on the meltdown and the bailout, most focused mostly on one aspect of it, this book covers the home loan industry, the elected officials, regulators, banks, government entities like fannie mae, wall street...as the title says.
This is a good primer for the financial meltdown, although it is not as chronoligically organized as I would have liked. There was an obvious positive bias by the author toward a couple of characters in the book which made me wonder if they were previous employers or perhaps helped with inside info for the book. Anyone reading this book will find it difficult to find much compassion for any of the characters, or for that matter, anyone in this country who had an inside knowledge of what was going on and did nothing. The truth be told, all the devils are still here.
Tell us about yourself!
A wonderful account on how the housing bubble was set in motion (a long time ago) and how everyone -- Fannie Mae, politicians ("The American Dream" of home ownership), credit agencies (Moody), mortgage companies (Countrywide), insurance underwriters (AIG), investment bankers (Merrill Lynch, Solomon Brothers), investors -- were responsible for putting one of the most complex and potentially devastating financial bubbles in history.
Another over opinionated mammal
This was a thinly veiled white wash trying to lay the blame for the financial crisis at the feet of Fanny-Mae and portrays the private investment banks almost as victims. The author ignores that the finical verticals that created the crisis were created and employed by the private investment banks. And that those banks where the ones that kept using them even when as the economy was tanking.
In the top ten of my non-fiction list.
I have listened to him before and except for a few disagreements about pronunciation, he is very good.
When I read about the power of lobbyists.
I loved putting this all together and realizing that the build-up to this debacle happened over a 35 year span. I realize that where there are men/women, there is greed. Where there is power, there is greed. Where there is temptation there is greed. I also realized that in most situations people are reactionary rather than visionary. Listen to this book and you will learn a great deal about how our government functions. Maybe time for an overhaul.
This book is more designed for the financial guru or someone with a better understanding of accounting and finance.
The history of what led up to the collapse was fascinating. Pure greed unabated!
Anger that the financial collapse could have been prevented.
From the book's description on Audible, I thought listening to this book would give me a better understanding of the causes of the financial crisis. That was not the case. To me, it seemed that McLean and Nocera assume their readers already have a working understanding of the financial market, and the aim of their book is to use that knowledge to assign guilt to various individuals involved in the crisis. Since I didn't have that working knowledge, the narrative incomprehensible most of the time.
Initially, I was amused by how Boutsikaris would adopt the voice of a stereotypical car mechanic when reading direct quotes from finance professionals. But that got very old very quickly.
In short, if you already have some familiarity with the financial market, there's a chance you'd find this book informative. Otherwise, I do not recommend it.
It did an excellent job covering a complicated subject. I would have to listen to it several more times to really understand all the things that contributed to the finanacial system meltdown, but not due to any shortcoming of the book.
It's not a work of fiction with multiple characters so the reader does not have to do multiple voices or anything, but he read it like he was telling a story and sounded like he was interested in what he was telling. That makes a big difference over a dead pan recitation.
The Financial System Perfect Storm
This is a pretty long audiobook and often with long fact-filled non-fiction books, I grow tired of them before they are over, even when I am intrigued with the subject matter. Not with this one. It was written well and read well and held my attention throughout.
Appropriately titled. No ONE factor to blame for the financial crises. A richly layered, well thought out history of all the factors leading up to "the perfect storm" that became the crises. Sometimes a "heavy" read/listen with a lot of technical terms that are explained but sometimes difficult to remember. In spite of that you do get an idea of the concepts involved. It was also the correct balance between details without missing out on the bigger picture. I thought the narrator was exceptional.
Enlightening and entertaining. Overall a must read if the topic interests you at all.
Heck, even if the topic doesn't interest you: listen and be astonished!
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.