I had to buy this book from Amazon because I tried listening to it and it's nearly impossible. There are references to charts and formulas that are referred to constantly, not just once in a while. This is an important book and very accessible to the modern lay reader, but not a good book in Audible format.
One of the best.
The reading by George Guidall is superb. He does such a fantastic job, this is the main reason I'm writing this review. All the characters are fleshed out, particularly the voice of the monster.
The Monster. Listen to the book to find out why.
no. This book is great. It doesn't matter what form the book is in.
I've read somewhere around 6 books on the bailout and none of them have the level of detail, inside knowledge and political insight as this book. I had always suspected that Treasury was the reason that we have no real homeowner assistance with mortgage reassessments or payment decreases or equity adjustments. Now we have proof. This book ties together verifiable data and press releases with insider information to complete the puzzle of why we still don't have a true recovery and why we still have "too big to fail" and "too big to sue".
Well written, well narrated, tight, condensed but leaving nothing out.
An Excellent book and Audible title.
I would not want to listen to this book in one sitting. To walk away with such damning information of my government's collusion with Wall Street is depressing enough over the course of a week. To find all this out in one day would be too much for one person to handle.
There is a mistake in the reading of the book. It deals with bond pricing, purchasing and yield to maturity amounts at 1:40. When I couldn't make sense of the numbers, I looked at the physical book (thanks B&N). It should read (or should have been read as): "They are paying 6% annually on that initial $1 million investment for another 5 years which is a total of $300,000. When the bonds mature, the buyer gets the original $1 million back not just the $800,000 he paid. Which represents a straight $200,000 profit. That's a $500,000 total return on the original investment of $800,000 - a yield to maturity of 11.5%"
I'm still working out how he gets the 11.5% figure. It might be compounded somehow, but simple percentage 500/800 / 5 years = 12.5% annually.
The book tries the impossible - to explain how the financial crisis started, grew, collapsed and took our money with it.
Daniel Gross has the uncanny ability to make complicated issues understandable and logical. If you're looking for one place to understand what went wrong, start here. If you read only one book on the collapse, this is it.
It's long, long, long, long and long.
The amount of detail obscures the concepts underneath the premise of the book, what happened to Bear Sterns. Was it bridge? Was it writing about bridge? Was it focusing on decreasing expenses rather than increasing revenue stream? Was it a fictional character created by the CEO to get people to save money? Was it the semi-circular desk? Motorcycles? Ferraris?
At the end of the day, I can't tell what the author is trying to point to. Cut this book by 2/3 and you've got something. Where's an editor when you need one?
My mother always said "if you can't say something nice about someone, then don't say anything at all." If Mr. Taleb had followed her advice, he would have a very small book indeed. He criticizes the Nobel committee, most economists, investors, CEO and CFOs, government regulators and others. He only has praise for Benoit Mandelbrot, an unread library and his own ability to sell short during an upswing and time the market when it fell.
His only advice in the book is to create a portfolio mostly of steady performers (like Treasury notes) and scatter the remaining few percent in high risk securities with little expectation for return. Avoid the blue chips because they are steady until the black swan.
I really thought the book would provide more insight with regard to chaos theory, random walk theory or why Gaussian curves don't work. What is missing factually is replaced by vitriol.
If you're bitter about losing your savings and just want to shake your fist, this is the read for you. If you want answers or facts, keep moving, there's nothing here.
Using the most advanced technical brain analyzing tools we find that we remember advertising and we remember getting burned on a hot stove. (wow!)
This author goes into extreme detail about branding (to the point where I believe he's a shill for Coke) only to tell us what we already know. We make decisions quickly sometimes unconsciously based on affiliations. We like German cars because Germans are good engineers. Ditto Japan. Except when we don't. Sex sells until it doesn't. Smells remind us of the past and makes us buy. Sometimes. Round and round. Nothing new here.
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