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Mark

Tannersville, PA, USA | Member Since 2001

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  • House of Cards: A Tale of Hubris and Wretched Excess on Wall Street

    • UNABRIDGED (25 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By William Cohan
    • Narrated By Alan Sklar
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (340)
    Performance
    (99)
    Story
    (100)

    In March 2008, Bear Stearns, a swashbuckling 84-year-old financial institution, was forced to sell itself to JPMorgan Chase for an outrageously low price in a deal brokered by Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, who was desperately trying to prevent the impending catastrophic market crash. But mere months before, an industry-wide boom had "the Bear" clocking a record high stock price. How did a giant investment bank with $18 billion in cash on hand disappear in a mere 10 days?

    roberta Kane says: "Riveting, interesting, learned alot"
    "Tedious, Repetitive. . . and essential reading"
    Overall

    The book is filled with excruciatingly unnecessary detail and endless repetition. How many times do we need to hear the address of Bear Stearns? Conversations are recounted from multiple perspectives, even where they agree, We are told what someone is going to say, then told what they said.

    However, if you can get through all that, the story is compelling and will infuriate you. It is astounding to hear of the pettiness, narcissism, arrogance, and ruthlessness which engulfs the executives at Bear Stearns, and other investment banks. These people didn't care about anything except enormous bonuses, and would do anything to get them. When others lost their money, these people didn't give a hoot. But then to hear them whining and carrying on like two-year olds when their firm collapsed as a direct result of their incompetence is unbelievable.

    After the collapse, several of them gave interviews, in which they whined and complained about how they were treated, and tried to blame the failure on others.

    In spite of the author's bizarre belief that the failures were a result of government interference in the free markets, this book will convince any thinking person that our government needs to take a major role in regulating the financial industry - if for no other reason than to protect bankers from themselves. It is abundantly clear that they are too stupid to protect themselves.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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