I have read many of the recently published books on the financial crises over the past few years in an effort to better understand what happened. This book is by far the best that I have read to date. It details not only what happened and how the crises was created but also who was behind it and how they benefited. The most interesting chapters discuss the many laws that were broken by the large financial institutions and complete absence of prosecution by any law enforcement agency in the US.
While the information in the book was interesting it seems that the main purpose of the book was to promote their investment consulting business and website.
The Spark of Life contains lots of information that was explained clearly but seems to wander and digress a little too often in to personal anecdotes about the author. I also found that the reader did not appear to be familiar with many of the technical terms and read slowly. It would have been helpful if there was a pdf of the figures as the reader described several figures that would have been helpful to see. I have noticed in the past several books i have purchased that there is no pdf.
The author provides an interesting insider's view of the workings of the Treasury in the months and early years after the financial collapse. This is a surprisingly interesting story that reveals how tightly coupled the Treasury is to Wallstreet. The revolving door ensures that the priority of the Treasury following the crises was to prop up the WallStreet and the Banks. Programs that were intended to help homeowners caught up in the crises were implemented by Treasury in such a way that they had a completely different purpose. Rather than restructuring mortgages to benefit the distressed homeowner the plan intention was to spread out the foreclosures in time such that the banks would have the capacity to process them. The goal was to maximize the return to banks and mortgage processing companies rather than to help the homeowners. This is but one example from the book.
My take away from the book was that the Treasury has been thoroughly captured by the Banks and Wallstreet and no longer works in the interest of most of the tax payers.
The most interesting aspect of this book was that it provided insight in to how the 1% view the world. For example what the author learned from the recent economic crises is that you should bolster your investments for "Black Swan" events. Some specific advice that he gives is to have two to three years of cash available to cover your living expenses. Also to have 5% of your assets held offshore.
The book was read in a manner that it came across as condescending in several sections.
This book had a lot of good and insightful information in it. The author is clearly Republican and religious which caused me to cringe at some of his opinions. For example social programs were always referred to with contempt as "entitlement programs". Never was there a suggestion to cut defense spending as a method to help reduce the debt. Still worth a listen, if nothing else, to get a view from the 1%.
This is an interesting book on Stephen Hawkins and his work. The theories of cosmology, string theory, inflation are explained very clearly for the lay science reader. My big issue was how much the author focused on the religious aspects of his work as she seemed to become more distraught over his theories leaving less and less room for a god. If the author's concern over the religious implications of his theories were mentioned once in the book that would have been fine, however, it was a recurring topic that really detracted from what otherwise was an excellent book.
I did listen to the entire book in the hope that there would be some point to it. There never was...
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