Member Since 2012
Faber does a pretty decent job attempting to paint the landscape before going into excruciating detail about how the mortgage industry's role in the financial meltdown of 2008.
My degree is in Finance and my husband is in the mortgage industry, but I *still* felt out of my depth when he was describing and defining "synthetic CDO's" and "credit default swaps".No worries. I will likely listen to it again. Narrator is easy to listen to, and although there are better "stories" about the financial crisis, this was to me very clear and straightforward in its attempt to treat me as an adult. I don't think that everyone involved in the financial crisis is completely evil, and this book did not treat everyone that way. This was a comparatively objective view.
It would be a considerable struggle to listen to this in one sitting. There are a host of concepts. However, I did listen to most of it on a five hour road trip, and it make the time FLY. But that is because I was very interested in the subject and this book was trying hard to make it understandable. I did not find my mind wandering... very unusual after four hours of driving!
It gave me the confidence to continue to read about the subject, whetted my appetite for more of the same, and I do think I will go back to re-hear it. Now I feel challenged to understand it all a bit better.
Admittedly, this was wonderful as far as bringing history to life.
But the main character was so unappealing, that it was not as enjoyable as I had hoped. Philippa's writing style is also a bit trying from time to time.
I'm sure that's part of the message - the fanaticism of this character - but it came off as tired and gratuitous.
I loved other books in this series better, but I do love the glimpse into this side of the whole story.
The reviews had described that it is more than halfway before the heroine Fiona even begins to thaw towards her hero husband Miles (?Myles). I could not make it that far. She came across petty, stupid, and unworthy of her situation, much less his constant devotion and lust. If there had been a better backstory for the first half of the book, perhaps I could have lasted through her neverending tantrum, but the sub-plots were just not all that interesting. The characters were not all that interesting. I was seeking a diversion from reading some books on the financial crisis, and historical fiction such as Phillippa Gregory. I think this may just have been too big of a culture shock. It doesn't help that Outlander (Diana Gabaldon) has ruined me, of course, haha.
I feel as though I have listened to them all ... Too Big to Fail, On the Brink, The Big Short, and several others. The global economic crisis of 2008 is so interesting on so many levels. John Lancaster's treatment is the perfect blend of the technical details with the common sense reaction. "How is this even possible that all of these factors could play out this way?" "How did NO ONE but EVERYONE not see this coming?" "Why can't we FIX this?"
I love the British thinking and turn of phrase - irreverent, cheeky, and just a fun romp through a crazy garbage dump. I was entranced and will listen again when I need to be both challenged intellectually and entertained with one-of-a-kind wit.
I ordered this without reading other reviews - a first for me. Loved the author's style, structure, character development, and story. I can't wait to see the movie now, but I have a feeling this will be one where I love the book better. I fell in love with the characters and the pacing was just perfect. Could not 'put it down'. Wonderful.
I was hoping to hear some intellectual rationale for Obama's performance issues, not a rant from folks who seem to react very personally to Obama's slights. I found little substance, little objectivity, and lots of sensationalism. I love a good celebrity rag - have a home subscription to "OK" magazine. That is what this felt like, and I just was not expecting that. Will keep looking for a more robust approach to what I believe is a valid topic.
What to make of the fact that the dress rehearsal for the sub-prime bailout occurred in September 1998? What did we know then that we did not learn from? How can we prevent this from recurring or are we simply doomed to continue this? So many questions ...
Roger Lowenstein narrates his own book. I'm from the midwest and so, to me, he sounds distinctly northeastern. It takes a bit of getting used to, but after a couple of chapters, I was fine.
The story was a bit overwrought, especially in the middle. But I was very engaged in the early beginnings of the creation of something so spectacularly successful as Long Term Capital Management, the incredibly quick demise, and whether we learned anything from the whole thing.
Lowenstein does a fine job describing some fairly complex concepts such as bond arbitrage, volatility, and leverage. It helped me grasp many of the underpinnings. The characters were incredibly interesting to me - each genius and mad in their own individual way. They seemed to simultaneously bring out the best and the worst in each other.
This book is especially interesting in light of the subprime and global financial crises of 2008-2010. I can't help feeling as though we failed to heed a lesson.
Greg Smith describes how an organization's evolving values make their way into everyday behavior which over time become personally intolerable (both the behaviors and the values).
appreciated the level of detail in his descriptions of the characters and Wall Street life. It does not read like a rant. It reads like a sad break up story.
He seems hard working and smart; maybe not the warmest guy on the planet...I enjoyed his intelligent thinking and phrasing.
I learned a lot about Wall Street, which was one of my objectives. I am not delusional that he is entirely blameless, at the end of the day, but it is also obvious that there is plenty of blame to go around.
How have I never heard of this author before? Where have I been? I am so excited! Cannot wait to seek out more of his books.
I loved his smart approach to this subject, and I felt challenged by the material. That keeps me engaged.The characters are compelling ... Lewis chooses to depict them in really interesting ways. But even without finding the six most unique guys in the saga, I think the drama itself is an unbelievable story.
I appreciate his attempt at teaching "structured finance" and "financial products calculus". I still feel woefully ignorant about the difference between most of those acronymed killer financial offerrings, but I can't help feeling that the CEO's of those investment banks were any better informed.
Bonus Material interview at the end adds even more perspective.
I was amazed at how the characters came to life. Very vivid. Some of the plotlines felt a bit predictable, but I thoroughly loved the phrasing and pace.
I absolutely loved the technique of describing the pre-war scenario from the German perspective through one character's translation of a German military officer's memoirs. This book gives a sweeping view of the time just before WW II from so many perspectives. I feel as though I learned so much about such a large part of history in a very exciting way.
Pug Henry is a wonderful character. He is written as a classic military man, but having come from a military family myself, it didn't feel unrealistic. People like this really exist, and they are a big part of the American story.
Hearing this story made me appreciate the 'smallness' of the stresses in my everyday life. I am so thankful that I do not have the same life and death issues of this story or of wartime in general.
The story made me appreciate modern day communications as well!
I can't wait to hear the 'rest of the story'!! (War and Remembrance)
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