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.
I admire Greg Smith's thoughtful account into the people and culture of Goldman Sachs and the broader “Wall Street” world -- you can tell that he is intelligent, hard working and most importantly has a strong moral compass. From a trader’s viewpoint, he has a unique perspective of the markets, futures & derivatives, and how one of the most prestigious firms survived and even thrived in the midst of a potential financial meltdown not seen since the Great Depression. It’s hard not to admire Greg’s courage to tell this story and follow the choices he made. Lesser people would not have done the same.
You can tell that Greg remains a “culture carrier” and remains respectful of the many brilliant and dynamic people he worked with during his career with the firm. There is no bitterness, and he is not naïve -- greed and conflicts of interest occur everywhere. It’s a good read and I recommend it to anyone who wants a better understanding of what is happening with our economy as the “smartest” people in one sector influence so much of our lives.
I listened to this book on my way to work and back each day. I looked forward to my commute because I was pulled into the narration, the people, their lives, and how it all weaved together into a fascinating tale about who we are as people. I goes well beyond running -- into philosophy, who we are as people, and what can make us extraordinary. I recommend this book to anyone.
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