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MORRISVILLE, PA, United States | Member Since 2005

  • 8 reviews
  • 16 ratings
  • 0 titles in library
  • 8 purchased in 2015

  • This Time Is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Carmen Reinhart, Kenneth Rogoff
    • Narrated By Sean Pratt

    Throughout history, rich and poor countries alike have been lending, borrowing, crashing - and recovering -their way through an extraordinary range of financial crises. Each time, the experts have chimed, "this time is different" - claiming that the old rules of valuation no longer apply and that the new situation bears little similarity to past disasters. This book proves that premise wrong.

    D. Littman says: "necessary piece to understand the current crisis"
    "Buy the book from Amazon, do NOT listen to this."

    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.

    25 of 26 people found this review helpful
  • Frankenstein or, The Modern Prometheus

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley
    • Narrated By George Guidall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Brent says: "Overlooked classic"
    "A classic book well read"
    Where does Frankenstein or, The Modern Prometheus rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    One of the best.

    Which character – as performed by George Guidall – was your favorite?

    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.

    If you could take any character from Frankenstein or, The Modern Prometheus out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    The Monster. Listen to the book to find out why.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Bailout: An Inside Account of How Washington Abandoned Main Street While Rescuing Wall Street

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Neil Barofsky
    • Narrated By Joe Barrett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    An insider of both the Bush and Obama administrations offers an irrefutable indictment of the mishandling of the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program bailouts and the extreme degree to which our government officials—from both parties—served the interests of Wall Street at the expense of the public. From his first day on the job as the special inspector general in charge of overseeing the distribution of the bailout money, Neil Barofsky found that the officials at the Treasury Department in charge of the bailouts were in thrall to the interests of the big banks.

    Lauren says: "Barofsky's Bio of the time he was a TARP Watchdog"
    "An insider's account of the Wall Street bailout"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Bailout to be better than the print version?

    no. This book is great. It doesn't matter what form the book is in.

    What other book might you compare Bailout to and why?

    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.

    Which character – as performed by Joe Barrett – was your favorite?


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • A Colossal Failure of Common Sense: The Inside Story of the Collapse of Lehman Brothers

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Patrick Robinson, Lawrence G. McDonald
    • Narrated By Erik Davies
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    One of the biggest questions of the financial crisis has not been answered until now. What happened at Lehman Brothers and why was it allowed to fail, with aftershocks that rocked the global economy? In this news-making, often astonishing book, a former Lehman Brothers Vice President gives us the straight answers - right from the belly of the beast.

    Susan says: "First take: Tale of the narcissist"
    "Readers and Numbers people be aware"

    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.

    You're welcome.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Dumb Money: How Our Greatest Financial Minds Bankrupted the Nation

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Daniel Gross
    • Narrated By Jesse Boggs
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    In this up to the minute account of the current financial crisis, Dan Gross goes step by step through the timeline leading up to the October 2008 bail-out and explains what exactly happened. Using information and statistics only weeks old, he offers a thorough and enlightening analysis of where we all go from here.

    Chi-Hung says: "A witty and fun analysis"
    "Concise, well written and logical."

    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.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • 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

    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"
    "long, excruciating detail, inside baseball"

    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?

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Nassim Nicholas Taleb
    • Narrated By David Chandler

    Maverick thinker Nassim Nicholas Taleb had an illustrious career on Wall Street before turning his focus to his black swan theory. Not all swans are white, and not all events, no matter what the experts think, are predictable. Taleb shows that black swans, like 9/11, cannot be foreseen and have an immeasurable impact on the world.

    Kenneth says: "Brilliant, Obnoxious, Narcissistic, Brilliant"
    "If my mother had her way..."

    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.

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Buyology: Truth and Lies About Why We Buy

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Martin Lindstrom
    • Narrated By Don Leslie
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Based on the single largest neuromarketing study ever conducted, Buyology reveals surprising truths about what attracts our attention and captures our dollars.

    Erik Cornelissen says: "What we think we know versus how we act in buying."
    "Spin me right round baby, right round"

    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.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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