Janet Tavakoli takes you into the world of Warren Buffett by way of the recent mortgage meltdown. In correspondence and discussion with him over two years, they both saw the writing on the wall, made clear by the implosion of Bear Stearns. Tavakoli, in clear and engaging prose, explains how the credit mess happened, beginning with the mortgage lending Ponzi schemes funded by investment banks, then moving on to the Fed bailout and its impact on the dollar. Through her narrative, we hear from Warren Buffett and learn how his enduring principles caused him to see the mess that was coming well in advance and kept him and his investors well out of the way.
©2009 Janet M. Tavakoli (P)2012 Audible, Inc.
...add up to a book that almost made me scream, until I realized, after 9 (of 14) blather-filled chapters, that I could just turn it off and move on to a real book. This is not a book but a book-length mental masturbation exercise with countless mentions of "Warren," and constant ludicrous claims that Tavakoli (and her "buddy" Warren, of course) was the only person on Earth who saw the 2008 crisis coming.
Despite her efforts at sounding like the smartest and best connected woman in finance, she just sounds like a pathetic, repetitive social climber with zero emotional intelligence, desperate to show off her list of powerful friends. She left with me an enduring (imaginary) image of Warren Buffett, upon seeing another email from some woman with whom he had one lunch in 2005, rolling his eyes and pressing the delete key.
I understand Tavakoli is something of an expert in derivatives, and I discovered this piece of junk (well below investment grade) after looking up one of her technical books on the topic when I heard it quoted in "Confidence Man," a terrific book about Bill Ackman. Don't be fooled...there is nothing of value here that cant be gleaned from one of many, much better written books about the subprime crisis.
And that narrator! She sounds like a low-rent Mary Poppins, in way over her head and trying to sound prissy to cover up the fact that she doesn't understand a word she's reading.
Run! Run! Run!
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