A best seller on both sides of the Atlantic, Fool's Gold is a key commentary on the causes of the recent financial crisis. Taking readers back to the invention of credit-derivative obligations (CDOs) at J. P. Morgan in 1994, and the subsequent exponential growth of that market, Tett explains how credit derivatives seemed a win-win for the financial world, freeing up capital, increasing profits, and diversifying risk.
In her own inimitable style, Tett makes the missteps clear as the industry hurtles toward a largely unforeseen wave of loan defaults...the worst since the Great Depression.
Fool's Gold was named Financial Book of the Year 2009 at the inaugural Spear's Book Awards.
©2009 Gillian Tett; (P)2009 Audible
"A truly gripping narrative....The fact that Tett is able to reproduce such raw private communications is a tribute to her journalistic abilities." (Sunday Times)
"At once a gripping narrative, an education in derivatives, and a most lucid origin-story for the current financial meltdown, it's no surprise the author of this volume is an award-winning Financial Times journalist. Tett's explosive, illuminating narrative is the one to read for anyone confused by the present financial mess." (Publishers Weekly)
This book is very well written and researched, and probably as clear and well-organized as possible given the technical nature of the subject matter and the furious cascade of events. I liked the fact that the author had no obvious bias but treats her subjects with scrupulous fairness. She also eschewed taking too much of an ideological stance, leaving readers to ponder the events and personalities and allowing us to come to our own conclusions. Other than the prologue which is also even-handed she mostly refrains from telling us what she thinks.
One slightly more than minor annoyance: the reader, who was otherwise excellent, decided to affect an upper-class British accent for all the English-born characters in the story but he couldn't quite pull it off. The effort sounded like an intentional mockery of the person he was quoting, which, I'm sure, was not the intention of the author.
Other than that, I enjoyed this book so much that I intend to read it again, in part because I still do not have an adequate grasp of these astounding events which occurred, presumably, while we were all asleep.
I 'read' many audio books - sometimes I have 3 or 4 that I listen to in parallel.
There are some however that do not fit this norm, once I start those, I will not put them down and I am compelled to go to the end, this book is one of them.
This is a very well written book for the 'weekend' economist wanting to understand what is happening now.
"Very revealing of corporate greed"
I downloaded this book on the strength of the excellent articles by the author in the FInancial TImes. There's a lot of detail, much use of acronyms, that I kept forgetting, and many names to keep track of. However, as someone who has lost money because of the reckless behaviour of these scoundrels in banking I was interested to hear how they did it. I only wish there was an epilogue where they get their comeuppance.
The narrator delivered difficult material competently.
A really good listen, if a little hard to follow sometimes with a lot of the players having similiar names.
It really does bring home how good intentions can be seized on by others with lower morals.
An interesting story on CDOs and JPMorgan's involvement. Narration is good and engaging. recommended if you are into wall street calamities and how it brought down the world economy...
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