As soon as the financial crisis erupted, the finger-pointing began. Should the blame fall on Wall Street, Main Street, or Pennsylvania Avenue? On greedy traders, misguided regulators, sleazy subprime companies, cowardly legislators, or clueless home buyers?
According to Bethany McLean and Joe Nocera, two of America's most acclaimed business journalists, the real answer is all of the above-and more. Many devils helped bring hell to the economy. And the full story, in all of its complexity and detail, is like the legend of the blind men and the elephant. Almost everyone has missed the big picture. Almost no one has put all the pieces together.
All the Devils Are Here goes back several decades to weave the hidden history of the financial crisis in a way no previous book has done. It explores the motivations of everyone from famous CEOs, cabinet secretaries, and politicians to anonymous lenders, borrowers, analysts, and Wall Street traders. It delves into the powerful American mythology of homeownership. And it proves that the crisis ultimately wasn't about finance at all; it was about human nature.
©2010 Bethany McLean (P)2010 Penguin Audio
From the book's description on Audible, I thought listening to this book would give me a better understanding of the causes of the financial crisis. That was not the case. To me, it seemed that McLean and Nocera assume their readers already have a working understanding of the financial market, and the aim of their book is to use that knowledge to assign guilt to various individuals involved in the crisis. Since I didn't have that working knowledge, the narrative incomprehensible most of the time.
Initially, I was amused by how Boutsikaris would adopt the voice of a stereotypical car mechanic when reading direct quotes from finance professionals. But that got very old very quickly.
In short, if you already have some familiarity with the financial market, there's a chance you'd find this book informative. Otherwise, I do not recommend it.
It did an excellent job covering a complicated subject. I would have to listen to it several more times to really understand all the things that contributed to the finanacial system meltdown, but not due to any shortcoming of the book.
It's not a work of fiction with multiple characters so the reader does not have to do multiple voices or anything, but he read it like he was telling a story and sounded like he was interested in what he was telling. That makes a big difference over a dead pan recitation.
The Financial System Perfect Storm
This is a pretty long audiobook and often with long fact-filled non-fiction books, I grow tired of them before they are over, even when I am intrigued with the subject matter. Not with this one. It was written well and read well and held my attention throughout.
Appropriately titled. No ONE factor to blame for the financial crises. A richly layered, well thought out history of all the factors leading up to "the perfect storm" that became the crises. Sometimes a "heavy" read/listen with a lot of technical terms that are explained but sometimes difficult to remember. In spite of that you do get an idea of the concepts involved. It was also the correct balance between details without missing out on the bigger picture. I thought the narrator was exceptional.
Enlightening and entertaining. Overall a must read if the topic interests you at all.
Heck, even if the topic doesn't interest you: listen and be astonished!
A very good history of the financial meltdown, written like a mystery-thriller. The level of detail is just right. A great follow-up to her book on Enron. Not as entertaining as The Big Short, but worth it nonetheless if you want to understand why your mortgage is under water.
I do not usually take the time to rate books, though I appreciate it when others put in a thoughtful review. This is actually my first Audible rate/review and I chose to do it specifically because I think so highly of this book. Bear in mind that I am a neophyte when it comes to market matters. Prior to listening to ATDAH, the only financial type book that I had read or listened to was Alan Greenspan's book, The Age of Turbulence. That was probably not the best choice for a newcomer and told me nothing much about the background to the 2008 crisis, which was what I was looking for. Like so many others, I wondered how such a financial mess could come about and how it was that it had caused avowed free market capitalists to clamour for bailouts. After many futile attempts to find a satisfactory answer, I saw the authors of ATDAH on the Daily Show and thought this book might just give me what I was looking for. It did, in spades. I recommend it to anyone I know who is looking to enlighten themselves as to the ingredients that went into the disastrous mix.
When I read "Too Big to Fail" about the story of the financial meltdown of 2008, I expected some background information about how this whole mess started. Instead, it was a story about the people participating in that mess.
"All the Devils Are Here" is all about the facts; facts about people, events, corporations, successes and failures. Sometimes your head might hurt from all the financial acronyms, even though they’re all explained in some details. But there’s just too many of them and they all sound the same.
However, it’s still a great a read that has a lot of details about how the financial meltdown and its roots since the Regan administration.
One thing is completely true about this book, the title.
I listened to every minute of this audio download, despite its length and my lack of training in finance and economics. The detail went over my head but the story is mesmerizing and very competently read by the narrator. The story is best when it gets into stories, as with the characters involved in AIG and Merrill Lynch. Why not 5 stars? I guess because of the overwhelming amount of detail, but that didn't stop me from listening!
awesome, thorough, excellent review, going back to the 80s. I read the big short which i loved. this is a little more factual, goes back further in history so you can put the crisis in better context, and a very complementary analysis. really worthwhile for anyone trying to understand what happened. its amazing you think things are awful and can't get worse, and you are still a decade away from the final meltdown. unbelievable what actuallyhappened.
as you might expect from well respected journalists. This is not, "The Big Short." They go into depth on a couple of the players. Definitely not a feel good book. Spoiler Alert: the epilogue ends with, "Maybe we'll get it right next time." I think they forgot to include, "Either way we'll make a boatload of money." Very in depth reporting of a very long process that will affect us for a very long time.
My reviews are honest. No sugar coating here.
All last week, NPR Planet Money has been talking about Fannie Mae and the whole housing loan and government backing. Podcast #262: Fannie And Freddie's Rise And Fall and #263: What Comes After Fannie And Freddie. It's very interesting how poor the two system is run and has yet learned their lessons with bad loans, bad mistakes, bad, bad, bad. It's amazing how AIG was poorly run and got bailed out. The book was just okay. I think that NPR had too much hype, promoting this title. The same information is in Too Big to Fail, The Big Short, Lords of Finance, and many others that I've read. The best part of this book is how Ameriquest was filing false or no papers for loans. I was disappointed at this book because it didn't cover anything about the failures of government home loans refinancing and that mess and how people are loosing their homes because the banks still doesn't gets it. Over hype book. If you read the previous titles that I mentioned above, skip All the Devils Are Here because you are not learning anything new. I gave it three stars just because it was a tolerable read.
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