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
Tell us about yourself!
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.
Another over opinionated mammal
This was a thinly veiled white wash trying to lay the blame for the financial crisis at the feet of Fanny-Mae and portrays the private investment banks almost as victims. The author ignores that the finical verticals that created the crisis were created and employed by the private investment banks. And that those banks where the ones that kept using them even when as the economy was tanking.
In the top ten of my non-fiction list.
I have listened to him before and except for a few disagreements about pronunciation, he is very good.
When I read about the power of lobbyists.
I loved putting this all together and realizing that the build-up to this debacle happened over a 35 year span. I realize that where there are men/women, there is greed. Where there is power, there is greed. Where there is temptation there is greed. I also realized that in most situations people are reactionary rather than visionary. Listen to this book and you will learn a great deal about how our government functions. Maybe time for an overhaul.
This book is more designed for the financial guru or someone with a better understanding of accounting and finance.
The history of what led up to the collapse was fascinating. Pure greed unabated!
Anger that the financial collapse could have been prevented.
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.
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