How the Masters of the Universe Melted Wall Street Down…and Why They’ll Take Us to the Brink Again
How did Wall Street become a self-serving and ultimately destructive profit machine that imploded? Wall Street's real job is to be our "financial utility" - good financial plumbers that funnel capital to companies so the economy can expand and create jobs and also provide the means for individual investors to build portfolios that will increase personal wealth. But Wall Street went haywire and became (in Jon Stewart's words) a "bizarro" place that lost touch with most of America.
Suzanne McGee provides a penetrating and disturbing look at forces that have transformed Wall Street into a risk-taking behemoth that spun out of control and took the economy and millions of 401(k)s down with it. Primary among these forces was "Goldman Sachs envy". The demons that drove Richard Fuld of Lehman Brothers, Stanley O'Neil of Merrill Lynch, and the rest of Wall Street to ever-greater risk were perverse incentives and the illusion that they could make even more money than Goldman Sachs (where $11.6 billion in profits in 2007 led to an average bonus of $660,000). Firsthand reporting from veteran Wall Street journalist McGee provides riveting storytelling and a narrative that will grab both Wall Street insiders and people on "Main Street". She is the perfect guide through the labyrinth that is Wall Street, which now reaches from the actual street to Greenwich-based hedge funds, investment banks, venture capitalists in Silicon Valley, the futures pits of Chicago, and sovereign wealth funds.
It says chasing Goldman Sachs but in fact it does not give that much incite into Goldman Sachs during this period of time It talks about all the big investment firms. The Big Short is a much better read about this period in Wall Street. It is divided into two parts, I quit going into the second part.
If you need a book to put you to sleep than this is the one.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful
This book is very flawed. The best part is the dramatis personae at the beginning. McGee keeps referring to the "economy crashing" but never tells us exactly what that means----50% unemployment, 30% interest rates, etc.?
In other words, what is the botrtom line effect on the average Joe whose only connection with WS is a few shares of common and my 401 or pension fund.
Of the nearly 15 books I've listened to regarding the "crisis," this is clearly the biggest waste of time. I agree that "Too Big" and "Big Short" make a lot more sense.
I would short this book & go long on some of the others.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Compared to such great books like Too Big to Fail and The Big Short, McGee is out of her league as a writer. The book repeats itself endlessly and worst of all, it is not written from an insider's perspective. It was as if she read Wall Street Journal articles or listened to canned speeches to write the book
1 of 1 people found this review helpful