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I found this book to be a fascinating look at the markets' behavior over the past 50 years. The author deftly relates the past with that observed in the recent down turn. I feel that I have a much greater understanding of some of the significant factors that led to the series of crashes in 2007 & 2008. It is a definite listen for anyone interested in finance's recent history. It is not an introductory level book though. I am not an expert and have no formal education in finance & economics so it is not an overly academic read. However, if you aren't familiar with terms such as quantitative easing and securitization and don't want to take the time to look them up, then you can get confused quite quickly.
My only criticism is as follows. The theme of the book is that markets are so interconnected that a seemingly unrelated investment can be dramatically affected by the (often illogical) actions of other markets. There is not much emphasis on how one would use this knowledge to avoid past mistakes.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
This is a thoughtful guided tour of recent financial history. The viewpoint is built around correlations, linkages between deals, markets and asset-classes. I had noticed these on a daily basis and thought them important, but hadn't seen a focused explanation such as this. This book addresses various general investment types and portfolios, showing how the idea of diversification can be an illusion. Oil and commodities fluctuations over the last few decades are one big focus, in the USA and relatedly in emerging markets. But this book is a big-picture overview of the global economy, linkages across its regions and parts, finance innovations, shocks and adjustments over recent times, through 2010, with well-thought considerations for the future. I had seen many of these terms before but always enjoy a new lucid explanation and walk-through with its own angles and nuances. I would put this in my "top 5" of financial books, out of dozens read lately. The downloadable graphs and charts are readily understandable and well-integrated with the text.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful