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I liked the content, but I'm not a financial expert either, so it's hard to be critical. However, the quality of the audio is substandard. Two chapters are repeated and you need to fast forward through them when you realize it. Then, the sound level of another couple chapters is noticeably lower than the rest, requiring you to turn up the volume for a period. I used quality 4; not sure it is applies to all downloads.
6 of 7 people found this review helpful
I have read probably 20 "great recession" books, and this is one of the better ones, though it came out in 2009 or so. It is well-told, well-edited, easy to listen to. This is a critique of the evolution of our economy and particularly the financial services sector from a smaller number of risk-taking owner-managers to today's sort of diffuse, ad hoc-governed, crony insurance system. (This is embodied perfectly in the odyssey of Robert Rubin from Goldman Sachs to the US Treasury to Citi; and of course the purportedly anti-government but utterly ham-handed governmental interventions of Mr Greenspan.) Democrats and Republicans both come in for a skewering. The book follows the gradual multi-decade drift of businesses and other institutions (like the Fed, Congress and the Presidency) into ever-more interlinked circles of privileged influence, into such a configuration that, in 2008, the Fed wound up jumping to wakefulness and leaping in awkwardly to "catch falling knives" being the finances of various mismanaged institutions (that were well-enough connected to the Fed).
The wisdom of hindsight is of course always nice, and I still await some working plan in our ultra-complex world economy to replace the mess that happened here (with a skeptical eye on 2010's Dodd-Frank). Maybe this author can give us a sequel? The US does seem bad, until anybody scrutinizes a lot of other systems. The whole thing still seems marbled through with incredibly misallocated resources and risk. The picture painted as of 2009 is still very instructive, and gets us ready to try to understand whatever is next. The captains of government seem only marginally more competent now than they were in that benighted era (not good enough!), and a lot of flaws pointed out in this book are very much with us.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful