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Excellent overview of the current financial crisis, which ain't over yet, alas. The author's viewpoint is moderately liberal, somewhat pessimistic but quite judicious and knowledgeable, not given to leftist screed or Chicago School boosterism. As of this writing, the book is also surprisingly current. In the later chapters the acronyms of the credit default swaps and all those new whirligig financial instruments fly by, but you get the idea. It's confusing because it was indeed confusing, even to bankers. Which was part of the problem. You will especially enjoy this book if, like me, you read Greenspan's book and were horrified to hear the man in charge of our monetary machine enthuse over Ayn Rand and gush like a neocon junior staffer over the magic power of markets. Well, we are all neck deep in the "magic of markets" now and will be digging ourselves out for years. Oh, be advised this book is general, in the best sense. More forest than trees. Not a book of details, inside stories, or personalities, which is fine by me. Hope Audible will get more on this topic.
20 of 20 people found this review helpful
If you have analytical training, but don't understand modern finance, especially the kind at the hart of the current crisis, this book will explain it starting from basic concepts. It is ideally suited for engineers and scientists who can follow the mathematical concepts without a lot of hand holding, but really need an introduction to the relevant financial insterments.
If you don't understand the difference between a long position and a short position or basic concepts about the stock market or if you don't have some intuition for probability this is probably too difficult a read. If you are a financial professional it's probably too elementary. But for many it will be the perfect balance.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
The book comprehensively covers the crisis - causes, origin, events, fallout and possible future outcomes. The last aspect is slightly overdone - highly cynical/negative expectations. The crisis is unprecedented but follow-on collapses in other asset classes, though quite reasoned is perhaps improbable. These were my thoughts after listening to the book in Mar 2009. Thus far, my opinion seems correct. A great listen to understand the crisis.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
I am very much into economics and finance, and was looking forward to this. However, I was very very disappointed with this one, and I just could not get into it. I admit that the problem here could be me, maybe I'm just not as bright or as knowledgeable on the subject as I thought. I suspect there probably is a good book in here, but I don't think this can be recommended for people who only have a limited understanding of the subject. Certainly not for beginners.
0 of 1 people found this review helpful