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4.1 out of 5 stars
All the Devils Are Here: The Hidden History of the Financial Crisis
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31 of 54 people found the following review helpful
on February 15, 2012
Format: Paperback
This book, subtitled "unmasking the men who bankrupted the world" does no such thing.

At the end the authors correctly state: "People also felt that a great crime had been committed, yet there was not going to be a great punishment...Much of what took place...was immoral, unjust, craven, delusional behaviour..." Then incredibly they claim "but it wasn't criminal. The most clear-cut cases of corruption - the brokers who tricked people into bad mortgages, the Wall Street bankers who knowingly packaged bad mortgages - are in the shadows, cogs inside the wheels..."

Huh? They finger only those silly, young employees who were greedy but ignorant (and hired precisely for their credulity) for doing what they were told to do by their corrupt bosses, when those bosses were the ones who got the millions in bonuses? As an example, the book recounts how, in 2006, the head of the largest US mortgage lender, Countrywide, described one of his own mortgages as "the most dangerous product in existence and there can be nothing more toxic" but (of course) did nothing to replace it.

He ultimately left a bankrupt Countrywide after also pocketing over 150million from selling his stock at the peak - while year after year mortgage industry practices continued to get worse and worse. But, in the end, the authors blame only the mortgage brokers at the bottom of this food chain? No: follow the money - upwards.

Also, why no mention that the whole sorry story is totally psychopathic? While it is being admitted - mostly with a helpless shrug - that most corporations appear to be psychopathic, that's like blaming reckless driving on cars. The drivers controlling the vehicles are the law breakers.

Actually very few psychopaths are serial killers; in fact most are clever and appear charming, which confuses the rest of us, who've been trained to think of the likes of Al Bundy. Psychopaths are often highly charismatic, but their greedy actions reveal their chronic inability to feel guilt, remorse or even anxiety about negative consequences to others.

Search online for a fastcompany article "Is Your Boss a Psychopath?" just one of an increasing number of books and articles revealing big-name CEOs to be psychopaths. Psychopaths believe they are entitled to steal with impunity and feel only contempt for the moral majority but all theft is against your inherent and inalienable basic rights: we ALL have the right of full disclosure. No one may steal anything; not your money, not your livelihood, not your property, not your body, not your life.

"Freedom" by Veronica Chapman is an eye-opening primer on your basic rights. It may be possible (but unlikely) that no statutes were broken but it is certain that the basic law was consistently ignored. Mis-selling is a crime and no amount of smoke and mirrors can change that. Laws have clearly been broken, and massively. It is tragic to have to conclude that those at the top - of the financial sector, politics, and the military-industrial complex - are all part of a criminal cabal; psychopaths protected and rewarded by the puppeteers.

Shouldn't the spotlight - in a book subtitled "unmasking the men who bankrupted the world" - have been on those puppeteers? This book, and others like it, recounts the stories playing out on the stage, conveniently ignoring everything behind the scenes. Come to that, who was controlling the Bushistas, the CLInts, Obama ("change, now") and other figureheads? It's not difficult, just follow the money ... to the 10 richest "families" (many think of the Rothschild and Rockefeller families but even they are "bankers" for those with much more hidden wealth including the Vatican and the English "royal" family - which openly do not pay taxes). Then ask why these psychopaths are stealing even more trillions; malevolently trashing our planet and deliberately creating even more worldwide suffering.

It's more than time to pull their teeth, instead of letting these psychopaths continue to own and manipulate everything (politics/governments, finance/economy, war/terrorism, "health"care, drugs (legal and illegal), prostitution, energy resources, schooling, food supplies, news/entertainment, transportation, you name it) to our detriment while we practically worship them. A common thief goes to prison while these financial rapists are mostly glorified: the richer they are, the more adulation we give them.

How is it possible that psychopaths are estimated at 4 per cent of the population but overwhelmingly infest the top of all systems? Cooking recipes specify that scum needs to be skimmed as it rises to the top. How is the recipe for humanity any different?

We are seeing the end-game now - for them or for us, WE get to choose. They have the control, for now anyway, but we (the masses) have the power. Just say "no". It's more than time for change: real change, right change.
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2 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
As I read this compelling history outlining everything and almost everyone, who contributed to the recent housing bubble, I couldn't help but wonder what would be next. With so little accountability in the end the moral might well be that crime (or maybe just greed, ignorance and egotism) does pay.
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14 of 49 people found the following review helpful
on January 5, 2012
Format: Paperback
The authors excuse everyone, and I mean everyone: Paulson, the puppet President Bush, Jr., and everyone at Wall Street, and concludes the book by taking pot shots at people who are critics of the absolutely failure GSE's FNMA and FHMLC. This book contributes much in the way of details and little in the way of substance or background.

The idea that so many senior executives did not see this coming and did not know they would be bailed out is as stupid an idea as is saying all the bailouts were wonderful. People, the criminal senior executives, are to blame. These people were bailed out. Main street will remove invertebrates like Frank, Dodd, Obama, and all the RINO's as well.
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7 of 36 people found the following review helpful
on September 11, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
Like many others I have a problem paying the same price for a Kindle version as a paper published version. Regretfully amazon doesn't have another way to speak to this but through the comments sections. If you haven't the intellect to see that 90% of the 1 star reviews are about price and if you're not capable of subtracting those opinions from the reviews of the book itself then maybe the book would be beyond your comprehension anyway. I will not buy this book.
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126 of 402 people found the following review helpful
on November 19, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Nocera and McLean demonstrate that after all their research they still don't understand what happened, and this book is just another instance of people playing the blame game. Everyone is to blame for the financial crisis, it's not fair to simply say it was all Wall Street's fault. Yes, the banks were stupid to lend without regard to ability to repay a loan. But does that excuse borrowers for taking on too much debt? No! The real issue here is that no one seems to want to take personal responsibility; everyone is trying to blame someone else and point their fingers at everyone but themselves.

As for credit default swaps, they're not as evil as they're made out to be by the authors. The majority of these swaps are actually used legitimately, to hedge and/or diversify debt holdings. Not a single company was brought down by credit default swaps. A lot of people like to point out that these are what brought down AIG. However these were only one of many reasons AIG went bust. AIG also had a huge securities lending operation whereby they lent securities to short-sellers in exchange for cash. When the short-sellers returned the stock, they were supposed to give them their money back. However AIG had invested all this cash (over $69 billion) in mortgage bonds and they were unable to pay people back when the mortgage market crashed. This crimped their cash flow and is a bigger reason for their fall than CDS. The solution to the CDS issue is simple: require clearing of most CDS to eliminate counter-party risk. That way AIG would never have been able to have such a 1-sided swap portfolio. An outright ban is throwing the baby out with the bathwater. In fact the authors make no mention of when CDS actually benefited markets, such as the GM bankruptcy. Over $27 billion in debt was wiped out, yet banks were barely affected. Ever wonder why? Because they had hedged their risks using CDS. This whole CDS debate actually reminds me of the pro-gun, anti-gun arguments.

Anyways these are just two of the most glaring issues with this book. They do get some things right, such as issues involving predatory lending. But that by itself is a small part of the market and has been going on since the invention of loans. These wouldn't have caused a crisis by themselves. Most of the defaulting loans were not predatory, but rather moronic (on both sides). The most useful aspect of this book is that it is proof that the latest bubble is in books trying to give lame reasons for the financial crisis.
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32 of 170 people found the following review helpful
on December 21, 2010
Format: Hardcover
In light of the well known fact that both of them have been carrying water for certain hedge funds for years, it is incredibly ironic that Bethany McLean and Joe Nocera have written a book about the causes of the financial crisis.

They are captured journalists. And as a result they have zero credibility.
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9 of 108 people found the following review helpful
on April 21, 2011
Format: Hardcover
To all the whiners who complain about Kindle readers critizising the price: skip them and move on to real reviews. If this book gets a lousy rating someone will do something, or at least that is the point. If you want to know if the book is good just don't read reviews with a "price" on the title. It will take just tenths of a second to skip them. Let us Kindle users protest in the way we want too. This is not showing contempt to "true" readers, but expressing legitimate protests about the pricing of the book.
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6 of 101 people found the following review helpful
on July 17, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
Who would pay the same price for a Kindle book as they would for a hardcover book? A hardcover book has *significantly* higher overhead. Similar attempts have been made by other publishers, and they paid for it in the end. This is unfortunate.
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13 of 153 people found the following review helpful
on February 2, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
I am dying to read this book BUT COME ON AMAZON. 17 dollars for an ebook please."..................that is a rip off
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51 of 411 people found the following review helpful
on November 18, 2010
Format: Hardcover
My understanding when I bought my Kindle was that books cost $9.99 or less. It makes no sense to price the electronic version essentially the same as the dead tree version. Consider this another lost sale.
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