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Bailout: What the Rescue of Bear Stearns and the Credit Crisis Mean for Your Investments Hardcover – September 9, 2008

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 196 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (September 9, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470401257
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470401255
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 0.8 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #601,279 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"USA TODAY investment columnist John Waggoner provides sensible, specific steps to help investors navigate through…the volatile financial markets likely to continue for the months ahead." (USA Today)

From the Inside Flap

In March of 2008, the world markets woke up to the news that Bear Stearns, the fifth-largest U.S. investment bank, had essentially collapsed. The fall of Bear Stearns nearly crippled the short-term money market, the lifeblood of modern finance. Bank lending ground to a halt. Municipal financing, which pays for roads, schools, and other daily essentials, evaporated. The company's fall changed the way the government regulates Wall Street, and it shook the faith of investors to the core. How did this happen? How will it affect the future of the markets? What does it mean for the individual investor?

In Bailout, John Waggoner—the investment columnist for USA Today—answers these and other questions surrounding the recent market catastrophes. As the author explains, this was a different kind of market panic. Bear Stearns didn't collapse because its stock was low—the company crumbled because no one would lend it money. The Federal Reserve then intervened, not because they were worried about Bear Stearns, but because they feared a meltdown in the credit markets if Bear defaulted on its debt.

The dangers in this cycle, says Waggoner, could be bigger than we've seen in a long time. Investors need to act now in order to protect their portfolios, and Waggoner shows how. The author offers specific advice on protecting portfolio finances against both inflation and deflation through the use of Treasury bonds, gold, commodities, and real estate. He explains the critical importance of paying down debt—pointing out that paying down a 19% credit card is the equivalent of getting a 19% return on an investment! And he offers a range of other strategies to help your portfolio weather a storm, including rebalancing and using foreign currencies—as well as identifying a few strategies to avoid.

Your ultimate protection, Waggoner explains, is to have a plan. Assume we'll all get through this—you can't predicate your investment plan on everything crumbling. Start with the very basics: set your investment goals and match your investments to those goals. With step-by-step expert advice, Bailout will show you how.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Claire on December 13, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
From an insider a retail Financial Advisor for one of the firms "bailed out" in 2008....this is a great synopsis of what really happened. Just as in real life, workers for Wall Street firms on the front line do not see a trickle down effect. The guru's in New York make the big bucks and lose the money... we have to work with our clients and try to recover their money and our reputations. We try, very hard to help them save and accumulate retirement money, then our counterparts blow it up. Not only do we hate to see our clients suffer, we suffer as our 401k goes down and a portion of our compensation disappears because it was in company stock. I am, personally, pretty disgusted that the so-called smart people of Wall Street were so stupid to let this go on as long as it did. I am giving this book to my clients for Christmas 2009. I couldn't have written it better myself. There were many people who helped this situation get worse down to the homeowner who financed 100% then took out a home equity loan to buy a big-screen TV. It is pure greed and has come home to roost. It is unfortunate that hard working people must fish in the same pond (stock and bond market) that the Hedge Fund managers fish in. The individual investor their own skin in the game -- their personal savings. The hedge fund and structured product managers simply lose their current jobs. We will recover from this, but we will not be unscathed. The author does a great job of putting all of this into perspective and in a manner that the layman can understand.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Rolands Petrevics on December 22, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I can just applaud, how talented should be a writer, to make a book about such complicated in fact things like CDO's, ARM's NINA loans, and beyond, to make not easy to catch - but also great read, full of humor and else a enjoyable read.
Citations are in exactly where are needed, statistics are exactly as much to not make it look dry, and all the terms are explained so, you no need google nearby to read this book (as it sometimes happens with such a literature).
I suggest this book to everyone who wants to understand, how we get in this swamp where we are now, and what's can ne ext we can expect.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By B. Melody on December 12, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
John Waggoner has a very witty sense of humor. He had me LOL(laughing out loud)in public places, with his funny takes and observations. I like the way he breaks down what happened with Bear Stearns and the financial crisis in the begining of the book and then delved into giving advice and solutions for investing what's left of your portfolio. The book gives you a good idea of how the financial markets work and the economics, a well as the politics behind it. Good read!
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4 of 9 people found the following review helpful By MAC on September 15, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This is a great read on the whole mortgage industry. Lots of interesting trivia and it makes a complicated issue very understandable. Great analogies that help piece it together. Waggoner is extremely witty.
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