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Starred Review. At once a gripping narrative, an education in derivatives, and a most lucid origin-story for the current financial meltdown, it's no surprise the author of this volume is an award-winning Financial Times journalist. Taking readers back to the invention of credit-derivative obligations (CDOs) at J. P. Morgan in 1994, and the subsequent exponential growth of that market, Tett (Saving the Sun) deploys a remarkable sense of pacing, generating real suspense over rapidly inflating debt on bank balance sheets; by the time Lehman Brothers fails, the book has become a bonafide page-turner. Tett explains how credit derivatives seemed a win-win for the financial world, freeing up capital, increasing profits, and diversifying risk, but makes the missteps equally clear as the industry hurtles toward a largely-unforeseen wave of loan defaults (the worst since the Great Depression). Interestingly, J.P. Morgan was one of a handful of banks sufficiently prescient to imagine this "perfect storm" of simultaneous defaults, and so never became over-reliant on CDOs. Ignoring the tacked-on, preachy epilogue (in which Tett advocates her specialty, social anthropology, as a way to avert future such crises), Tett's explosive, illuminating narrative is the one to read for anyone confused by the present financial mess. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"The author excels at recreating this fevered environment. She also deciphers Wall Street mumbo-jumbo in terms that a lay reader...can understand." ---The New York Times --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.See all Editorial Reviews
I read a book a long time ago that taught me always ask the next question. Not many people know about the commodities and futures modernization act, smart people like those at J.P. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Billy Ray
I have been reading Gillian Tett's articles in the Financial Times for about 18 years and she really does a good job here of explaining exactly how the 2008... Read more
In 2008 Gillian Gett received the British Business Journalist of the Year Award for her coverage of the 08 Collapse. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Cline Russell
An insightful book on how the 2008 financial crisis was enabled mostly by the work of the derivatives team at J.P. Morgan beginning in the 1990's. Read morePublished 4 months ago by D. Olson
A must read for those eager to get a deeper understanding of the 2008 financial crisis, and how exactly did we get there. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Roland Pettersson
For another view of Wall Street tyranny and tomfoolery this is a pretty good read. Maybe I am jaded at this point, having read about eight books covering the period in the book... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Miller.
Gillian Tett's book Fool's Gold tells the story of the '08 Crash from a unique point of view; that of a social anthropologist. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Richard M. Rollo