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Well-known financial journalist Lowenstein (Buffett; When Genius Failed) sets out to explain the stock market crash of 2000 and the ensuing corporate scandals. The ingredients are familiar: executive overcompensation and stock options, irrationally exuberant shareholders, friendly auditors, short-term focus by financial professionals and overemphasis on shareholder value. The author puts his unique stamp on these factors by juxtaposing them so brilliantly that the 20-year history that inflated the bubble seems not just understandable, but inevitable. The story is traced from the doldrums of the 1970s through the raiders and junk bonds of the 1980s to the financial brave new world of the 1990s. In self-conscious parallel to John Kenneth Galbraith's The Great Crash, Lowenstein explains that it is the boom that needs to be explained; the crash is simply the natural consequence. Lowenstein's low-key ease with the most complex financial reporting makes this book both accurate and easy to read, just as his earlier Buffett revealed a fascinating character where other writers saw only dullness, and his Where Genius Failed was a very comprehensible account of the 1998 Long-Term Capital Management blowup.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Lowenstein traces the origins of the trend that fueled the great stock market boom of the 1990s, which ultimately led to the dot-com bubble, the collapse of Enron and Worldcom, and the exposure of corruption that followed in its wake. Back in the 1970s, stocks were in such disfavor that one columnist was moved to write a piece called "The Death of Equities." At that time, no one expected history to repeat itself, but the dire conditions gave rise to the largest financial boom-and-bust cycle in history. The takeovers and leveraged buyouts of the 1980s played a role in the resurgence of the stock market, but the granting of stock options to CEOs as incentive for growth played a bigger part in what was to come. Finally, corporations wishing to transfer control of pensions to individual employees through 401(k) programs pegged the performance of millions of ordinary workers' investments to the stock market and created a cult of equities on a massive scale. Lowenstein creates intriguing portraits of the players in this larger-than-life culture. David Siegfried
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
This is the most concise and complete description I've yet seen of what's happened with the markets and the economy in the latter half of the 20th century. Read morePublished on July 15, 2013 by Wikileaker
Im sure the players that caused the mess are better off than they were before but I wanted to read about the actions that lead to my less monied life and the author made it... Read morePublished on January 11, 2013 by J. Broughton
Roger Lowenstein's 2004 book provides an excellent overview of the "Great Bubble" (i.e., the stock market boom of the 1990s, and its inevitable crash). Read morePublished on April 9, 2012 by Steven H Propp
Lowenstein provide a well written and interesting account of the bubble and some of the factors causing the stock market bubble in the mid to late 1990s. Read morePublished on October 31, 2010 by Yoda
The author has done an admirable job in identifying the main, root cause of recessions and depressions. Read morePublished on March 26, 2009 by Michael Emmett Brady
This is a must read for the financially trying times we currently live thru.Even though the book is a couple of years old it is still current. Read morePublished on October 2, 2008 by Gary J. Demaria
I had an extremely favorable impression of Lowenstein's books, having gone through the classic "When Genius Failed" as well as "Buffett". Read morePublished on May 11, 2008 by Amazon Customer
During the 2000-2002 time period, I lost a large portion of my retirement in the stock market. Painful as it may be, I now know why I lost all that money after reading the book.Published on December 29, 2007 by Gene P. Louie