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The Great Hangover: 21 Tales of the New Recession from the Pages of Vanity Fair Paperback – March 9, 2010

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Vanity Fair presents 21 true stories of the new hard times

Where did all the billions go?

Commissioned by the editors at Vanity Fair magazine, The Great Hangover is an eye-opening collection of essays on the global economic crisis by fifteen of the most respected contemporary business writers in America, including:

Bryan Burrough (Barbarians at the Gate) on the atmosphere of uncertainty and fear that preceded the demise of Bear Stearns . . .

Michael Lewis (Liar's Poker) on Iceland's bizarre national implosion . . .

Mark Bowden (Black Hawk Down) on the decline of The New York Times and the threat to the ailing newspaper industry . . .

Mark Seal on the defining figure of the seriously tarnished New Gilded Age: the Grand Master of Greed, Bernie Madoff . . .

Along with compelling and sometimes hair-raising pieces from a dozen other Vanity Fair contributors on the recent recession's myriad villains and victims—and the worldwide impact of the financial downturn.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial; 1 edition (March 9, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061964425
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061964428
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 1.1 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #876,816 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Jeffrey Swystun on April 4, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a tremendous collection that captures the reasons, emotions, and impacts of The Great Recession. Housing prices, complex financial offers, lack of regulation and oversight - these will be discussed and debated for decades as a few of the factors that led us to the edge of an economic abyss. Tremendous authors put us in the action while at the same time providing a combination of objectivity and distance to best understand the complexities of the subject matter. Bryan Burrough, Niall Ferguson, Michael Lewis, and Mark Bowden are a few notables who lend their credibility and expertise to this examination.

"Bringing Down Bear Stearns" covers the maverick culture of this iconic casualty. Which is such a shame - I loved their research and brand but they were ignorantly culpable. It is staggering as to how quickly and how broadly the downturn radiated out impacting the larger economy. "Profiles in Panic" captures the `cost' of economic strangulation for limo drivers to caterers. The compensation and wealth of those at top of the food chain is mind numbing and elicits little sympathy in their need to change spending habits. Ferguson lays out the fundamental breakdown of the entire financial system in "Wall Street Lays Another Egg".

"Wall Street's $18.4 Billion Bonus" captures the gross excess of the pre-2008 era. The world of AIG is covered in "The Man Who Crashed the World" and tells the specific story of Joe Cassano who receives significant attribution for big problems. The bailout solution is picked apart in "Good Billions After Bad". Joseph E. Stiglitz's "Capitalists Fools: Five Key Mistakes that Led Us to the Collapse" is incredibly educational and lays out a lucid argument that has incredible perspective given it was written in January, 2009.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By S. Taechasivalai on December 8, 2010
Format: Paperback
Charles Barkley once quipped "You know the world has changed when the most famous rapper is white and the most famous golfer is black", and I might add "when the best book for financial meltdown circa 2008 comes from fashion magazine"

This book is a collection of articles about financial troubles during 2008, including the collapse of Bear Stern, Iceland fiasco, Bernie Mardoff, etc. As it is intended to be magazine article for general audience, the writing style is short, the scope is limited, and the language is plain. People without much of financial knowledge could enjoy this book and gain some valuable knowledge regarding the economic depression of 2008.

Stats buffs may point out that this book has not given much of numbers to support its claim, hence it could be hard to use the book for serious reference. The book also deals with subject in investigative journalism style, which might not be your cup of tea. Lastly, I would like to read more from the economists' point of view (Paul Krugman?).

All in all, I pick this book up to learn something about the financial crisis of the US, and I am surprised that I enjoy reading this book. I would recommend this book as a starting point in learning what happened in 2008. No, it's not as informative as many books in the market, but it covers many subjects that are related to the event.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Easy Rider VINE VOICE on May 23, 2010
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This book, a collection of Variety stories of the last two years clearly lays out how this economic downturn started, and how circumstances kept it going, almost with a snowball-down-a-hill effect. This book is well written, entertaining and full of surprises and little known information.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Heidi B. German on April 24, 2010
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The Madoff articles are wonderful. My son is an attorney and also found the book to be great reading. Can't say enough about this book. Fantastic reading on a trip too.
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This book is a great read for those wanting to know much of the possible explanations of what happened. I do believe them. Most of the companies East of Broadway have shifted away to the West Side of Broadway.... Get Outta Here!
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The Great Hangover: 21 Tales of the New Recession from the Pages of Vanity Fair
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