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Lowenstein (When Genius Failed) offers an overview of the causes and consequences of the financial crisis that rises above the glut of similarly themed books with its juicy behind-the-scenes detail and thoughtful analysis. He sets out to prove that the current financial difficulties began long before the summer of 2008, and long before the failure of Lehman Brothers. He begins with the history of Fannie Mae and the rise of mortgage-based securities and a dangerously burgeoning housing bubble, and hits the high points of the 2008-2009 news cycles, including Washington Mutual's unwise loan strategies, the panic following Bear Stearns's near-demise, a rash of foreclosures, TARP, and the woes of Citigroup. The insider knowledge lends flavor and context to many of these stories—a ranting Jim Cramer, Ben Bernanke's loss of confidence, and Alan Greenspan's astonishing 2008 testimony to Congress. Lowenstein's strong knowledge of the source material and flair for the dramatic—and doomsday title—should draw readers who still wonder what went wrong and how. (Apr.)
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Lowenstein has written four books on business trends and financial crises and has written for the Wall Street Journal for more than a decade. Although the events leading up to the financial crisis of 2008 have been chronicled from many angles, Lowenstein takes a deeper look at the systemic oversights that led up to that event. The media often blames the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers and the failure of AIG for the calamity that froze credit markets and ground the economy to a halt, leading to record job losses and the worst downturn since the Great Depression. But the structural damage to the financial system had already been in place by then, brought on by the speculative bubble in real estate nationwide, which was accelerated by lax regulation in subprime mortgages and the securitization of mortgages and endless derivatives, which spread the risk like toxic waste throughout the financial system. Lowenstein does a great job of explaining all this in understandable terms that unobtrusively avoid the injection of emotion and politics. --David Siegfried --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Editorial Reviews
Get a first hand view of just how the world of high finance is manipulating the essence and truth of capitalism.Published 2 months ago by Advocacybz
This is an excellent narrative with many interesting details of the events leading up to, the economic environment in which the meltdown of 2007-2009 took place, the key events in... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Erwin C. Pantel
I did not take any economics courses in college so when the subject is applied to current political, cultural occurrences, I feel frustratingly removed. Mr. Read morePublished 6 months ago by TommyO
Well written and referenced summing up of the crisis we still live through. I watched it take place from the front row as a trader myself,and it was interesting to go back 5-6... Read morePublished 8 months ago by Torbjorn Vik
The stock market as it used to be known was corrupted by greed. Whether it can be restored to health is debatable. Read morePublished 17 months ago by S. M. Owens
In parallel universes, the plea in the 1939 movie to "Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain! Read morePublished 22 months ago by Candace Drimmer
Great read on the financial crisis even for a novice with little understanding of economics. A must read for everyone interestedPublished on June 19, 2013 by Lori Bowermaster
A very entertaining and informative look at Wall Street and what lead to the fiasco in 2008. Well worth reading.Published on June 1, 2013 by Brian Morgan
The book was a broad overview of the problems that befell Wall Street as a result of the abuses that took place in the markets for derivative products, with a focus on the... Read morePublished on April 9, 2013 by Thomas A. Banker