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Extreme Money: Masters of the Universe and the Cult of Risk Hardcover – August 17, 2011
"Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress"
Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? Cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, and instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise. Learn more
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Interview with Satyajit Das, author of Extreme Money: Masters of the Universe and the Cult of Risk
Read an interview with Satyajit Das, author of Extreme Money: Masters of the Universe and the Cult of Risk.
“A true insider’s devastating analysis of the financial alchemy of the last 30 years and its destructive consequences. With his intimate first-hand knowledge, Das takes a knife to global finance and financiers to reveal the inner workings without fear or favor.”
–Nouriel Roubini, Professor of Economics at NYU Stern School of Business and Chairman of Roubini Global Economics
“Das describes the causes of the financial crisis with the insight and understanding of a financial wizard, the candor and objectivity of an impartial observer, and a wry sense of humor that reveals the folly in it all.”
–Brooksley Born, Former Chairperson of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC)
“This is the best book yet to come out of the financial crisis. Das is a graceful, witty writer, with an unusually broad range of reference. He is also a long-time master of the arcana of the netherworlds of finance and nicely balances historical sweep with illuminating detail. Extreme Money is lively, scathing, and wise. ”
–Charles Morris, Author of The Two Trillion Dollar Meltdown: Easy Money, High Rollers, and the Great Credit Crash
“Like Hunter S. Thompson’s Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Extreme Money launches you into a fascinating and disturbing alternative view of reality. But now greed predominates, the distorted world of finance is completely global, and the people making crazy decisions can ruin us all. This is an informative, entertaining, and deeply scary account of Hades’s new realm. Read it while you can. ”
–Simon Johnson, Ronald A. Kurtz Professor of Entrepreneurship at MIT Sloan School of Management and Author of 13 Bankers: The Wall Street Takeover and the Next Financial Meltdown
“You know when Lewis Caroll, Max Weber, Alan Greenspan, and Sigmund Freud all appear on the same early page that you are about to read an intellectual tour de force. Das is an authoritative and colorful critic of modern markets, and here he weaves financial history and popular culture into an entertaining and blistering social critique of how so many people have come to chase endless financial reflections of the real economy. Extreme Money speaks truth to power. ”
–Frank Partnoy, George E. Barrett Professor of Law and Finance at the University of San Diego and Author of F.I.A.S.C.O, Infectious Greed, and The Match King
Top customer reviews
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The author traverses an amazingly complex subject without getting lost in economic or political dogma. It's an amazing feat, since I've come across so few in my reading that can achieve that. I was amazed at how interested I became as I read. It's one of the few books recently that made me stop and read just because I enjoyed the romp of exploring what happened in the financial meltdown. The writing style is both easy and entertaining. I'd probably have gone with a few less quotes, though some of them were gems.
The Kindle version had a few typos and mistakes. I was amazed in one place to find the world GDP was only 56 billon. In another location, it was stated a more plausible 56 trillion. There were a few others. None seriously detracted from points being illustrated nor undermined the credibility of the arguments being made.
I wish the author had spent a bit more time on possible solutions to the situation. I'm left with the uneasy feeling that we think our well being depends on getting back on the drugs as soon as possible rather than getting sober. That's a pretty dismal picture of the future. We're preparing for the next crash. And as author points out, simple regulations mostly fail to correct complex problems.
Two themes of the book are critical ones I had already found to be compelling elsewhere. One theme is that complexity greatly increases risk, not only because it means things are less understandable, but because it makes things inherently unpredictable. The second theme is that risk is greatly increased by the hubris of believing we "know" things we don't. So, rather than being cautious, we become arrogant -- and then we crash and burn.
Despite some quibbles, I couldn't rate this book less than 5 stars, because it is one of the most thought provoking books I've read during the last few month.
There is plenty of valuable and interesting info how money and economics works, where do crises come from etc., there are however books which tell exactly the same but in much better manner.
If you like author's bizarre style and uncoordinated flow of information than this book may be for you, I would however still turn to other book.
In addition, I found the main themes of the book repeated many times in separate chapters. Each time a new kernel of information was added, but this just added frustration to the reading process as I realized these points could have been covered when the subject matter was first presented, making my reading more enjoyable.
As a factual representation of the 2008 Financial Crisis and problems with the world's financial system this is a good book. As book that you can't stop reading until you are finished, not so much.
Sorry, maybe it gets better but if it's still dry in chapter 3, I shall move on
Most recent customer reviews
I would have appreciated some more reference to Marx and volume 3of Das Capital.