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Finance Monsters: How Massive Unregulated Betting by a Small Group of Financiers Propelled the Mortgage Market Collapse Into a Global Financial Crisis Paperback – November 6, 2014
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In Finance Monsters [Hill] divulges the full narrative of how these sophisticated tools were developed, incorporated, and misused by the industry. His book is an urgent, riveting chronicle of innovation that outpaced regulation, and a thrilling blow-by-blow account of how the leading institutions in the field brought about a global crash.
-- National Memo, Weekend Reader, December, 2014
About the Author
HOWARD B. HILL was one of Wall Street's original "rocket scientists." He worked at AG Becker Paribas, Prudential Securities, the Union Bank of Switzerland, Daiwa Securities, Deutsche Bank and MassMutual Financial.
His innovative bond structures helped lower the cost of home financing on three continents, and the analytic techniques he pioneered have become essential for investors and risk managers in many of our largest financial institutions.
Howard is credited with an unequaled number of industry "firsts" in the securitization market, including the Z-PAC, super PO, ACE and re-REMIC bond structures. His teams executed first-time securitizations that lowered financing costs for apartment buildings, equipment leases, mobile home parks, nursing homes and life insurance policyholder loans.
After working at investment firms for 25 years, Howard now trades for his own account and writes the popular blog mindonmoney.wordpress.com. Howard's publications include chapters in the Euromoney International Debt Capital Markets Handbook, 2006 edition and the Euromoney International Debt Capital Markets Handbook, 2007 edition; articles on REITs and hedging strategies for Financial Planning magazine; and general market commentary for the website NationalMemo.com. He lives in New Milford, Connecticut.
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Just one problem, though: Erdman's books (still available here on Amazon) are fiction. Howard's book is NOT.
He admits, for example, right up from that "I invented half the bonds they call "toxic waste." Talk about the ultimate "inside view" this is it..
Hill is not repentant, though, because as you wind your way through the book, the lights start going on: Why banks do what they do and how important the notion of securitization really is for everything from home loans to credit card debt.
What also comes to light is that "OK, if collections of mortgages are good and useful, then how did it almost collapse global finance. And right in here you start to see that while the mortgage crisis could have been solved for about $100-billion, the bigger problem - and the real villains who almost crashed the world were the predatory capitalists who wield leverage like a Hollywood starlet swings her assets.
By the end, you're disappointed. Not in Howard's work; it's first rate. But with the consummate failure of the two party (or is that two campaign fund groups) that can fix anything, including the obviously still broken system.
So why the title? Finance Monsters, I mean come on.
Except they are just that: the leverage-slingers who made out like bandits. And instead of being sent to their graves are chilling and spending. But only till next time. The "Finance Mon$ter$" will be back. My bet is 2016-2018. And that gives you plenty of time to see how the global Kabuki of reform all fails again, but not until another another "presidency" bidding war here in the Checkbook Republic.
The only reason I give the book 4 stars is because it lacked a bibliography, which I found odd considering the topic is academic in nature.