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Inside Job [Kindle Edition]

Charles Ferguson
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £8.99
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Book Description

The definitive big picture on the financial crisis, from the man behind the Oscar-winning documentary that exposed the workings of the new economic elite Based on explosive interviews, court documents and corporate archives, Inside Job traces in gripping detail how decades of deregulation gave birth to a predator nation, with power players cycling through positions in government, academia and Wall Street – and continuing to do so even in the wake of the global financial crisis. With stunning clarity, Charles Ferguson delivers an uncompromising accounting of how a new economic oligarchy has wrested control of our politics and the prospects for real recovery.

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'Ferguson presents a fierce indictment of predatory activities of parts of the financial system and of the corruption of democracy that ‘big money’ financial lobbying has caused. A book well worth reading regardless of whether you fully agree or not with all of its arguments.'

(Kirkus Reviews)

'As gripping as any thriller.'

(The Guardian)

'One of the outstanding journalistic achievements of the past decade.'

(Daily Mail)

'A fierce indictment.'

(Nouriel Roubini - Professor at New York University and author of Crisis Economics)

'This take-no-prisoners account of the financial crisis follows the money, connects the dots, names names, and asks the questions our leaders still refuse to answer: how have those responsible for the crisis not been held accountable, and how can we make sure it doesn’t happen again?'

(Arianna Huffington - Editor-in-Chief of the Huffington Post)

'He’s clever, he’s funny, he doesn’t pull punches... If only righteous fury were always this enjoyable.' 


'One of the outstanding journalistic achievements of the past decade.'

(Daily Mail on the film Inside Job)

'I was totally gripped and have sat up in bed every night reading [Inside Job] until my eyes just couldn’t stay open any more. I liked the film, and the book is even better... you have to read this book.'

(Financial Times)

'This take-no-prisoners account of the financial crisis follows the money, connects the dots, names names….'

(Arianna Huffington Huffington Post)

About the Author

Charles Ferguson won an Oscar in 2011 for Inside Job, his documentary on the financial crisis, and was an Oscar nominee for his first documentary, No End in Sight, on the war in Iraq. He has written four books, and is a life member of the Council of Foreign Relations and a director of the French-American Foundation.

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I bought the Kindle version of this book as a "daily deal offer" without having heard of the film, which I have now bought (but not yet watched).

I previously had a fairly vague idea of the reasons behind the crisis, and tended to the view that yes the bankers were overpaid and greedy, but that we had all participated in borrowing and spending "easy money". I thought that the crisis was simply an unforseeable accident.

The book soon wiped away this view. Ferguson writes well and describes in easily understandable language just what was behind the crisis. He explains sub-prime mortgages, structured products, derivatives and hedge funds, CDOs and other exotic financial instuments. I now feel that I understand what these things are. Ferguson's writing style is clear and pleasurable to read, his only failing in this respect is that he often repeats things later on, but this is a minor irritation.

The book is well researched and backed up with extensive citations and references - the last 20% of the Kindle edition. What really opened my eyes was his detailed account of how the entire finance industry, banks, investment banks,mortgage lenders, ratings agencies, academics, regulators (in the USA) and insureres are all in each others pockets, with a common goal of self-enrichment at all costs. It is truly horrifying to learn that even when the property bubble was deflating, investment banks and insurers were offloading toxic assets onto unsuspecting investors, even betting (via "shorts") that these investment funds, sold to inexperienced or non-savvy institutions, would fail.

This book is a biting indictment of a system which rewards insiders by huge salaries and bonuses, while allows failure and fraud to go unpunished.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A more rounded picture than the film 8 July 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I bought this having watched the film several times. The book has the advantage of being able to go into subjects in greater depth, with more examples, and whilst the film's awkward interviews and "xxxx declined to be interviewed" lines made for a good spectacle they ultimately made the film appear very one-sided. The book is much better at placing the 2008 crisis in context - comparing the banking "industry" with other large, complacent and often corrupt American industries of the past (cars, steel etc.); and also there's more on how banking and finance have contributed to a massive rise in income inequality over the past few decades - a rise which has masked declining living standards for the bulk of the US (and UK) population.

It's also more up-to-date, of course. However the final chapter on "What should be done" is very brief - none of the ideas are fully developed. And the book has several irritating typographical errors, especially near the beginning - the odd word missed out or two words conflated. Not to mention the use of the word "incented" instead of "incentivised"; not a word I was able to find in the dictionary online (English or American).
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Format:Kindle Edition
I found this kindle edition of this book hard to put down at times such was my interest in what he had to write. To coin a phrase it is right on the money, in my opinion (pardon the puns).

Divided up into 9 long chapters and a short tenth epilogue of reform ideas and actions that need to be taken, it is an exposition of ideas and thoughts on the events in financial markets and banking primarily in the United States, culminating in the recent financial crisis of 2008.

The first chapter is an overview of what is to follow in the book and the why of what it is about.

Chapter 2 is a short history of the "20 year period that led to the rise of a deregulated, concentrated, destabilizing financial sector". Chapter 3 covers mortgage lending, chapter 4 investment banking and related activities and chapter 5 the crisis and the behaviour it produced. Chapter 6 covers the case for criminal prosecutions resulting from the crisis. Chapter 7 and 9 deals with a wider analysis of American society and what the previous chapters context is and wider problems with the US economy and society with the huge ramifications for the rest of the world and political ideas at work there. Chapter 8 focuses on the world of academia principally that of economists and their part of the solution and the problem, by-in-large though their share of the problem.

There is a lot more to the story told in this book than sub prime mortgages and a few silly investors, it basically says if things don't change, the future does not look good particularly for the people of the USA but also with wider ramifications in the global economy.
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5.0 out of 5 stars THE GREAT PRISON ESCAPE 20 Nov. 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Charles Ferguson in 'Inside Job' sets out incontrovertibly and in a highly readable fashion, how the much once highly respected financial industry and its senior executives went rogue. Through three decades of self-influenced, politically manipulated, and payola encouraged deregulation' the picture emerges of the corruption, and erosion of long standing ethical customer trust in bankers and financial advisers. The pursuit of the big green dollar massively flamed by the outrageous personal monetary incentives offered to anyone in an organisation who could book a profit however achieved, whether morally acceptable, principled, honest or not, was allowed to get completely and totally out of hand, particularly in all aspects of home mortgages, their subsequent collateralization, crazy casino gambling synthetic CDO's, and the highly questionable use of Credit Default Swaps by banks to hedge against dodgy, almost certain time bombs loaded with the worst possible sub prime rubbish, that the banks themselves had sold its own customers.

Political leaders when asked why little or no criminal action has been taken against the senior executives of companies that were actively involved in this business, simply claim that these people had not broken any of the laws of the country, and offer some less than confidence giving pledge to tighten up the laws governing the financial industry. However, Charles Ferguson meticulously examines a whole raft of existing and on the statute books laws, and details numerous examples of how these have been violated and by whom, thus exposing the 'no laws were broken' excuse as a downright falsehood.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent work critically documenting a piece of modern history
I bought this book as I was deluded by other books that were written about the financial crisis of 2008. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Paolo
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Excellent in every way- clarity of thought, explaining the incomprehensible and actually readable w/o coma.
Published 2 months ago by Saara Boo Harma
5.0 out of 5 stars A fascinating read
I loved the film and the book is very bit as good a truly fascinating insight to the nature of finance and the causes of the crash. Read more
Published 20 months ago by Jez Nash
5.0 out of 5 stars Everything you want to know.
I have always wondered that despite the fact the world was bought to its financial knees by the bankers from 2008, no-one has really been held to account - neither are they ever... Read more
Published 22 months ago by R. Sykes
4.0 out of 5 stars Good book.. but a bit too much rhetoric
The author is obviously angry at the inaction of authorities, however reducing the rhetoric and focussing on the data would have made the book more readable.
Published 22 months ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Damning indictment of the mess we're in
Detailed and insightful critique of corporate America, although Europe is mentioned too. The writing at times got a bit panic stricken. Read more
Published 24 months ago by R D Droy
5.0 out of 5 stars Perhaps best book on the finance crisis
Ferguson has also done a documentary, but the book is better. The analysis is clear and convincing and touches areas which are not mentioned in other books. E.g. Read more
Published on 21 Jan. 2013 by Jippu
2.0 out of 5 stars That Day Is Done
Yet another book detailing the problems of the financial crash which began in 2007/8 and has not yet finished. Read more
Published on 6 Jan. 2013 by Honrus Publicus
5.0 out of 5 stars A good read
Having watched the film I found this a very interesting follow up. Although some parts were a bit heavy I understood a lot about why the present crash has happened and how the... Read more
Published on 2 Aug. 2012 by Diane McDonnell
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