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The House of Rothschild: Money's Prophets 1798-1848
The House of Rothschild: Money's Prophets 1798-1848
by Niall Ferguson
Edition: Paperback
Price: £15.19

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Banking: Some things never change, 3 May 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I found this book absolutely fascinating although it really is for people very interested in financial history. It's not a light read.

There were a lot of lessons but as I read the quotes from the bankers two centuries ago I thought nothing has changed. My favourite bit is when they are selling governments bonds from European peripheral countries and deriding their customers for being stupid enough to buy them! The quotes could have been taken from an investment bankers email last year.

Even the public criticism of the bankers for their bonuses and huge wealth are exactly the same as today (although minus the anti-Semitism).


Making it Happen: Fred Goodwin, RBS and the Men Who Blew Up the British Economy
Making it Happen: Fred Goodwin, RBS and the Men Who Blew Up the British Economy
by Iain Martin
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.74

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Interesting but doesn't really explain what happened, 3 May 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I did enjoy this book and it has been researched well in terms of the people. I think it does a good job of talking about some of the characters at RBS.

The book describes in great detail the investment bank, CDO's and acquisition of ABN Amro along with portraits of the people involved in these areas.

Then casually at the end of the book it is made clear that the majority of the losses were in property lending in the UK and Ireland. However up until that point there had been no mention of property lending or any of the people involved in that part of the business. I would have thought that the area of the business responsible for the largest losses should have been covered in some way. What happened? Who were the people involved?

Also in his conclusion he implies that HSBC was just as bad as HBOS and RBOS which is pretty unfair. Tax payers have not had to bail out HSBC. While the management of HSBC are not perfect they are in a different league to Fred Goodwin and company.

Overall, I think the flaw is that the author does not properly understand finance. I have also read "Hubris: How HBOS Wrecked the Best Bank in Britain" and "Anglo Republic: Inside the bank that broke Ireland" which in my view are better books because they properly explain what happened. After finishing Make It Happen I feel that I still don't completely understand what happened at RBS.


Big Fat Lies: Is Your Government Making You Fat?
Big Fat Lies: Is Your Government Making You Fat?
by Hannah Sutter
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £14.99

1 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Hilarious!, 29 Feb. 2012
This is one of the funniest books I've ever read, although I don't think the humour is intentional! Sutter claims there is a conspiracy involving the government, food companies and doctors. The object of the conspiracy is to make us fat. She doesn't let her complete lack of knowledge of the subject get in the way as she attacks qualified doctors and dieticians for their advice.

I'm rating this one star as a diet book but five stars for comedy, there were several parts where I was laughing out loud.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 3, 2014 10:41 PM GMT


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