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DOPPLEGANGER (TEDDY B)
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The Great Crash 1929
The Great Crash 1929
by John Kenneth Galbraith
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.49

4.0 out of 5 stars ENGROSSING, 15 Dec 2014
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This review is from: The Great Crash 1929 (Paperback)
Those expecting both a factual account of this great financial happening together with an indication on the likelihood of a recurrence of the misfortunes of 1929 will be a little disappointed. The author states specifically that this is an economic history work dealing with not much more than what actually happened and is not intended to predict whether or when a similar fiscal collapse will happen in the future.

With the benefit of hindsight, we now know that, with slightly different circumstances but with very similar underlying weaknesses in the system of regulation, that such major upheavals in the financial system will occur from time to time, witness the 2008 Credit Crunch. The precursor and 'flashing red lights' is a period of rapidly increasing prices whether it be Stocks, Shares, Commodities or Property accompanied by lack of fiscal regulation, people believing that nothing can stop the rising values, and that ever present 'switcher-off' of commonsense, Greed.

Mr Galbraith narrates an interesting and I assume accurate history of the meltdown on Wall Street and beyond in around 1928, which is very easy to read and become engrossed in the careering of the money truck down the steep decline, knowing that it will splatter in all directions eventually.

The Author is very gentle and it might be said a little over generous in absolving any major responsibility for the debacle from just about all Bankers, Stockbrokers, Politicians, Economists, Investment Advisers, Regulators, and, of course the poor all punters themselves. Beyond these parties it is difficult to drum up others that might have shared responsibility. I found his generosity in this regard a little disconcerting in that it does not offer a constructive guide to avoiding a repeat, as has been the case.

Perhaps the wisdom of Nassim Nicholas Taleb might explain the lemming like tendency that occurred in 1928 when he mused "It has been more profitable for us to bind together in the wrong direction than to be alone in the right one."

An engrossing and thought provoking book.


The Con Men: A History of Financial Fraud and the Lessons You Can Learn (Financial Times Series)
The Con Men: A History of Financial Fraud and the Lessons You Can Learn (Financial Times Series)
by Leo Gough
Edition: Paperback
Price: £16.70

5.0 out of 5 stars GREED, GREED, GLORIOUS GREED, 14 Dec 2014
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Whilst "The Con Men" parades the usual array of financial pariah's such as Bernie Madoff, "Sir" Allen Stanford, Ivan Boesky & Dennis Levine, Robert Vesco, the Enron gang, Bernie Ebbers, Asil Nadir of Polly Peck, and others, it also highlights the blatant plethora of Nigerian originated scams, and methods used such as 'Pump and Dump Schemes'.

It is a highly readable book, very interesting but whether it will help investors avoid tossing their money down the drain, is uncertain. The author offers advice on 'Safer Strategies' for potential investors which if followed would materially reduce the chances of being taken for a ride. However it is not just the novice investors who get caught but many battle scarred experienced investors have lost fortunes to sharp dealers because 'greed' is a very strong human weakness that overrides all else, and it is for this reason alone that good advice such as that given by Leo Gough may fall on ears and brains neutralised by avarice.

Whatever the effectiveness of the advice given and the warnings sounded in this book, it is a good read.


In Fed We Trust: Ben Bernanke's War on the Great Panic by Wessel, David published by Crown Business (2009)
In Fed We Trust: Ben Bernanke's War on the Great Panic by Wessel, David published by Crown Business (2009)
by Wessel Davis
Edition: Hardcover

5.0 out of 5 stars THE ONE AND A HALF TRICK PONY, 14 Dec 2014
A fascinating insight into the inner workings of The Federal Reserve and along with The Treasury Department, affording the reader a close look and 'blow-by-blow' commentary on the frantic, mainly by the 'seat of their pants' efforts by Fed Chairman Ben S Bernanke and the then Treasury secretary Henry M Paulson Jnr and their teams, to stave off the 2008 financial tsunami.

Bernanke was handed a toxic chalice when he took over the reins of The Fed from Alan Greenspan, who had buried his head in the sand and made light of or was unaware of the effect that resisting calls for regulations to control the quite blatant and obvious excesses in many areas of banking and finance but particularly in the virtually unregulated derivative markets. And Mr Greenspan's seemingly had a mental blockage when it came to recognizing the ominous warnings coming at him from many directions about the imminent implosion in the housing market.

By the time Bernanke got his feet under the table, it was too late to 'stop the fire igniting' and this book tells the gripping tale of how he, Paulson and the New York Fed chief, Tim Geithner, fought to bring stability back to the financial system and just how close on several occasions they were to failing.

The book also gives a very thorough account of the workings of, and the role played by The Fed in monitoring the country's finance system.

And why 'The One And A Half Trick Pony'? Other than regulation which The Fed was abysmally weak on leading up to the Credit Crunch Crisis, in reality it only has two major weapons at its disposal, Interest Rates and the flooding of tax payers money into the banking system, with the fancy title of Quantitative Easing. It is generally accepted that Interest Rate setting, if got right does help but the Jury of erudite opinion is still out on whether QE is a good tactic, a neutral one, or as many believe has the effect of further exacerbating the problem that it is meant to alleviate.

A very good, interesting read.


Spear & Jackson Elements Carbon Steel Set (3 Pieces)
Spear & Jackson Elements Carbon Steel Set (3 Pieces)
Price: £13.99

5.0 out of 5 stars IT'S ALL DOWN TO THE NAME, 12 Dec 2014
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Really pleased with this set which are seemingly well made, comfortable to use, certainly look the business, come attractively packaged, and represent very good value for money. And they bear the name Spear & Jackson, a byword for quality and reliability. A good buy.


Ravensburger Puzzle Sort & Go
Ravensburger Puzzle Sort & Go
Price: £9.57

5.0 out of 5 stars PUZZLE ALLEVIATION, 3 Dec 2014
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What a great idea and gadget for sorting and storing separately for future use, pieces of your jigsaw at the point when you are first sorting through the entire puzzle for 'edge' bits. Wished we had got this years ago as it would have saved going through the unfitted pieces multiple times.


Gibsons Puzzle Board Jigsaw Puzzle Accessory
Gibsons Puzzle Board Jigsaw Puzzle Accessory
Price: £19.99

5.0 out of 5 stars A FITTING SOLUTION, 3 Dec 2014
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Absolutely first class, seemingly well made and imminently fit for purpose Jigsaw Puzzle Board. We are very pleased with our purchase.


20 x Mixed Celebrity Masks Wholesale Party Supplies Celebrities Face Mask Hen and Stag Parties Fancy Dress
20 x Mixed Celebrity Masks Wholesale Party Supplies Celebrities Face Mask Hen and Stag Parties Fancy Dress
Offered by BARGAINS-GALORE
Price: £17.20

4.0 out of 5 stars PUTTING A NEW FACE ON IT!, 3 Dec 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Our need is to be able for the younger children in our family to play a personality charades game at Christmas and secondly the adults sitting around the table to have one of these masks 'blind' fitted on them and by asking questions try to discover 'who' they are. These masks which are not bad quality, and of very clear imagery will certainly enable these two amusements to be imposed on our hapless guests.

As good as they appear to be for our shortish requirements, I would perhaps worry a little about their robustness for a less than sedentary event such as a Stag Party or similar.


WW2 REPLICA REPRODUCTION WAR-TIME COOKERY RECIPE BOOKLET World War 2
WW2 REPLICA REPRODUCTION WAR-TIME COOKERY RECIPE BOOKLET World War 2
Offered by Resources for Teaching
Price: £1.79

4.0 out of 5 stars LIKE GRANNY MADE, 17 Nov 2014
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Similar to other Reviewers here, this book was obtained for a child's Primary School project. My grandson was fascinated with all things WW2 particularly how and what was eaten, and got a lot out of this book although his mother was not so enthused with the many requests for dishes from the recipes in the book.


Philips Sonicare HX9112/02 FlexCare Platinum Rechargeable Toothbrush
Philips Sonicare HX9112/02 FlexCare Platinum Rechargeable Toothbrush
Price: £94.99

4.0 out of 5 stars GOOD OPERATOR, 17 Nov 2014
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Cleans the teeth well with a pleasing action. Holds a charge very well and easily copes with one week away from home without the bother of taking the charger. How much longer than one week I cannot say as I haven't been away that long.

My only slight adverse comment is that the small charging base does not give the toothbrush unit rock solid support and if brushed against will topple over.


I NEED YOU reading glasses Candy - suitable for eyesight 1 - 1,5 - 2 - 2,5 and 3. Available in red, orange, blue-green, yellow and pink.
I NEED YOU reading glasses Candy - suitable for eyesight 1 - 1,5 - 2 - 2,5 and 3. Available in red, orange, blue-green, yellow and pink.
Offered by spexact
Price: £11.74

5.0 out of 5 stars KEEPING IT SIMPLE, 17 Nov 2014
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Following in the footsteps of other 'I NEED YOU' reading glasses that I have added to my growing collection to match all attires, these glasses are minimalistic in design with clean cut lines, a feel of longevity about them, comfortable, and in an attractive single colour eschewing all fancy designs present in the majority of other brands which make the wearer resemble Dame Edna.

An excellent pair of reading glasses.


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