17 of 28 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars
Disappointing, 10 Oct 2013
I bought this book in the expectation of juicy gossip and executive level backroom banter from what must have been some of the most incredible weeks in City business. Sadly there was none of that, and in fact nothing new at all.
The author is a political journalist who struggles with finance; manfully at times, but it is always a struggle, right from the off. He labours under the misapprehension that it is possible to be a "professional" banker much in the same way that one can be a lawyer or doctor. The book is riddled with elementary misunderstandings like this; the author has no understanding of the role of external accountants, uses inverted commas when he talks about hedging, totally misses the Barclays bailout. If you work in finance, don't waste your time on this drivel. I picked up this one after reading Hank Paulson's "On The Brink", and this is undergraduate stuff in comparison.
Again, the author is a political journalist (being from The Scotsman) and to that end he's not above misleading the reader. There is a pretty clear agenda and Alex Salmond is, surprisingly, singled out for more flak than the regulators or even the Chancellor. On more than one occasion it is indicated, in all sincerity, that RBS failed directly because of Braveheart ... ignoring Iceland, Ireland, Spain, Portugal and other countries which suffered far worse.
Overall, one has the sense that the author wrote to meet a page number target, with reams of material taken straight out of the newspapers. My biggest gripe is that the author promised a dynamite critique of the regulator, yet it totally fails to materialise.
Powder puff punches from an author out of his depth.