5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A WELL RESEARCHED AND FASCINATING ANALYSIS OF THE RECENT FINANCIAL CRISIS
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...
Published 16 months ago by RT
1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
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. It's OK until the final chapter when the writer misses many important points.
Chapter 10 asks: What should be done? While some of the suggestions are sensible, some are not. "In the meantime, we can do a number of things, both politically and...
Published 11 months ago by Honrus Publicus
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A WELL RESEARCHED AND FASCINATING ANALYSIS OF THE RECENT FINANCIAL CRISIS,
This review is from: Inside Job: The Financiers Who Pulled Off The Heist Of The Century (Paperback)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. The recent revelations of LIBOR rate fixing and HSBC's involvement in money laundering are not in fact very new, Ferguson points to them in the book.
Ferguson broadens his analysis to the current structures (and woes)of the US economic and social systems. I strongly recommend Inside Job as essential reading to anyone who wants to understand what happened in this crisis, and to the lack of any coherent political response to the dominance and rapacity of finance in the US (and the UK).
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A more rounded picture than the film,
This review is from: Inside Job: The Financiers Who Pulled Off The Heist Of The Century (Paperback)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).
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perhaps best book on the finance crisis,
13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars We needed this...,
5.0 out of 5 stars THE GREAT PRISON ESCAPE,
This review is from: Inside Job: The Financiers Who Pulled Off The Heist Of The Century (Paperback)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.
Recently one of the concerns heavily involved in this sorry period of fiscal shame, JP Morgan has agreed to pay fines way in excess of $22 billion for its inexcusable performance in mainly the sub prime mortgage scandal. It is risible, and beyond the bounds of human credibility to believe that a company would pay $22 billion for something, that supposedly broke no laws. Obviously laws were ignored and trashed, but not one single CEO or other senior executive have faced criminal charges and been sent to prison....and there are many who should be answering for their part in this affair which has cost us all very dearly, many of them very well known financiers, who instead of languishing behind bars, stripped of their ill-gotten gains, continue to live the life of extreme opulence derived from their dubious business dealings. All right for some!
This is a very good and well argued thought provoking work but be prepared to be made angry at the ability of the very rich and influential to avoid the law, long periods of imprisonment, and confiscation of ill-gotten gains.
5.0 out of 5 stars A fascinating read,
5.0 out of 5 stars Everything you want to know.,
This review is from: Inside Job: The Financiers Who Pulled Off The Heist Of The Century (Paperback)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 likely to be. This book explains it all; what happened, why it happened, who dunnit and who was let off and why! I can't wait for his sequel later this month (May 2013).
4.0 out of 5 stars Damning indictment of the mess we're in,
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good book.. but a bit too much rhetoric,
1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A good read,
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Inside Job: The Financiers Who Pulled Off The Heist Of The Century by Charles Ferguson (Paperback - 21 May 2012)