on 10 July 2015
Despite his long-term record of success, there are many members of the financial services industry that pay little attention to the investment advice given by the greatest of them all, Warren Buffett. Tavakoli is herself a very astute investor and analyst of the financial markets and she carried on a conversation with Buffett in the last half of the first decade of the 21st century. This was when the speculative bubble started to unwind and then collapse, with the American taxpayers paying the bill with the double cost of a major recession with the loss of jobs as well as the public money that went to the financial institutions.
Tavakoli has some unkind words for the members of the American government regarding the massive debt being piled up, she spares no political party although her harshest words are used to refer to the American invasion of Iraq that toppled the government of Saddam Hussein. Tavakoli was married to an Iranian man and living in Iran when the revolution against the Shah was reaching the high level that drove him from power. Therefore, her comments about that region of the world are based on more than theory from a distance, she witnessed the ugly transformation of Iran into a brutal theocracy led by a religious autocrat.
The bulk of the book is a back-and-forth description of the financial meltdown, describing the comments and investment principles of Warren Buffett and then contrasting them with what the “leaders” of the Wall Street financial firms did. Tavakoli is almost totally opposed to the bailouts that were executed by the American Federal Reserve and the Treasury Department. She describes much of the malfeasance that was perpetrated and how nearly all were de facto cleared of wrong-doing.
Warren Buffett’s investing acumen as well as his humble nature are made very clear in this book, and his principles are so simple. Only buy value, both present and future, stay calm during financial turbulence and avoid the constant monitoring of the stock market. After hearing of all the negative actions and consequences of the actions of the traders in financial death, it was refreshing to read about someone that truly wants to create wealth for all, not acquire it for themselves and a few like-minded cronies.
This book was made available for free for review purposes.
on 30 June 2009
If you run a big financial institution and you have the board in your pocket, and regulators want to be you; then swing for the fences, and risk be damned. Tavakoli explains how the global credit markets unraveled, how the investment banks disappeared, and how banking changed forever. She says there were no outliers, just outright liars. Tavakoli makes the case that they knew what they were doing and gives evidence that Warren Buffett gave public warnings about it. Tavakoli explains in clear language how the global financial markets through bad lending, risky products, borrowed money and fraud.
on 16 June 2009
Having found that Janet Tavakoli technical books are an excellent source to understand complex financial instruments I looked forward to this book -- expecting to find a less technical but more insightful view of the financial markets. Unfortunately, there were not very many insights as to her views or those of Warren Buffett. This book seemed to me to be a vanity project -- "look everyone - Warren Buffett invited me to his house to have a fire-side chat and he thinks I am really smart -- so I am going to write a book about this and cash-in".