Top critical review
11 people found this helpful
The basics of capitalism and how it works were covered nicely and all seemed to be set for an interesting ...
on 30 July 2014
Valuable, but not quite what I was expecting...
I was looking for an interesting book on the mechanics and workings of finance at its most fundamental level. This book appeared to fit that description quite well with the added bonus of being right up to date and anchored in recent world events which I experienced and even felt in day to day life. Also, it was on offer...!
Without doubt, it is a lengthy tome, so value for money is covered. The beginning of the book seemed to be exactly what I wanted - a discussion of various financial theories in some depth, without becoming too dry hand using real-world examples to illustrate. The basics of capitalism and how it works were covered nicely and all seemed to be set for an interesting and insightful look at the present and future, from an intellectual starting point.
To some extent, this is indeed what is delivered. However, the further I went from the first two or three chapters, the more I felt I was being not just taught, but canvassed. The style of the prose became much more 'first person', much less dispassionate and at times, heavily political and emotional. Without doubt, these views (for this is what they are) are strongly-held and cogent. They are also, I am sure, representative of a great many people who have been affected badly by the Crisis and who are still trying to get back to where they were before it all began, at the same time as the 'rich get richer'. However, this is not what I was looking to read and it ultimately became rather tiresome to read what is essentially a (gently moderate) anti-capitalist manifesto, when I was actually hoping for a more neutral, intellectual and 'scientific' (or as close as is possible in these areas of human activity) look at the fundamentals of our financial systems and then, what went wrong with them.
I have chosen a 3 star rating, because there is certainly plenty of information and knowledge, coupled with analysis and comment, to be had here. The problem is that I would have liked much less comment, and to have been given the facts I needed to reach my own conclusions with perhaps some observations from the experience and undoubted knowledge of the author. This is certainly a difficult balance to achieve, but it has been done successfully elsewhere.