Thursday, March 4, 2010

Review: Complicit: How Greed and Collusion Made the Credit Crisis Unstoppable by Mark Gilbert

The credit crunch is affecting every investor and every consumer, every industry and every government program, yet few people truly understand how it happened. Subprime mortgages have been center stage, but behind the scenes a conspiracy of greed among bankers, investors, rating agencies and regulators has imperiled everyone’s financial future. We need to know what went wrong and how to change the practices that led to this calamity. Bloomberg columnist Mark Gilbert shows how Wall Street’s tolerance for extremes made the global credit crunch both foreseeable and inevitable. He offers a blow-by-blow account of what went wrong and what lessons need to be learned from the crisis.

Received from the publicist for review.

My favorite quote from the book was:

Psychiatry suggests that people whose lives have been engulfed by catastrophe follow a predictable coping pattern. They start off engulfed in denial, try to bargain their way out of the dilemma, then succumb to depression before finally accepting their misfortune and resuming their lives as best they can. Unfortunately, most of the financial industry hasn't even made it to the first stage. Too many bankers are acting as if the disaster never happened.

This one gets three stars. It was a bit on the slim side, but definitely packs a punch. It was very readable and the common sense tone makes a very complex subject accessible to everyone. It clearly and concisely explained what went wrong and why in every segment from housing, to banking, to derivatives. If you're interested in the subject this is the book for you.

★★☆☆ = Liked It


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