Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Fool's Gold

Just finished reading "Fool's Gold: How the Bold Dream of a Small Tribe at J.P. Morgan was Corrupted by Wall Street Greed and Unleashed a Catastrophe" by Gillien Tett. This book reads very much like a novel and I had a hard time putting it down. It gives great insights into the real causes of the 2008 financial melt down.

"Fool's Gold" discusses the history and innovation that occurred in the derivatives markets and CDO products that where made famous by members of the J.P. Morgan credit team in the early 90's. The same products that other investment banks took to the extreme and eventually brought the financial markets to its knees.

If you're at all interested in getting the "inside baseball" view of the events and conversations that occurred leading up to and during the early stages of the 2008 financial crisis, then you'll enjoy this book. "Fool's Gold" makes it fairly clear that as much as we'd like there isn't simply one person or group to blame for the meltdown. There are many people to blame; politicians, regulators, wall street bankers and executives, mortgage lenders, home owners, and probably others. This book will give you insight into understand all these players and where they came up short in truly understanding the big picture and looming disaster.


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