Bailout Nation

Bailout Nation

How Greed and Easy Money Corrupted Wall Street and Shook the World Economy

Book - 2009
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An engaging look at what led to the financial turmoil we nowfind ourselves in

Bailout Nation offers one of the clearest looks at thefinancial lenders, regulators, and politicians responsible for thefinancial crisis of 2008. Written by Barry Ritholtz, one of today'smost popular economic bloggers and a well-established industrypundit, this book skillfully explores how the United States evolvedfrom a rugged independent nation to a soft BailoutNation -where financial firms are allowed to self-regulate ingood times, but are bailed out by taxpayers in bad times.

Entertaining and informative, this book clearly shows you howyears of trying to control the economy with easy money has finallycaught up with the federal government and how its practice ofrepeatedly rescuing Wall Street has come back to bite them.

The definitive book on the financial crisis of 2008 Names the culprits responsible for this tragedy-from financialregulators to politicians Shows how each bailout throughout modern history has impactedwhat happened in the future Examines why the consumer/taxpayer is left suffering in aneconomy of bubbles, bailouts, and possible inflation Ritholtz operates a hugely popular blog,

Scathing, but fair, Bailout Nation is a voice of reasonin these uncertain economic times.

Publisher: Hoboken, N.J. : John Wiley & Sons, [2009]
Copyright Date: ©2009
ISBN: 9780470596326
Branch Call Number: 332.10973 Rit
Characteristics: xxviii, 332 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Additional Contributors: Task, Aaron


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Feb 07, 2013

The title should explain the slant and tilt of the book: you mean Wall Street was previously pristine, and somehow easy money "just appeared" to corrupt it and turn these sociopathic greedheads greedy? How completely farfetched! ! ! The Wall Streeters were the chronically corrupted and corruptors who created the credit default swap (JPMorgan Chase's Blythe Masters, also responsible for variations on the CDOs, and another lady there, Terri what's-her-name, was responsible for the B.I.S.T.R.O.). They foisted the credit derivatives, the securitizations, and re-securitizations, and re-re-re-securitizations, and so on and on, and rehypothecation, when it's supposed to be against the law (and re-re-rehypothecations, etc.), while the corporate media consistently lies and claims "it's not against the law" --- outrageous fictions, as if there has been some mysterious suspension of tort law! This book is another Wall Street drivel from a lightweight: Barry Ritzholtz. And to even suggest "that they've failed to learn from it" - - when they very well know how they continue to rig everything, as if there ever were such a phantom fantasy as a "free market" beggars belief! ? ! ? It's like accepting the outrageous notion of that unholy ignoramus, Mitt Romney, ever having actually read Adam Smith's "Wealth of Nations" when he clearly was completely clueless of everything Smith promulgated! ? ! ?

Feb 07, 2013

I wish I could have given this book a higher rating (and for anyone who is (if anyone is) reading my other reviews, while I gave On the Brink a higher rating, this in fact a substantially better book. As noted in that review, I gave it a higher rating than it deserved only because it does need to be read, even though it is tortuous to read it) There is some very good information in this book, including a discussion of the history of bailouts, starting with Lockheed in 1971, that other books don't seem to include, and I'm glad I read it, but it could have used better editing. The author repeats a number of points over and over in the book, which detracts from the overall readability, and underscores the fact that he doesn't seem to have fully outlined his thought process, and written the book accordingly. Again, a good editor could have pretty easily turned this into a five star book. That said, as noted, there is some very good information. In particular, I learned quite a bit from chapters 12 through 19 (and I also felt that those chapters were better written), and there is one line in particular that did in fact make me laugh out loud. The book also provides, as noted above, an excellent overview of the history of bailouts by the US gov't (i.e., us the taxpayers), and a comparison of how our economy succeeded when bailouts were not focused on specific companies, and how our economy began to meltdown once they were. Ritholtz is snarky and insulting to almost all of the participants in the meltdown, but I'm okay with that - I'm the same way and, let's face it, it's not as if any of them have earned our respect. He's insulting because he's angry at how the people he's insulting have betrayed capitalism. One thing that comes through very clearly is that, while Ritholz may be a successful broker/trader himself, he's a down-to-earth guy who supports free-market capitalism wholeheartedly, and does make the point that the actions that were taken in 2007/2008 in response to the meltdown, by those who were, supposedly, some of the "staunchest" free-market proponents in the world, was in fact a complete repudiation of true free-market principles. He also, again despite (or, to be more accurate, because of) his free-market beliefs, explains clearly, succinctly, and accurately why government regulation is in fact needed in the markets if capitalism and free-market economics are to succeed. While I was somewhat disappointed with the flow of the book overall, I am, as I mentioned, glad I read it, and would recommend it to anyone who wants to understand the 2007/2008 financial crisis better.

Nov 21, 2011

Great read on the financial meltdown of 2008 and how our politicians and banking community have failed to learn from it today. Written in an easy to understand style with many anecdotes and analogies that the most unsophisticated financial reader can understand. Author clearly illustrates all the players involved from Presidents all the way down to the individual American speculator. Will we as a nation learn form this event? Doubtful.

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