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From Infectious Greed:
By 2002, the closing bell of the New York Stock Exchange was barely relevant, as securities traded 24 hours a day, around the world. The largest markets were private, and didn't involve regulated exchanges at all. Financial derivatives were as prevalent as stocks and bonds, and nearly as many assets and liabilities were off balance sheets as on. Companies' reported earnings were a fiction, and financial reports were chock full of disclosures that would shock the average investor if she ever even glanced at them, not that anyone—including financial journalists and analysts—ever did. Trading volatilities were sky high, with historically unrelated markets moving in lock step, increasing the risk of systemic collapse.
In just a few years, regulators had lost what limited control they had over market intermediaries, market intermediaries had lost what limited control they had over corporate managers, and corporate managers had lost what limited control they had over employees. This loss-of-control daisy chain had led to exponential risk-taking at many companies, largely hidden from public view. Simply put, the appearance of control in financial markets was a fiction.
|2||Monkeys on Their Backs||36|
|3||Wheat First Securities||62|
|5||A New Breed of Speculator||112|
|6||Morals of the Marketplace||141|
|8||The Domino Effect||227|
|9||The Last One to the Party||267|
|10||The World's Greatest Company||296|
Posted December 4, 2011
Posted April 17, 2003
This is the definitive piece on Enron and everything that preceded it. I had no idea before reading this book how pervasive these problems were, how esoteric derivatives fit into the mix (and how much they affected so many stocks), how these problems persist and were generated in the first place, and how much more I need to pay attention to these issues in my own life. All of this is told is a very gripping and interesting way, with a sense of history and drama that is rare in nonfiction works. It is really a masterpiece.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 28, 2003
I read a minimum of a 100 nonfiction business related books a year and this is without a doubt one of the greatest books written on the intersection between Wall Street, high tech, and a completely clueless Washington, D.C. (Of course the clued in Senators and Congressmen are a party to the crime, the 7 trillion dollar hold up of your average stock buying dumb American) The author explains complex subjects in a very interesting and easy readable way. He provides new information into the histories of acts of congress passing financial legislation they were clueless to enforce. He connects the dots between the major players. Finally he offers some advice and lets hope a few ¿honest Billionaires¿ help him out. Warren Buffet ain¿t gonna live forever. D.Matthew Hayden author Vegas StoriesWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 13, 2003
Just finished reading it. Incredible. Well-written, stunningly informative, and totally enthralling -- words that I can ever recall using to describe a book as sophisticated as this one. Totally stimulating. I wish that I had Partnoy as a professor in college; from how he writes, I bet he's incredible. This is an awesome bookWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.