The Seven Sins of Wall Street: Big Banks, their Washington Lackeys, and the Next Financial Crisis [NOOK Book]

Overview

We all know that the financial crisis of 2008 came dangerously close to pushing the United States and the world into a depression rivaling that of the 1930s. But what is astonishing?and should make us not just afraid but very afraid?are the shenanigans of the biggest banks since the crisis. Bob Ivry passionately, eloquently, and convincingly details the operatic ineptitude of America's best-compensated executives and the ways the government kowtows to what it mistakenly imagines is their competence and success. ...
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The Seven Sins of Wall Street: Big Banks, their Washington Lackeys, and the Next Financial Crisis

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Overview

We all know that the financial crisis of 2008 came dangerously close to pushing the United States and the world into a depression rivaling that of the 1930s. But what is astonishing—and should make us not just afraid but very afraid—are the shenanigans of the biggest banks since the crisis. Bob Ivry passionately, eloquently, and convincingly details the operatic ineptitude of America's best-compensated executives and the ways the government kowtows to what it mistakenly imagines is their competence and success. Ivry shows that the only thing that has changed since the meltdown is how too-big-to-fail banks and their fellow travelers in Washington have nudged us ever closer to an even bigger economic calamity.
Informed by deep reporting from New York, Washington, and the heartland, The Seven Sins of Wall Street, like no other book, shows how we’re all affected by the financial industry’s inhumanity. The transgressions of “Wall Street titans” and “masters of the universe” are paid for by real people. In fierce, plain English, Ivry indicts a financial industry that continues to work for the few at the expense of the rest of us. Problems that financiers deemed too complicated to be understood by ordinary folks are shown by Ivry to be financial legerdemain—a smokescreen of complexity and jargon that hide the bankers’ nefarious activities.
The Seven Sins of Wall Street is irreverent and timely, an infuriating black comedy. The Great Depression of the 1930s moved the American political system to real reform that kept the finance industry in check. With millions so deeply affected since the crisis of 2008, you’ll finish this book asking yourself how it is that so many of the nation’s leading financial institutions remain such exasperating problem children.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
03/17/2014
Size, secrecy, pride, greed, impunity, complexity, and immunity from adequate regulation: these are journalist Ivry's cardinal sins of Wall Street. Ivry believes that U.S. banks have been allowed to swell into financial behemoths considered "too big to fail," entitling them to cheap money and massive government bailouts. Big banks have prospered in the wake of the Great Recession. JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America, Citigroup, and Wells Fargo had $5.2 trillion in assets on their books at the end of 2006; in 2012 they had $7.8 trillion. Meanwhile, ordinary Americans (unemployed, underpaid, and foreclosed upon) continue to suffer. Over several chapters, Ivry effectively contrasts the fate of a single mother foreclosed out of her Memphis home with that of a Wall Street trader who maintains multiple mansions that go unoccupied. Florid reportage of events override explanations of complex financial topics, sacrificing clarity and balance along the way, such as when Ivry compares the controversy surrounding derivatives to "the plot outline for a Billy Wilder film noir." Contrary to the title, the next financial crisis is never fully explored, except in a foreboding sense of impending doom should things not change. While well-informed proponents of the Occupy Wall Street movement will likely enjoy this emotionally-charged expose, ultimately it tell only one side of the story. (Mar.)
From the Publisher

“Ivry writes with high indignation punctuated by occasional light touches, and he has a talent for deconstructing financial jargon. Yet his intent is utterly serious, and his book ought to become a standard text for the Occupy Wall Street and similar movements… To judge by this angry book, the denizens of Wall Street are doing all they can to obstruct this—and it’s high time to return the favor.”—Kirkus

“An indispensable guide for tracking down live villains and unburied bodies. By the time you reach the end, all the sheer fury anyone with the merest flutter of a moral pulse felt back in 2008 and 2009 at the sight of bankers and their apologists blaming the cratering of the global economy on “people buying houses they couldn’t afford” wells up again, white hot.”—Harper’s Magazine online

“Over several chapters, Ivry effectively contrasts the fate of a single mother foreclosed out of her Memphis home with that of a Wall Street trader who maintains multiple mansions that go unoccupied… well-informed proponents of the Occupy Wall Street movement will likely enjoy this emotionally-charged expose.”—Publishers Weekly

"The Seven Sins of Wall Street: Big Banks, their Washington Lackeys, and the next Financial Crisis by Bloomberg reporter, Bob Ivry is both incredibly scary and ironically extremely funny – in a very dark way. This makes it essential reading for anyone"—Nomi Prins, author of All the Presidents Bankers

"Bob Ivry was one of the few journalists to grasp the depth of the 2008 financial crisis and his reporting on the bailouts was groundbreaking. Now he sets his sights on the aftermath of the bailouts and their true cost to American society. In accessible writing, sometimes funny, often infuriating, Ivry exposes the price America paid for rescuing the biggest banks, a price that we're paying up to the present day -- bankers who behave like spoiled children, a government and central bank that spoil them and a democracy that's impoverished as a result."—Neil Barofsky, author of the New York Times bestseller, Bailout: An Inside Account of How Washington Abandoned Main Street While Rescuing Wall Street and U.S. Treasury's Special Inspector General for the TARP.

"Seven Sins is a highly readable, unremittingly scathing look at post-apocalypse, unrepentant Wall Street. It is at once a compelling guided tour of this bizzaro world and a sounding of the alarm about its portents."—John Helyar, co-author, Barbarians at the Gate

Kirkus Reviews
2014-02-03
A reporter for Bloomberg News, no enemy of capitalism, reads a fiduciary riot act to the bankers and hedge fund managers of the world. A bank that's too big to fail, by Ivry's account, is far too big. Yet they were responsible for the near collapse of the world financial market in 2007–2008, through a combination of "stupidity, poor oversight, and more than anything, a neighbor-versus-neighbor waging of financial warfare." In the aftermath, banks have been posting record profits. It may be that theology and economics don't mix, but the overall sin of a system so rigged is its simple unfairness. More specifically, Ivry calques the seven sins of theology onto Wall Street, finding it guilty of such things as secrecy, pride, regulatory capture—that is, when regulators identify more with the institutions they're supposed to regulate than with the society that employs them—and "a predatory greed weaponized for the war fought by the rich against the poor and middle class." Ivry's larger message is to show how these sins fuel a scheme in which risk is socialized, spread out among the taxpayers, while profit is most definitely privatized, kept out of the hands of the people who made it possible. Ivry writes with high indignation punctuated by occasional light touches ("As I tried to find the switch on my own bullshit meter, which I had on vibrate and which was now rattling my molars…"), and he has a talent for deconstructing financial jargon ("Think of derivatives as side bets made between two gamblers"). Yet his intent is utterly serious, and his book ought to become a standard text for the Occupy Wall Street and similar movements. "America needs strong banks," writes Ivry. "But banks need a strong America too." To judge by this angry book, the denizens of Wall Street are doing all they can to obstruct this—and it's high time to return the favor.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781610393669
  • Publisher: PublicAffairs
  • Publication date: 3/11/2014
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 229,825
  • File size: 515 KB

Meet the Author


Bob Ivry is an editor and investigative reporter for Bloomberg News. His articles have won many awards, including the George Polk Award in 2009 and the Gerald Loeb Award in 2008. Ivry has been a regular contributor to Esquire, Popular Science, Maxim, and the Washington Post Book World, and has published short fiction in Esquire and Ploughshares. Follow him on Twitter: @bobivry
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 23, 2014

    Great Stuff!

    This book deals with the ins and outs of our recent financial crisis....that continues despite media telling us how great everything is getting. Ivry doesn't mince words and cuts right to the heart of what was and is going on. Interesting reading the will make your blood boil and maybe cause you to get active.

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