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Publishers WeeklyLimned with basic economic principles and rational analysis, this financial guide from a former editor at the wall street journal should disappoint fans of the sophisticated business broadsheet as well as those drawn by the alarmist title. Kansas wastes no time in conceding that, yes, wall street "practically destroyed itself in an orgy of delusion and greed and transformed itself into something else entirely," but spreads responsibility far and wide. As such, sidebars profiling specific people, organizations and practices read like clues in a murder mystery: did the fed, led by alan greenspan, kill the economy with an "easy-money policy"? was it the big banks, who "magically transformed subprime mortgage debt into something far more attractive"? or are overeager first-time homeowners to blame? if kansas knows, he's not telling. Though he dispenses some helpful investment advice ("pay yourself first," "diversification is vital," "always take advantage of free money"), it's nothing that wouldn't have been just as applicable pre-recession; further, he offers no assurance that individuals can prevent another crisis, no matter how responsibly they handle their money.
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