Reviews from Goodreads:
Thomas Gross rated it with 5 stars and had this to say, "A must-read, and very readable. This report explains a lot of what happened and is invaluable to an intelligent understanding of the Financial free-fall."
Mike rated it with 4 stars and had this to say, "This is excellent. Select chapters from this book ought to be required reading for high-schoolers."
Thomas Dunn rated it with 4 stars and had this to say, "An honest first appraisal. Opening chapter with the commissions several conclusions should be required high school reading."
Hiro rated it with 3 stars and hd this to say,
"The book is the official report produced by the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission on the financial crisis of 2007-2008. The book primarily provides a chronological history before, during, and briefly after the crisis. There are three different reports: one adopted by the majority i.e. 6 members of the 10 member commission which were chosen by the "Democratic leadership of Congress", which constitutes most of the book, and two separate dissenting reports adopted by 3 members and 1 member of the commission who were all chosen by the "Republican leadership of Congress." The majority report describes the various causes of the financial crisis in great detail as they happened, including inadequate corporate governance and oversight at financial institutions, a system which rewards short-term profit at all levels, and lax regulatory oversight of various financial institutions especially by the federal government. The 3 member dissenting report is similar to the majority report, except that it puts more emphasis on international factors which were not considered in detail in the majority report. The 1 member dissenting report puts the blame of the financial crisis primarily on government housing policy over the years, which facilitated reduced lending standards and encouraged the creation of toxic mortgages which the borrowers had no realistic ability to ever pay off.
The majority report at almost 400 pages is at many points difficult to read because of the various financial terminology which are not adequately discussed in the text or in the glossary, but at other points reads like a novel because of the suspense created by the impending catastrophe at the more readable portions of the book. Also, the majority report could have been much more effectively focused by condensing it into fewer pages. The majority report sometimes reads like a laundry list of the various causes and events leading to the financial crisis. More analysis throughout the report could have led to a more focused and informative understanding of the crisis. Despite the excessive length of the report and lack of sufficient discussions of financial terminology, the report still provides a good overview of the causes of the financial crisis. In this respect, the 3 member dissenting report, because of its brevity, provides a very focused and to-the-point analysis of the causes of the financial crisis. This leads to a very clear understanding of the conclusions of the dissenting report. On the other hand, the 1 member dissenting report is somewhat biased in its opinion on the causes of the crisis, placing blame primarily on the government. It is hard to imagine that something as complex as the financial crisis could have been caused primarily by government policies. This commission member seems to be politically charged and wants to place blame on big government. In this respect, the other 9 commission members give a more balanced view.
Overall, the book is rather long and dry at parts because of the technical financial terminology, but at other parts reads like a suspense novel in anticipation of the coming financial meltdown. The book describes the dire situation that Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and New York Fed President Timothy Geithner faced when they considered the bailout of Lehman Brothers, AIG, and many other financial institutions, and makes you appreciate that the bailout was not entirely about letting those financial institutions off the hook for irresponsible activities and risk-taking, but rather about letting the world economy collapse into chaos, which would have left absolutely nobody in the world unscathed, or saving the world economy as we know it. The book provides a thorough overview of the causes of the financial crisis even for those who have little knowledge of the modern financial system."