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Greed: Portraits of Contrarians, the Rewards of Irresponsibility, and the Dangers of Public Investment Banks,
Rezension bezieht sich auf: The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine (Gebundene Ausgabe)
"Then the Lord said to him, 'Now you Pharisees make the outside of the cup and dish clean, but your inward part is full of greed and wickedness.'" -- Luke 11:39 (NKJV)
This quote from Luke was perfect for me in describing the way that the ratings agencies assigned AAA quality to bundles of worthless mortgages. And because of the high ratings, most people just smiled and got paid well to pass derivatives to whoever was dumb enough to buy them.
The Big Short won't be your favorite book about the Wall Street near-collapse, but it will be one of the more memorable ones. Most people see investing in black-and-white terms. There are winners and losers on opposite sides of the same trades. The profits that follow make the winners feel great, and the losses make the losers feel sour. It may work like that in story books, but Wall Street doesn't work that way. Instead, those with the power enrich themselves in the easiest possible ways . . . often with no clue about what's really going on, and with no particular interest in finding out.
The bulk of the book is devoted to describing the unusual backgrounds and research that allowed a few skeptics to anticipate the eventual meltdown of a lot of bad paper written around mortgages that should never have been granted. You probably won't find these people to be as interesting as Mr. Lewis does.
But there's an ulterior motive . . . to use these skeptics to tell in their own words about the corruption they found at the heart of the mortgage meltdown as it played on out Wall Street.
You'll find out just how much money many people made to turn a blind (or dumb) eye on what was going on.
His ultimate point is made in the book's final pages as he lunches with John Gutfreund (I'm sure you remember him from Liar's Poker). Lewis argues that Gutfreund's decision to take Salomon public ultimately led the kind of insanity that we just went through, an insanity that he believes that the privately held investment banks would not have permitted to happen. Who knows? Greed and power do some pretty unusual things to people.
I was intrigued to see that Goldman, Sachs was the subject of an SEC civil suit for some of what was described here on the day I finished reading the book. Could it be that there is the possibility of public morality prevailing? Someone always takes the blame for Wall Street fiascos. Who will it be this time?
Surely this book will help spark some public rage. Stay tuned to see what happens next . . . if anything.
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