- Taschenbuch: 448 Seiten
- Verlag: Black Swan (11. Oktober 2012)
- Sprache: Englisch
- ISBN-10: 0552778273
- ISBN-13: 978-0552778275
- Größe und/oder Gewicht: 12,7 x 2,8 x 19,8 cm
- Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 1 Kundenrezension
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Planet Ponzi (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 11. Oktober 2012
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"Mitch Feierstein is one of the most prescient and cogent observers of the economic crisis that has engulfed the world. He delivers his controversial views without fear or favour and tells the truths others are too terrified to voice or desperate to hide. Feierstein has an insider's knowledge of the markets and brilliant, iconoclastic intellect which he is not afraid to use. If you want to understand the financial mess we are in now, and what is likely to happen next, you can't afford not to read him." (Ruth Sunderland, Associate City Editor, Daily Mail)
"As a former member of the U.S. House of Representatives, prosecutor and veteran of one of the world's largest global banks, I'm thrilled that someone like Mitch is using this megaphone to sound the alarm. It takes someone with his background to take us behind the PR spin and superficial headlines to discover the truth." (Rick Lazio, Managing Director of Real-Estate & Infrastructure Group at JPMorgan)
"Here's the book that's flying off the shelves... it's great!" (Max Keiser)
The must-read book on the financial crisis.Alle Produktbeschreibungen
P.s. A must for any economics and finance student who wishes to stray from equation-solving
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For a mind like mine, I am an engineer not an economist, I've appreciated how the author deals with the matters always referring to officials and publicly available data, and never entering fields without an appropriate support of real and verifiable sources. He does not spend too much time on theories; he rather gives real world examples and tries to refer to down to-earth concepts to explain his points, never loosing a scientifically correct exposition.
His attitude is not much of one of the many priests unveiling the ultimate truth about the crisis we are facing, but rather stimulating our brains using everyday common sense to analyze the data we have under our nose. I've read the book in 3 days, even if, as I said, I am not one of the economic field. I gave it to read to my wife, (much smarter than me) she's enjoying it .
VERY HIGHLY RECCOMANDED!
The author is scathing and unrelenting in his exposure of all the relevant events, and his analysis of our current situation, where we are teetering on a wave of sovereign defaults followed by bank collapses, is right on the money. My only criticism is that he is too ready to dismiss darker outcomes. He optimistically believes that all this will lead to a brighter future where a new open and honest form of political and financial government will rise from the ashes of Planet Ponzi. That is possible, but you don't need to look far back in European history to realize that populations and politicians alike do not always react in the best ways to these sorts of crises, especially when democracy has been so badly denegrated by the likes of Blair and now Obama.
As a writer myself( Deadly Medicine), and a scientist, I detest the puerile pulp the MSM feeds us. Planet Ponzi is the opposite, and is an excellent, well researched piece of work, with a clear central thesis backed up by verifible facts that all financial journalists or anyone who wants to develop an in depth understanding of the situation should read. It is very digestible and keeps your blood boiling as you read endless examples of political and corporate incompetence combined with deliberate greed that has led to the destruction of wealth for huge swathes of Western society. I also like the proposed solutions which require real honesty on the part of those in power. Unfortunately that is where the book may be entering the realms of fiction, but good luck to him for having faith in human nature. Personally, I think nothing short of the second coming would rid Planet Earth of the idiots who created Planet Ponzi!
Then governments force cuts on the public, not on the 1 per cent who caused the crisis. Between 1998 and 2010 Wall Street and insurance companies added just 4.3 per cent to US output, yet took 28.9 per cent of all US profits.
US politicians blew $3 trillion on the Iraq war and $1 trillion on the Afghanistan war. The US Federal Reserve secretly lent $7.7 trillion to the bankers - RBS got $1.2 billion. In 2008-9 the US government bailed out AIG. Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch, Société Générale, Deutsche Bank and UBS got $32.7 billion. Goldman Sachs paid out $16.2 billions in bonuses in 2009. Gordon Brown also borrowed to bail out banks and bank creditors, many of them foreign.
The total US bailout has cost taxpayers $23.5 trillion so far, a loss which equals 170 per cent of national income. By contrast, Sweden is 15 per cent to the good, because when it had a bank bust in the early 1990s, it made the shareholders bear the costs.
But Ponzi schemes are not limited to the USA. Feierstein writes, "The euro was misconceived from the first, its flaws baked into the design: no central treasury, no credible penalties for the profligate, no central political guidance, and no orderly exit mechanism." British banks are exposed to the eurozone's debt. They lent to French banks and to German banks which are over-committed to France.
Yet Feierstein is all at sea when he writes about Britain. One minute he absurdly claims that the government will `restrain the banks', the next he concedes that "the Conservative Party is essentially the City of London's lapdog." (As of course Labour and the LibDems are too.) He embraces the City's big lie that we must cut public spending (so cutting growth and adding to the deficit).
And he writes, "Firm action would have involved facing up to the crisis. Forcing creditors to take losses. Making shareholders lose everything." But the government has done none of this; instead it has made taxpayers take all the losses.
Feierstein warns us, "We are still in the middle of a massive Ponzi scheme. ... The debts are still there. The bad assets are still there. The same corrupt incentives are still in place. The same degree of profiteering. The same blindness to risk. The same astonishing tolerance for ever-increasing debt." So we face another crisis, if we allow it.
Finance is not my area of expertise, I am a scientist, and would not normally even read such a book. I read Planet Ponzi twice. I love this new paperback update, as well. Everyone who cares about the economic future of our country and how that squares with the foibles of the EU and rest of the world should read this book and then take proactive means to change the poor behavior of the United States Congress.
Finally, Mr. Feierstein is an engaging, extremely informative, careful writer with an entertaining style.
* Positives: Comprehensive, meticulously researched and illustrated, scary, funny, unique insider's view. A must read for anyone seeking to grasp the causes of the GFC , what needs to change to prevent a recurrence, and what investors can, in general terms, do about it to survive.
* Negatives: Just wanted some more detail on what small investors can do to survive and prosper in these treacherous times. Fortunately, there's a good book on that coming soon mentioned below.
The Full Review
Ponzi Planet deserves to become a classic must read for any policy maker - or anyone who takes voting or investing seriously. The Great Financial Crisis that began in 2007 has already produced significant works by academics (This Time It's Different, Reinhart & Rogoff) and by financial writers (Endgame, Mauldin and Tepper).
What we've been missing was a quality explanation by someone on the inside. This is the first account of what went wrong by someone intimately familiar with the daily workings of Wall Street and how it interacts with Washington, London, and other global financial and governmental centers, their attitudes, motives, and mentality.
* Part 1 focuses on the unreal but true world of Washington where those who were supposed to be on watch were asleep, outsmarted, or actively aiding and abetting the crime.
* Part2 focuses on the inner workings and mentality of the financial sector, and how the prevailing incentives inevitably corrupt it, and often transform it into an adversary of those they are supposed to serve and of society in general. The author has worked for years in both Wall Street and London. Thus he brings a unique deep international perspective that allows him to compare the two financial centers and why things got even more out of hand in London and the cultural reasons behind the even more egregious corruption.
* Part 3 looks at how so much of the rest of the world was engaging in the same toxic combination of excessive debt and lax financial regulation.
* Part 4 focuses on what you can actually do in view of the above to protect yourself and profit from it.
The author has done an exceptional job of making a potentially dry, technical topic into a genuinely fun read. As one who does this for a living myself, I know how hard that is. I was alternately shocked, scared, outraged, and hysterically laughing, all in the space of a given chapter. Yet this is no fluffy beach read. It contains detailed research, solid analysis, and some bold conclusions, all backed up with extensive evidence that's clearly illustrated with charts and tables throughout.
So in addition to being a highly informative and entertaining overview of the global debt crisis, this book is also a highly useful secondary source for students and other researchers trying to understand how the global debt crisis came about and how we proceed.
In addition, it's the only chronicle of the Great Financial Crisis written by an actual Wall Street/City of London insider rather than by a journalist or academic.
The only negative that stands out is that I'd have appreciated some more concrete, practical examples of at least some of the things this experienced hedge fund manager is recommending to his clients.
Admittedly this isn't easy to do and may not even be practical, given the rapidly changing nature of markets. Indeed, he may well have had legal constraints and/or desire to keep juiciest bits for paying clients - all legitimate reasons.
However as a full time financial writer/advisor, I believe there could have been some more detail about the key ideas and themes that should guide one's investing in these perilous times.
For example, as I cover in detail in my new book, The Sensible Guide To Forex, (see amazon page on it) it's clear that the most widely held currencies like the USD and JPY are at risk of severe loss of value due to the policies of their respective governments. As for the EUR, it's far from clear that it will survive at all in its current form. Investors need to be aware of the need to hedge currency risk and how to diversify their portfolios by currency exposure, just as they diversify by asset and sector type.
As one who has just finished writing a book on investor solutions to the new challenges of the financial crisis, I deeply appreciate the rare books that cover its causes, and so provide clues to both investors and policy makers about how to proceed from here.