The Sellout: How Three Decades of Wall Street Greed and Government Mismanagement Destroyed the Global Financial System

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The Sellout: How Three Decades of Wall Street Greed and Government Mismanagement Destroyed the Global Financial System

Format:  Hardcover,

553 pages

Publisher: Harpercollins

Publish Date: Nov 2009

ISBN-13: 9780061697166

ISBN-10: 0061697168

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Book Information

The following content was provided by the publisher.

The definitive account of Wall Street's stunning collapse

From critically acclaimed investigative journalist and CNBC personality Charles Gasparino comes a sweeping examination of the most recent volatile, anxiety-ridden era in our nation's socioeconomic history. The Sellout traces the implosion of the financial services business back to its roots in the late 1970s when Wall Street embraced a new business model predicated on taking enormous risks. It shows how a backwater business involving the trading of risky bonds packed with mortgages showered countless billions in profits on the financial industry but sowed the seeds of its ultimate demise. Gasparino walks readers through Wall Street's three-decades' love affair with risk, revealing a trail of culpability--from the government bureaucrats who crafted housing policies that encouraged homeownership, to the Wall Street firms that underwrote and invested in risky debt, to the mortgage sellers who handed out loans to people without the financial wherewithal to pay them back, to the homeowners who became convinced they could afford mansions on blue-collar wages. The ongoing tumult in financial markets and the global economy began when some of our most esteemed financial institutions, our government, and even average citizens abdicated their collective responsibilities, eventually selling out investors and selling off the American Dream itself.

In the spirit of classics such as Barbarians at the Gate and Liar's Poker, this page-turning narrative captures how avarice, arrogance, and sheer stupidity eroded Wall Street's dominance and profoundly weakened the financial security of millions of middle-class Americans. Eye-opening and engrossing, The Sellout provides the most thorough investigation to date of this latest gilded era.

Specifications

Publisher: Harpercollins
Publish Date: Nov 2009
ISBN-13: 9780061697166
ISBN-10: 0061697168
Format: Hardcover
Number of Pages: 553
Shipping Weight (in pounds): 1.6
Product in Inches (L x W x H): 6.5 x 9.5 x 1.5

Chapter outline

Key People
Key Firms
Prologue
Let's Make Money
Fun and Games
Power and Perks
Sex, Drugs, and Debt
An Education in Risk
Merchants Of Debt
Bigger Is Better
Financial Renaissance
Paying the Price
One Big Happy Family
Opening the Floodgates
No More Mother Merrill
The Money Machine
Perverse Incentives
Top of the World
Cash Stops Flowing
What's The Worst That Could Happen?
No Clue
The Dancing Stops
The End Begins
There Are Rumors That You Guys are in Trouble
Free Fall
The Rescue
Bailout Nation
Epilogue
Glossary
Acknowledgments
Notes
Index

Reviews

Review by Library Journal (2010-01-29)

Gasparino (on-air editor, CNBC; King of the Club) covers the 2007-09 financial crisis from its origins through the Trouble Asset Relief Program (TARP) bailout. He traces its causes back to the 1980s when to be more profitable Wall Street firms took on risk by leveraging themselves with high levels of debt. He recounts how this caused periodic crises such as the 1998 collapse of Long Term Capital Management, but that each time government intercession saved the day and emboldened the risk takers.

When housing prices began their inexorable decline in 2006, he explains that the leveraged borrowing, coupled with hard-to-price exotic financial instruments like collateralized debt obligations, provided the impetus for the near implosion of the financial system. Gasparino covers the gamut of the problem, from lax mortgage originators through accommodative politicians to the banks themselves.

Verdict: This is financial journalism at its best. The breadth of Gasparino's work here and his jargon-free writing make this an essential introduction for most readers. Andrew Ross Sorkin's Too Big To Fail is also superb, but its focus-on the 2008 activity to save Wall Street-is much narrower.

[See Prepub Alert, LJ 7/09.] - Lawrence Maxted, Gannon Univ. Lib., Erie, PA

(c). Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Book description

The definitive account of Wall Street's stunning collapse

From critically acclaimed investigative journalist and CNBC personality Charles Gasparino comes a sweeping examination of the most recent volatile, anxiety-ridden era in our nation's socioeconomic history. The Sellout traces the implosion of the financial services business back to its roots in the late 1970s when Wall Street embraced a new business model predicated on taking enormous risks. It shows how a backwater business involving the trading of risky bonds packed with mortgages showered countless billions in profits on the financial industry but sowed the seeds of its ultimate demise.

Gasparino walks readers through Wall Street's three-decades' love affair with risk, revealing a trail of culpability—from the government bureaucrats who crafted housing policies that encouraged homeownership, to the Wall Street firms that underwrote and invested in risky debt, to the mortgage sellers who handed out loans to people without the financial wherewithal to pay them back, to the homeowners who became convinced they could afford mansions on blue-collar wages. The ongoing tumult in financial markets and the global economy began when some of our most esteemed financial institutions, our government, and even average citizens abdicated their collective responsibilities, eventually selling out investors and selling off the American Dream itself.

In the spirit of classics such as Barbarians at the Gate and Liar's Poker, this page-turning narrative captures how avarice, arrogance, and sheer stupidity eroded Wall Street's dominance and profoundly weakened the financial security of millions of middle-class Americans. Eye-opening and engrossing, The Sellout provides the most thorough investigation to date of this latest gilded era.

Customer Product Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5★ by 1reviewer.
Rated 5 out of 5★ by Great analysis of the Wall Street Crash Mr. Gasparino has written a book that should not scare away those not familiar with the inner workings of Wall Street. His, is the the best written yet of the books on the Wall Street Crash. 05/31/2011
See All Reviews
 

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