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All The Devils Are Here: Unmasking the Men Who Bankrupted the World [Format Kindle]

Bethany McLean , Joe Nocera

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Descriptions du produit

Revue de presse

A business book that is as riveting as an adventure novel... a masterpiece (Huffington Post)

When the financial crisis of this decade is being taught in business schools, All the Devils Are Here could be the textbook. (Time)

Grand in scope, overwhelming in detail, this is as compelling as a well-crafted literary novel (USA Today)

Yields a rich and intricate tableau of understanding (Financial Times)

A thorough account of the origins of the financial crisis. Helps explain the most troubling headlines of the moment, as well as those that are certain to come. (New York Times)

Joe Nocera is the best business writer alive (Jim Cramer)

Présentation de l'éditeur

According to Bethany McLean and Joe Nocera, two of America's most acclaimed business journalists, no-one has put all the pieces of the financial crisis together. The finger was pointed at greedy traders, cowardly legislators and clueless home buyers, but many devils helped bring hell to the economy.

All The Devils Are Here goes back several decades to explore the motivations of everyone from CEOs and politicians to anonymous lenders, borrowers and Wall Street traders. It exposes the hidden role of companies including AIG and Goldman Sachs. It delves into the powerful mythology of homeownership. And it proves that the crisis ultimately wasn't about finance at all; it was about human nature.

Bethany McLean's The Smartest Guys in the Room was the best Enron book on a crowded shelf. All the Devils Are Here will be remembered for finally making sense of the meltdown.

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 18554 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 397 pages
  • Editeur : Penguin (2 décembre 2010)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ASIN: B004EPYSL4
  • Synthèse vocale : Activée
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  • Word Wise: Activé
  • Composition améliorée: Activé
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: n°226.250 dans la Boutique Kindle (Voir le Top 100 dans la Boutique Kindle)
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.1 étoiles sur 5  237 commentaires
515 internautes sur 532 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 I thought it would take at least a decade for a book this good 17 novembre 2010
Par Aaron C. Brown - Publié sur Amazon.com
I thought it would take a couple of decades of perspective to tell the full story of the crisis. Meanwhile Michael Hirsh's Capital Offense (which covered the story from Washington), along with The Big Short by Michael Lewis (focusing on a few offbeat portfolio managers), Justin Fox's The Myth of the Rational Market (which went deep into intellectual history and gave testimony from many of the people who invented the theories), The Quants by Scott Patterson (working from the equations out) and Glenn Yago and Franklin Allen's Financing the Future (which traced the story from prehistory into the future and emphasized the positive side of financial innovation as much as the negative side) were the best available accounts. All had stylish writing, great stories and thorough research to cover important aspects of events.

Without taking anything away from any of those books, All the Devils are Here manages to cover every important financial aspect of the crisis. To be fair, it doesn't go into as much history or theory as Justin Fox, Michael Hirsh or Yago and Allen did, and it's not as great a story as Michael Lewis and Scott Patterson extracted. It covers the crisis and only the crisis and is too detailed to be as much fun as Lewis and Patterson.

You won't find gigantic surprises in this book, the usual suspects are examined: originate-to-sell, government-sponsored entities, political pressure to increase homeownership and provide jobs and perks for politicians and their friends, rating agencies, mathematical models divorced from commonsense and reality, CEO's remote from their businesses, and all sorts of people chasing profits and supressing doubts. What this account adds is nuance and balance. Different things mattered at different times, and in most cases there were at least some positive aspects. Things that everyone agrees were bad usually turn out to be bad in this account, but often in slightly different ways than is commonly assumed. Not all doubts were supressed, and a comforting number of people acted with honor and wisdom rather than short-term focus on profits or votes (not a decisive number, unfortunately, but comforting compared to popular conception).

If you read one book to understand the crisis, I recommend this one. Your understanding will be much deeper if you read all the ones above, and those might be better choices if you're interested in the crisis in some larger context, like the history of finance or political decision-making. But this is an amazing accomplishment, to distill this complete and even-handed a story while the fallout is still falling and few participants have had a chance to reflect on events and add perspective. No doubt there will be better histories in the future, but I'll bet the authors will all start by reading this one.
167 internautes sur 182 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 A Well-Written and Ambitious Book 17 novembre 2010
Par Robert Stryzinski - Publié sur Amazon.com
"All the Devils are Here" is a very ambitious book that attempts to weave together a wide range of narratives into a single story that explains the financial crisis. In general, I think the book does a very good job of taking on this challenge, but there is no way to get around the fact that it is a complex undertaking. The book takes a full 8 pages just to list the "cast of characters."

The story begins with the invention of mortgage-backed securities in the late 1970s and traces the founding and evolution of Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac. We learn about innovations in risk management and derivatives at JP Morgan and how they created the first credit default swaps and then later lured AIG into the game. Also covered are greed and mortgage fraud at Ameriquest and the failure of the ratings agencies to do anything close to an adequate job. There is also a lot of material on internal politics at Wall Street firms and especially how the risk management process at Merrill Lynch was undermined. Much of the story has been written about extensively elsewhere, for example how the Greenspan/Rubin/Summers trio pushed back against regulation of derivatives.

While "All the Devils are Here" offers one of the broadest takes on the financial crisis, I think it still fails to address one of the "devils" -- or perhaps even the elephant in the room. The book focuses entirely on the financial sector and misses the larger, structural shift that has occurred in the overall U.S. economy. That shift has been driven primarily by globalization and technology and the result has been stagnant incomes for the vast majority of people while a tiny few have seen their incomes explode. That left the middle class with little choice except to borrow in order to maintain their lifestyles. I think it is important to understand this broader trend toward income concentration because it shows no sign of abating and may well lead to another crisis. For more on this issue and the danger we may face in the future, I would also suggest reading this book: The Lights in the Tunnel: Automation, Accelerating Technology and the Economy of the Future

Read "All the Devils are Here" for a good overview of the major players in the crisis and how they interconnect. However, it's important to keep in mind that the real causes of the crisis cannot be divorced from the long term changes that are occurring in the economy as a whole.
52 internautes sur 54 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Financial Crisis Meets Human Nature 19 novembre 2010
Par Drea Knufken - Publié sur Amazon.com
Wall Street seems to float in an ether above Main Street, ubiquitous but at the same time untouchable. So translating the fog behind the 2008 financial crisis into language everyone can understand is a daunting task. In their new book, veteran journalists Bethany McLean and Joel Nocera slam dunk this difficult project.

The authors turn CDOs into something that makes sense, CEOs into the fallible humans they are, and even transform the government into a place readers can picture. The result is a book not only on the causes of the financial crisis, but commentary on corruption, systemic hubris, and human nature itself.

Granted, not all the players in the financial crisis are covered, making this book a supplement to existing (and worthy) tomes on Lehman Bros., Bear Stearns and others. What McLean and Nocera do cover, they line with such thorough detail that I learned reams of important new facts about the crisis.

Note that the book covers media whipping boys like Goldman Sachs and AIG in a more nuanced light. This helps business-minded readers understand how leadership and company culture contributed to the firms' post-crisis fates.

One of the book's most valuable contributions, besides its coverage of Fannie and Freddie, was Roland Arnall's Ameriquest. This corrupt company, heavy on cheating and cocaine, was one of the dirtiest players in the financial game. Yet the media and government-which ended up giving Arnall a post as US ambassador-continue to overlook it.

It's easy to say "systemic hubris," but much harder to describe what that looks like in real life. McLean and Nocera do this well. After finishing the book, I ended up with a big picture view of the financial crisis, of the humans whose greed built the straw house that burned in '08.

I followed the financial crisis while it was happening, and frankly always felt like pieces were missing. The books that I read after the financial crisis covered certain bits in detail, but I still had no bird's-eye view. Finally, "All the Devils Are Here" provided it (although, as mentioned, it didn't cover all the players in detail. That probably would have made the book 800 pages long). I highly encourage anyone who wants not only a chronology of the financial crisis, but a valuable look at human nature, to pick up this book.

(Review by Drea Knufken)
188 internautes sur 210 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 Good but fails to assess blame 19 novembre 2010
Par Herbert L Calhoun - Publié sur Amazon.com
This is the story of how the financial meltdown came about. It begins at the beginning and continues until the end. It is a carefully constructed chronicle of the systemic greed and hubris, clueless shortsightedness and incompetence that brought the U.S. financial system to its knees. Although well written, and reads like a novel, it still is not an easy read and in the end it fails to place or assess blame. The authors make clear that the fundamental hidden assumption that drove the collapse (and that proved to be fatal in the end) was the notion that home prices would continue to rise indefinitely. Feeding this assumption were a host of enabling factors, most of which straddled the borders of both immorality and corrupt business practices. Every one of the participants listed in the book was in part complicit and culpable. Yet the authors "pulled their punches" when it came to assessing blame:

Loan standards were weakened until they were non-existent. Lenders, as well as the recipients of loans, were both drunk on the home-lending madness, which driven by Congress and Freddie Mac and Fanny Mae, became a national orgy. The ratings of the rating agencies were worthless primarily because they not only lagged the housing market but at the same time depended on and mimicked the very company and markets they were trying to rate? Rules regarding capital requirements became worthless, and thus increasingly were skirted - as was generally true with other aspects of the process. This continued throughout the evolution of the process.

The train of "packaged loans (virtually worthless paper)" were leveraged to the sky, without even a semblance of an institutional safety net. Insurance on the loan packages, and the CDOs, too were inherently worthless. Bankers lied to themselves and to their buyers, just as the buyers lied to themselves - all in an orgy of deception and self-deception that constituted a cycle that could not be either turned around or turned off.

Homeowners were greedy & irresponsible borrowers: The mortgages they owned, were not bought, they were sold to them; and what the owners got in turn was not a home but a piece of paper that became worthless as soon as the ink dried. Regulations were in place sufficient to manage the process, but were not enforced. Nor as the book makes clear, can we ever guarantee that any regulations ever will be enforced. Or for that matter, can we guarantee that any rating agency can exist as a truly independent and thus valid rating agency.

In the end, the CDOs amounted to a clever version of a Ponzi scheme - primarily because they did not bring in capital, only provided prices for more and more markets, so that banks could hedge and leverage their exposure, brokers could get paid their lavish bonuses -- allowing everyone to ignore the inevitable and live with their heads in the sand for another day. They did this until the collapse finally brought the whole scheme down.

The authors cover each area with the technical skills of the consummate experts they are; and with a political sensitivity that finessed the issue of blame and culpability. This was the only aspect that actually annoyed me: Even though they named all of the players, they left it up to the reader to draw conclusions about the guilt or innocence of the players. Thus, they were much too careful in avoiding engaging in finger pointing. I ended the book with a very uneasy feeling that all this work was in vain: At some point blame must be assessed if systemic problems of this nature are to be fixed once and for all, and if similar ones are too be avoided in the future. Three stars.
49 internautes sur 55 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Let's not dilute the quality of reviews 22 novembre 2010
Par Ely105 - Publié sur Amazon.com
1. I'm disappointed that people are using this as a pulpit to complain against ebook pricing. The authors put a lot of time and effort into creating this text only to have it rated low by users for a completely different issue. It's like picketing a car dealership over the price of bananas.

- If you want someone to blame, go to the publisher, they are the ones that set the prices.
- If you want someone else to blame, go to Apple, they are the ones that renegotiated ebook pricing with publishers after Amazon had been driving it to almost and across the board pricing
- Amazon responded by not selling books for a day (i believe it was one publisher) to make a point.

While I appreciate the frustration of the Kindle owners (I personally own a Nook and paid as much) I also value the integrity of a review system and that if you dilute it then it's power is lost. Keep the reviews coming, just for the right things.

2. I've seen a couple of the reviews of this book and i would say they provide a fairly good level of review, so I will comment on them. In general I think this was a well written book. It keeps things understandable, things that are extraordinarily complex, but in a way that anyone can basically understand. They provide a good definition of the characters and put it in a timeline that keeps it interesting and climactic. Some reviewers commented that they didn't find blame, or they blamed the wrong people. I saw it differently in that they presented the significant characters and what they perceived they did along with commentary from others. I don't see that they blamed any one figure, but to not at least see some players as guilty is naive. But I think that you could spend a lot of words on the blame game and not really accomplish much more. There were a lot of folks at fault, all up and down the chain. And i think that's the point, there are lots of folks to blame for many different aspects. To me it's more a culmination of all the mistakes, intentional and unintentional, but that they were almost additive in the end. It's a remarkable chain of events and remarkably unfortunate.

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