All the Devils Are Here

All the Devils Are Here

The Hidden History of the Financial Crisis

Book - 2010
Average Rating:
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Examining the many competing theories that emerged to explain the U.S. financial crisis, the authors go back almost twenty years to reveal, in rich, anecdotal detail, the involvement of Wall Street, the mortgage industry, the government and such elusive institutions as Goldman Sachs, AIG and Fannie Mae. McLean is the author of the well-reviewed book on Enron, "The Smartest guys in the room".
Publisher: New York ; Toronto : Portfolio Penguin, 2010.
ISBN: 9781591843634
Characteristics: xviii, 380 p., [16] of plates :,ill. ;,24 cm.
Additional Contributors: Nocera, Joseph

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f
fdb045
Dec 05, 2016

By far, this is best book i've read on the subject (this being the 8th) above Tim Geithner's Stress Test and USA Financial Inquiry Commission's Financial Crisis Inquiry Report (don't be afraid). (Very notable is Gillian Tett's Fool's Gold.)
Most books about the subject are from, generally, a single perspective whereas All The Devils .... covers the main businesses and players. Well written for the layman.

s
StarGladiator
May 28, 2013

I don't like this book - - it does contain quite a few facts, but the presentation of those facts leaves something to be desired. Should be called the covert reframing of the causes for the global economic meltdown; again, a 4% foreclosure rate in America did not destroy the global economy, but the largest insurance swindles in human history certainly did! Unless the credit default swap is specifically explained to be what it was used as: a fraudulent insurance device [I sell you a house which I know will explode in a short time, meanwhile I take out multiple insurance policies on your house, all clearly illegal, but the CDS wasn't legally classified as insurance, and for the most fraudulent of reasons!]. Do the authors, Nocera and McLean, explain the Group of Thirty [group30.org] and their support for credit derivatives! [NO!] Do the authors, Nocera and McLean, explain the Derivatives Research Group, its members, and what they lobbied for? [NO!] Do the authors, Nocera and McLean, explain the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act? [NO!] Do the authors, Nocera and McLean, mention JPMorgan Chase's report: Glass-Steagall, Overdue For Repeal? [NO!] Do the authors, Nocera and McLean, explain what the Markit Group was and who financed them? [NO!] Without explaining the careful plans and design which led up to the meltdown, and the historical connections between the major players, this book is just more murky and confusing paper. Don't think they really named the devils, just dropped some names! [The 2 saving graces: explaining James Bothwell of the GAO was both right and shut out, and how King County, Washington, lost big time on the John Paulson/Goldman Sachs swindle called the Abacus CDO, pp. 279--281. And that's exactly why transit fares go up, and property taxes go up, and retail taxes go up, and apartment rents go up!] {FYI: The authors were patently incorrect in crediting Rainieri and Fink with the invention of securitization; please read my comment under Richard Posner's book, The Crisis of Capitalist Democracy for its historical background, thanks to Prof. George Jackson and Dimitris Chorafas.}

w
writer13
Aug 15, 2012

Bethany McLean (as she did with the Enron fraud as well) along with Joe Nocera have amassed a tome's worth of research and presented it in a manner where one does not necessarily need a finance degree to understand the underpinnings of the 2008 financial crisis. Not as in depth as "The Sellout" but a great read nonetheless.

r
rstolzster
May 23, 2011

This book provides very useful insights into a number of characters whose names loomed large in the financial crisis. The manner in which it is was written gave less attention to the crisis itself or the debate following the crisis. But in a very human way, the book (though most of the content was not based on interviews with principles) laid out how a cohort of very ambitious people and the choices they made brought the country to the brink of financial collapse.

b
BRENTHORYN
Apr 22, 2011

pg 64

s
SirWhiskers
Jan 08, 2011

"All the Devils are Here" provides an in-depth view of the subprime industry and its role in the financial meltdown. It's also one of the few books I've read that makes clear why the rating agencies' ratings made the whole mess possible. While other books do a better job of covering the other actors, such as Wall Street and the Federal Reserve, this book was worth my time.

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