book review

Senseless Panic Book Review

senseless panic
Bill Isaac, former chair of the FDIC during the Savings & Loan Crisis and bail out critic, has written a new book, Senseless Panic: How Washington Failed America. If you want to read a definitive forensic accounting of the 1980's Savings and Loan crisis, this is the one to get.

The book is loaded with details, from someone who personally was involved in the past financial crisis. In fact Isaac lead the charge to try to stop the TARP bail out. The book is loaded with real world details yet written in a short but sweet, cut to the chase style. Take this examination of Tim Geithner's phone logs as an example, where you too will raise an eyebrow:

ECONned: Yves Smith's Book of Books

Review of ECONned, by Yves Smith

Out the gate, I was fully prepared to dislike this book (ECONNED: How Unenlightened Self Interest Undermined Democracy and Corrupted Capitalism). While I occasionally peruse Ms. Smith’s excellent econ/finance site, Naked Capitalism, I have often considered some of her comments to be soft pedaling the economic crises of our times.

But, I have to admit her attitudes have been evolving to my way of thinking, and her masterful book is a stunner and a real joy to behold!

Madam Smith’s treatment of the Brooksley Born saga is the best I’ve read yet, and I humbly believe I have read them all. Ms. Born, a top notch derivatives attorney from the Washington, D.C. powerhouse law firm of Arnold Porter, was appointed to chair the Commodity Futures Trading Commission during the Clinton Administration.

How Ms. Born was halted from performing her rightful function in that position by the likes of Robert Rubin, Alan Greenspan and Arthur Levitt (the true villains and criminals, and make no mistake about that) is well worth the price of the book (and at $30 a pop, it ain’t cheap in these times we economically struggle to survive in).

And the recent mea culpa by Levitt in ignoring and circumventing Brooksley Born’s warnings of the coming debacle, is akin to the bank robber who murders a teller during his crime remonstrating that he had a bad day!

Book Review - The Black Swan

Taleb is an asshole. He would not be fun at parties, pointing out every single logic flaw one can possibly possess. Overlooking the lies and pride that make up so much social lubricant in specialized societies, such as quantitative analysis, is not something this guy is going to deal with. Say something stupid, he's not going to just smile and nod and be one of the boys. Seriously. But he's the type of asshole one wants around when dealing with the increasing prevalence of mathematical models used in structured finance.

Taleb hates the Gaussian.

It's a Dangerous Business, Pat Choate Chronicles America's Globalization Follies

Dangerous Business - Pat Choate


Pat Choate's new book, Dangerous Business: The Risks of Globalization for America
is a must read book on the realities of globalization, trade, the lobbyists surrounding D.C., corporatism and China's modern mercantilism. Choate not only describes some of the corruption, insanity and erosion of the United States through bad trade deals, elitism and globalization, he prescribes solutions.


In the below talk on his book, Choate details massive intellectual property theft, biased trade deal provisions, emerging markets, deficits with minute detail :

When Band-Aids No Longer Work