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Download Fool's Gold: How the Bold Dream of a Small Tribe at J.P. Morgan Was Corrupted by Wall Street Greed and Unleashed a Catastrophe Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Fools Gold: How the Bold Dream of a Small Tribe at J.P. Morgan Was Corrupted by Wall Street Greed and Unleashed a Catastrophe, by Gillian Tett Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (745 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Gillian Tett Narrator: Stephen Hoye Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Drawing on exclusive access to J. P. Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon and a tightly bonded team of bankers known on Wall Street as the “Morgan Mafia”—as well as in-depth interviews with dozens of other key players, including Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner—Gillian Tett brings to life in gripping detail how the Morgan team’s bold ideas for a whole new kind of financial alchemy helped to ignite a revolution in banking, and how that revolution escalated wildly out of control.

This deeply reported and lively narrative takes listeners behind the scenes, to the inner sanctums of elite finance and to the secretive reaches of what came to be known as the “shadow banking” world. The story begins with the intense Morgan brainstorming session in 1994 beside a pool in Boca Raton, where the team cooked up a dazzling new idea for the exotic financial product known as credit derivatives. That idea would rip around the banking world, catapult Morgan to the top of the turbocharged derivatives trade, and fuel an extraordinary banking boom that seemed to have unleashed banks from ages-old constraints of risk.

But when the Morgan team’s derivatives dream collided with the housing boom and was perverted—through hubris, delusion, and sheer greed—by such titans of banking as Citigroup, UBS, Deutsche Bank, and the thundering herd at Merrill Lynch (even as J. P. Morgan itself stayed well away from the risky concoctions others were peddling), catastrophe followed. Tett’s access to Dimon and the J. P. Morgan leaders who so skillfully steered their bank away from the wild excesses of others sheds invaluable light not only on the untold story of how they engineered their bank’s escape from carnage but also on how possible it was for the larger banking world, regulators, and rating agencies to have spotted, and heeded, the terrible risks of a meltdown.

A tale of blistering brilliance and willfully blind ambition, Fool’s Gold is both a rare journey deep inside the arcane and wildly competitive world of high finance and a vital contribution to understanding how the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression was perpetrated.

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Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Paul Hayes | 2/17/2014

    " Great read, easy, fast paced and informative. Recommend to anybody who wants to understand the recent financial crisis and how it happened. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Themistocles | 2/10/2014

    " A very interesting read, with lots of details and a good flow; however, Tett's writing doesn't allow for the drama to come through, like in other contemporary business (failure) books. Worth a read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Sarah | 2/2/2014

    " This book, recommended to me by a money manger, is an excellent history and analysis of how we landed in the mess we are in. It gives a clear explanation of the financial instruments that were at the heart of the crisis and explains how and why the road to hell was paved with good and smart intentions. I don't think you can come away without believing that completely unregulated capitalism usually leads to disaster. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Ed | 1/16/2014

    " Really interesting book that recounts some of the origins of the present crisis. Especially interesting because Gillian Tett is an anthropologist and in her epilogue roots the problem in 'social silence' which she connects to dominate elites taking over all discourse so that their elite machinations seem like normality. This is a profound insight (and a rather radical insight coming from a Financial Times columnist!) and one hopes she will write a book about this too. Though this book is technical in parts about financial instruments, she knows how to tell a good story and make it memorable. "

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