Well, this book was not on my radar or my list to read, but as it happens in life things do not always follow a logical order. I was on the site lelivros.com searching the economics books to download and read and see if anyone interested me and this was one of them, I had heard of it elsewhere but it was that thing still vague. In the middle of reading the book I discovered that the book was just entering the circuit of Brazilian cinema now in February with the name of “The Big Bet”. No more words, let’s go to the book.
The book is narrated by an outside observer in the years before the 2008 subprime crisis that toppled the stock markets and the world economy by bankruptcy, leaving several countries in crisis and the entire financial system discredited.
It certainly was the biggest catastrophic financial event the world has experienced in the past 30 years. The author puts him face to face with a dozen visceral characters from the crisis, Wall Street bankers, hedge executives, bond brokers and hedge fund managers. The book is totally electrifying, holds its attention in the narrative, is a true thriller of a locomotive caught on fire going straight to the cliff with everyone inside and billions and billions of dollars in.
There’s no way he can not arrest himself. What stands out most is that in the beginning, a doctor blogger who writes in his blog in the early hours and draws some attention from netizens and powerful bankers. The guy is just a resident of neurology in California and predicted firsthand the disaster on mortgages that would happen just five years later.
This illustrates how we are powerful at home, with only a computer and internet can basically learn anything in the world , from how to build a weapon of home fire, a bomb made with detergent or as read things in the financial system that even those who are immersed In the system sees, not even a CEO of a JP Morgan or Merryl Linch.
The book does not exalt the world of Wall Street, on the contrary, it is a living dissection, it shows all the inefficiency, corruption, incompetence and lack of transparency and organization within the DNA of the machine of the largest banks in the world, to the point of A Lehman Brothers CEO does not know the bank’s positions on a certain product or even know what the product is about.
A system where a bank executive creates an entire division within a bank, gives a billion dollar loss to the bank and still leaves with tens of millions of dollars in his pocket.
They are imperfect people in an imperfect and deregulated world, where gigantic gears rotate without any control, no one, where it reaches the highest levels of the sector and you realize that no one is aware of what is happening or what will happen.
You see top managers putting up monstrous positions on products, betting on it, when everyone is betting against it, and he himself thinks he is also betting against it, at last it is total madness, collective and individual insanity swarms on Wall Street, which It’s good to demystify a lot of these fuckin ‘things that go around trucking banking trillions and still have no idea what they’re doing, they’re in a position of pure luck plus social skills and a network built on the highest US finance colleges.
One thing is for sure, we have to learn how to manage our money and stop believing in financial market professionals, analysts, bankers, bank brokers, and all, your level of skepticism has to be 100%, that book is A cold water bath, there are no geniuses there, there are people fighting for big bonuses and plundering the very companies that hire them, the companies themselves are so gigantic that they do not have an owner, if anyone gives a damn, nobody cares. “If you wager what you can on the table, which the government eventually comes and covers, it was for the crisis to have swept at least a couple of dozen companies and Wall Street banks, but they were saved with the money from the US taxpayer, while The main actors in the financial cataclysm were all millionaires, be they winners or losers, even the winners were half a dozen intelligent and revolted people with the system and who were violently refuted and ignored all the time becoming ugly ducklings on the market.
It was only in the end that they were saved in their winning positions and earned their deserved millions. It’s clear to me that Wall Street is a house of cards, a crystal palace that can break at any moment and destroy millions of minority shareholders in one day and make the world’s worst villains super-rich.
This is the cover of the book. I have not seen the movie yet but I will see. I thought I’d do a lot of things all weekend, but I did not do anything so much was my devotion to that reading. And I made this post now just as I finished the book. I recommend reading for entertainment and historical research on the facts of the time.