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The Greatest Trade Ever Paperback – January 1, 2010
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- Publisher : Penguin Books UK; 2nd Impression edition (January 1, 2010)
- Language : English
- ISBN-10 : 0141043156
- ISBN-13 : 978-0141043159
- Item Weight : 7.5 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.08 x 0.71 x 7.8 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #662,975 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Interesting that at least one of the people responsible for the debacle walked away with a nine figure pay out.
The authors research, verification and "novel" like delivery makes for an intriguing "who dunnit." The folks who saw the disaster coming years before it happened and were able to profit HUGELY from it is a testimonial to the American entrepreneur.
Zuckerman's skill in presenting arcane, complicated and obfuscating financial "mumbo jumbo" is brilliant--this stuff can be mind numbing in its complexity. It should be a business school required reading as well as critical to every Americans financial health.
What you don't know will financially RUIN you!!
On the other hand, the book leaves me more troubled and disenchanted with the financial industry..... and I'm a bullish believer in the free market. Reading this book left me even more jaded of much of the financial industry and their ability to create negative global impact greater than the benefit they deliver. Sure, there are aspects of the industry that serve useful purposes --- i.e., helping companies raise capital to finance growth. However, much of the industry seems like cess pool of individuals who've never created innovative products or services to sell to consumers or businesses. Or taken an innovative idea and created and/or revolutionized categories or industries. They are big time gamblers, playing mostly with house money and limited accountability (unless things go well) usinge opaque and risky investment instruments. John Paulson was wildly successful by those measures, but probably wouldn't last a day running a Fortune 100 company, leading tens of thousands of employees or being one of the millions of individuals with an idea and a dream that are the true engines of the American economy.
"The Greatest Trade Ever" was a fantastic read even if the characters and their industry leave little to respect or admire.
It is ironic that the corrupt actions of Congress that failed to protect the common citizen, held hearings to question the risk takers that beat the system! I share John Paulson's future vision of an inflation bubble coming.
Top reviews from other countries
That said, it could have majored more on the background and some of the complex derivatives and investments involved at the expense of irrelevant deep biographical background on some of the minor "characters" involved. Equally, Zuckerman omits detail where it was required towards the end, such as with his investing strategies after the Great Trade.
If, like me, you suspected that trouble was brewing from unsustainable consumer borrowing in the mid noughties, then the book will resonate well. If you are looking for an account of the credit crunch, try Too Big to Fail or Masters of Nothing before tacking this one as it will make more sense.
All in all though, it is still an informative and compelling read.