Tuesday, November 22, 2011
All The Devils Are Here
Yet another financial thriller that is the real-life tale of the less than ethical world of predatory finance, these books set their stalls clear with a graphic of a suit/hat with devil horns coming out of it. Not really a book as such, more a very extended magazine article that details the history of - and downfall - of the complex financial instruments that were created to imagine money and prosperity out of nothing more than an idea and ambitious greed. It's a story we all know, to an extent, where the rules for lending were relaxed, the demand remained static, house prices rocketed to where owning a property was an absurdly impossible ambition for most people, doing most jobs, and the whole shebang is more of a grand conceit where a few people used their abilities to hoodwink the rest of the nation.
Told in a measured, exhaustive style, "All The Devils Are Here" contains plenty of fact and evidence, but little, honestly, in the way of judgement. As if the facts swear for themselves. To an extent, it is puzzling how many times this tale can be told - with a multitude of angles, from one person, the foreclosed, or perhaps the now suicidal Madoffs - but this presents an overall view of the entire sorry debacle that has brought all of us to our financial knees and many of us to our graves. Perhaps more balance, and with a wider overview than many of its peers, if you don't come away from this book angry at the obvious injustices of corporate financial abuse, you probably don't have any sense of right and wrong.