Ghosts of Manhattan by Douglas Brunt

September 2008 – a month that many will equate to the worst financial crisis that hit the U.S. and the world since the Great Depression.  How did the crisis come to pass?  Who was to blame?  The federal government?  The banking industry?  The answers to these questions are still being debated today.

Douglas Brunt highlights the heady days of Bear Stearns before its crash and eventual bankruptcy in his book Ghosts of Manhattan.  His book offers a window into a corrupt culture where employees were encouraged to put strip clubs, alcohol, and drugs on the company expense account.  In addition, they were given huge bonuses.  Brunt displays this culture through the first-person account of fictional character Nick Farmer.

Nick is living the American dream – money, success, and a lovely wife.  But, it comes at a high price to himself and his marriage.

The book is an excellent story that portrays Nick’s downward spiral and his efforts to leave the debauched lifestyle that he has led for more than a decade.  Brunt shows the constant partying of Bear Stearns traders for what it is – a sad, lonely, drug and alcohol-fueled series of days that lead from one party to the next (with a little work sprinkled in between).

Continue reading

In the Mail: Rollback

Rollback: Repealing Big Government Before the Coming Fiscal Collapse

Product Description

Thought the last financial crisis was scary? Just wait…it’s going to get worse.

America is on the brink of financial collapse. Decades of political overpromising and underfunding have created a wave of debt that could swamp our already feeble economy. And the politicians’ favorite tricks—raising taxes, borrowing from foreign governments, and printing more money—will only make it worse. Only one thing might save us: Roll back the government.

In Rollback: Repealing Big Government Before the Coming Fiscal Collapse, Thomas E. Woods, Jr. explains that we may still have a chance to avert total economic disaster—but only by completely changing our understanding of government. With bracing candor, he dissects just how the political class has nearly destroyed America’s economy. In Rollback, you’ll learn:

Why practically everything you’ve been taught about government and the economy is wrong—the product of liberal pro–government propaganda
How the Federal Reserve helps create crises and slows recovery
Why big business is no ally in rolling back government and actually wants and needs big government intervention in the marketplace
How current policies, if unchecked, will lead to the collapse of the dollar
How government policies have driven the skyrocketing costs of health care
Why retirement will be a pipe dream for the next generation
How the coming collapse can be turned to your advantage—and the advantage of all who believe in liberty and limited government

Thanks to decades of politicians playing kick the can down the road, we and our children are facing economic Armageddon. But this crisis could help us see government for what it really is—an institution that has seized our wealth and taught our children to honor it as the source of all progress. The good news is it’s not too late to roll back government—and the opportunity to do so is now.

In the Mail: Complicit by Mark Gilbert

Complicit: How Greed and Collusion Made the Credit Crisis Unstoppable

From the Publisher

The credit crunch is affecting every investor and every consumer, every industry and every government program, yet few people truly understand how it happened. Subprime mortgages have been center stage, but behind the scenes a conspiracy of greed among bankers, investors, rating agencies and regulators has imperiled everyone’s financial future. We need to know what went wrong and how to change the practices that led to this calamity. Bloomberg columnist Mark Gilbert shows how Wall Street’s tolerance for extremes made the global credit crunch both foreseeable and inevitable. He offers a blow-by-blow account of what went wrong and what lessons need to be learned from the crisis.