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The Sellout: How Three Decades of Wall Street Greed and Government Mismanagement Destroyed the Global Financial System

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In the spirit of Barbarians at the Gate and Liar’s Poker comes The Sellout, the definitive book on the recent collapse of Wall Street, one of the most dramatic and anxiety-ridden era in national socioeconomic history. In this powerful business narrative, Charles Gasparino, the author of Blood on the Floor and King of the Club, captures how avarice, arrogance, and sheer stu In the spirit of Barbarians at the Gate and Liar’s Poker comes The Sellout, the definitive book on the recent collapse of Wall Street, one of the most dramatic and anxiety-ridden era in national socioeconomic history. In this powerful business narrative, Charles Gasparino, the author of Blood on the Floor and King of the Club, captures how avarice, arrogance, and sheer stupidity eroded Wall Street’s dominance, made many of our country’s most fabled financial institutions vulnerable to significant new foreign control, and profoundly weakened the financial security of millions of poor and middle-class American families.


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In the spirit of Barbarians at the Gate and Liar’s Poker comes The Sellout, the definitive book on the recent collapse of Wall Street, one of the most dramatic and anxiety-ridden era in national socioeconomic history. In this powerful business narrative, Charles Gasparino, the author of Blood on the Floor and King of the Club, captures how avarice, arrogance, and sheer stu In the spirit of Barbarians at the Gate and Liar’s Poker comes The Sellout, the definitive book on the recent collapse of Wall Street, one of the most dramatic and anxiety-ridden era in national socioeconomic history. In this powerful business narrative, Charles Gasparino, the author of Blood on the Floor and King of the Club, captures how avarice, arrogance, and sheer stupidity eroded Wall Street’s dominance, made many of our country’s most fabled financial institutions vulnerable to significant new foreign control, and profoundly weakened the financial security of millions of poor and middle-class American families.

30 review for The Sellout: How Three Decades of Wall Street Greed and Government Mismanagement Destroyed the Global Financial System

  1. 5 out of 5

    Mike

    4 Stars only because he needed to do more on the rating agencies and the government regulators. Gasparino is not one of my favorite reporters, he's pretty much an arrogant ass. But he wrote an excellent account, not just of the financial crisis, but of the preceding years and how Wall Street got to the point of failure. Relevant today (2018) because all of the crises from 1970's on happened after periods of very low interest rates...and we are coming off almost 10 years of near-zero interest rat 4 Stars only because he needed to do more on the rating agencies and the government regulators. Gasparino is not one of my favorite reporters, he's pretty much an arrogant ass. But he wrote an excellent account, not just of the financial crisis, but of the preceding years and how Wall Street got to the point of failure. Relevant today (2018) because all of the crises from 1970's on happened after periods of very low interest rates...and we are coming off almost 10 years of near-zero interest rates. Watch out! More in depth review to come later. Read it!

  2. 4 out of 5

    James

    I've probably read 80 or more books on various financial panics and scams. This is one of the best. The author covers 25 years of increasing gambling and greed on wall street, and how the players there, put there own personal profit above everything else. This hooligan got $10 Million a year, that one got $30 Million, others $50 MILLION DOLLARS IN A YEAR gambling other peoples money with an arrogant sense of entitlement. And how surprised they were when taxpayers weren't eager to bail them out. I've probably read 80 or more books on various financial panics and scams. This is one of the best. The author covers 25 years of increasing gambling and greed on wall street, and how the players there, put there own personal profit above everything else. This hooligan got $10 Million a year, that one got $30 Million, others $50 MILLION DOLLARS IN A YEAR gambling other peoples money with an arrogant sense of entitlement. And how surprised they were when taxpayers weren't eager to bail them out. They thought that by becoming TOO BIG TO FAIL, they had a guaranteed racket that'd last forever. The housing bubble started in 1993 when Clinton and his HUD secretary Ciscernos forced Fannie & Freddie to divert at least 42% of funds to low income people. When Ciscernos was forced out by personal scandal, the new secretary Andrew Cuomo raised it to 50%. His reward for stupidity? He's now governor of NY!!! In 1999 Glass-Steagall was repealed and it was downhill from there. Other politicians like Senator Chuck Schumer & Barney Frank also come across as idiotic hacks that gamed the system for campaign funds. Bush and his people let it roll on from there. The author not only ties so many events and people together, but he does a wonderful job of explaining the why of what happened. I'd read many times about CDO squared & cubed, but no one else explained what the appeal of this junk was. You'll find that and much more in this book. A good index & glossary are included.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Evan Dickens

    For those who come to the book with a reasonable background of the framework of Wall Street, Charlie Gasparino's detailed account of the financial crisis of 2008 is one of the best books on the subject, made even more compelling with the background of the crises of the 80s and 90s as a framework for the common thread of the extraordinary greed that nearly wiped out the entire American economic system. The book is long, meaty, and not an easy read--at least until it gets to the blow-by-blow accou For those who come to the book with a reasonable background of the framework of Wall Street, Charlie Gasparino's detailed account of the financial crisis of 2008 is one of the best books on the subject, made even more compelling with the background of the crises of the 80s and 90s as a framework for the common thread of the extraordinary greed that nearly wiped out the entire American economic system. The book is long, meaty, and not an easy read--at least until it gets to the blow-by-blow accounts of the catastrophic end of Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers. For that reason, it is not recommended to those who are looking for a basic primer on the 2008 crash; those folks would be advised to read The Big Short by Michael Lewis. Those who, like me, had CNBC on more often than not in September 2008 will rapidly consume the gory details of this book. Gasparino has a reputation as a tough reporter who pulls no punches, and he properly eviscerates such clowns as Stan O'Neal, Jimmy Cayne, and Robert Rubin. His enthusiasm gets the better of him sometimes as his tone rapidly shifts from reporter to advocate and back again. Also, the book was clearly rushed without the benefit of multiple edits; there are numerous typos and clear instances of Gasparino writing sections out of order and thus using phrasing that he expects the reader to already understand, only to explain it properly 30 pages later. None of this really hampers the book's compelling real-life accounts, and it should be looked at as a must-read for those who know what channel number CNBC is by heart.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Chris

    I'm about half way through this book. It's a gread read and really teaches about the roots of our current financial crisis and the players behind the scenes. From the bankers to politicians, Charlie Gasparino names the guys on the inside and teaches about the process as well. I've learned a lot about interest rates, credit default swaps and subprime loans. I'm about half way through this book. It's a gread read and really teaches about the roots of our current financial crisis and the players behind the scenes. From the bankers to politicians, Charlie Gasparino names the guys on the inside and teaches about the process as well. I've learned a lot about interest rates, credit default swaps and subprime loans.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Dave

    Great book; traces the arc of events from the 80's thru the recent sub-prime meltdown. Author does a great job knitting the story together. One minor complaint - some repeating of stories/context about personalities gets a bit annoying. Overall a really good book that makes me realize I have to invest smarter and protect myself more from the greed of an unchecked industry. Great book; traces the arc of events from the 80's thru the recent sub-prime meltdown. Author does a great job knitting the story together. One minor complaint - some repeating of stories/context about personalities gets a bit annoying. Overall a really good book that makes me realize I have to invest smarter and protect myself more from the greed of an unchecked industry.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Linda

    This is an excellent book on the financial crisis of 2008. Some of the financial jargon is hard to follow but it makes you wonder who is minding the store For those of us who rely on Wall Street to handle our investments, it is a necessary read. I'm still not sure I understand what happened but I hope someone does. This is an excellent book on the financial crisis of 2008. Some of the financial jargon is hard to follow but it makes you wonder who is minding the store For those of us who rely on Wall Street to handle our investments, it is a necessary read. I'm still not sure I understand what happened but I hope someone does.

  7. 4 out of 5

    George

    One of the best books on the 2008-9 financial crisis and the Liar Loans which caused a large part of it.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Rob Pruden

    What I liked most about this book is that it spans over 30 years and many crises that befell Wall Street. I had read something focused on the 2008 debacle a few years ago which was enlightening, but this book ties that disaster into the prior ones which just made me all the more disgusted at the intense greed and incompetence of those huge egos running the brokerage houses and banks of Wall Street. We citizens and tax payers are such suckers to have allowed the elite to create a world in which t What I liked most about this book is that it spans over 30 years and many crises that befell Wall Street. I had read something focused on the 2008 debacle a few years ago which was enlightening, but this book ties that disaster into the prior ones which just made me all the more disgusted at the intense greed and incompetence of those huge egos running the brokerage houses and banks of Wall Street. We citizens and tax payers are such suckers to have allowed the elite to create a world in which the Federal Government (us taxpayers) guarantee their mismanagement and careless ways, and we (our elected officials who are reliant on the elite's donations) never will change. Sickening!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Stephen P

    An excellent review of the 2008 financial crisis. The author focuses primarily on the Wall Street / business actors in the crisis. To gain a broader perspective, I suggest reading Reckless Endangerment in addition to this book, which provides insights into the role of the regulators that contributed to the onset of the crisis.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Bart

    This book is good for its backwards glance at the crises that preceded the crisis of 09/18/08. Its originality lies in the coverage it gives to the players and ethics that began with the S&L crisis of 1988, continued with the LTCM disaster of 1998, and hit a crescendo of sorts in 2008. The Sellout's coverage of the events of 2007 and 2008 is thorough if a bit clipped and top heavy. In a hurry to get a book out in 2009, before America's short attention span might switch from financial apocalypse t This book is good for its backwards glance at the crises that preceded the crisis of 09/18/08. Its originality lies in the coverage it gives to the players and ethics that began with the S&L crisis of 1988, continued with the LTCM disaster of 1998, and hit a crescendo of sorts in 2008. The Sellout's coverage of the events of 2007 and 2008 is thorough if a bit clipped and top heavy. In a hurry to get a book out in 2009, before America's short attention span might switch from financial apocalypse to "Jersey Shore", Charles Gasparino necessarily wrote a book whose epilogue isn't quite sure what will come of Bank of America and Citigroup or their leaders. This book is perhaps most valuable when Gasparino editorializes. When, as a self-proclaimed "economic libertarian" and Wall Street-insider, he expresses his personal outrage at what the leaders of Bear Sterns, Merrill Lynch, Countrywide, Goldman Sachs, Citigroup and Bank of America, among others, did with money that was not theirs - while paying themselves previously unthinkable sums for being America's benefactors (as they still see themselves today). The Sellout adds little that isn't available in other books, especially as it pertains to the characters of the crisis, and it isn't by any means as thorough or engaging as Michael Lewis' brilliant The Big Short. But it is still time well spent.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Charles Blumberg

    Great insight into excessive risk that Wall Street firms including Bear Stearns, Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch and AIG took, how clueless executive management and their boards were too the risks they were taking, and the behind the scenes discussions during the dark days of 2008 meltdown that led to bankruptcy, fire sale, and bailout by the gov't. Add this book in addition to Gretchen Morgenson's Reckless Endangerment for understanding of the financial meltdown. Great insight into excessive risk that Wall Street firms including Bear Stearns, Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch and AIG took, how clueless executive management and their boards were too the risks they were taking, and the behind the scenes discussions during the dark days of 2008 meltdown that led to bankruptcy, fire sale, and bailout by the gov't. Add this book in addition to Gretchen Morgenson's Reckless Endangerment for understanding of the financial meltdown.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    There are an awful lot of books out there about the financial crisis, and I've read far more than the average person. I made it, oh, about 10% of the way through this one before losing interest. It's just not clear that this provides a perspective on the topic I haven't already heard, and in more engaging form, somewhere else. There are an awful lot of books out there about the financial crisis, and I've read far more than the average person. I made it, oh, about 10% of the way through this one before losing interest. It's just not clear that this provides a perspective on the topic I haven't already heard, and in more engaging form, somewhere else.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Mark Palmieri

    Fascinating. A great explanation about the financial/trading industry in America. It is amazing how much power these people possess and then lose and then possess and then lose and then are somehow allowed to possess again...and then ruin the world economy. It's the perfect picture of history repeating itself- to its own demise. Fascinating. A great explanation about the financial/trading industry in America. It is amazing how much power these people possess and then lose and then possess and then lose and then are somehow allowed to possess again...and then ruin the world economy. It's the perfect picture of history repeating itself- to its own demise.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Marus Jastrow

    If you want to have a better understanding of what brought our economy down read this book. It's long and not an easy read but if you are interested in finance and like to read about greed and bad guys, this is the book for you. I really liked it and learned a tremendous amount. Sandy, I think Biff would like it though it would make him angry, so you might not want him to read it:-) If you want to have a better understanding of what brought our economy down read this book. It's long and not an easy read but if you are interested in finance and like to read about greed and bad guys, this is the book for you. I really liked it and learned a tremendous amount. Sandy, I think Biff would like it though it would make him angry, so you might not want him to read it:-)

  15. 4 out of 5

    Bap

    A review in the WSJ relats how a citcorps trader when told of the collapse in the housing mkt., replied "So what. What's the worst that can happen? We make $200 million and we get fired." This kleptocracy in the financial industry may make it necessary to nationalize this pernicious sector. A review in the WSJ relats how a citcorps trader when told of the collapse in the housing mkt., replied "So what. What's the worst that can happen? We make $200 million and we get fired." This kleptocracy in the financial industry may make it necessary to nationalize this pernicious sector.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Grace

    Ego, money, greed...OMG. A fast paced read from ex CNBC'er Charlie Gasparino (who has since gone to FOX ..barf). Covers the beginnings of the meltdown in CLEVELAND, Ohio. CLEVELAND???? Get the book. Ego, money, greed...OMG. A fast paced read from ex CNBC'er Charlie Gasparino (who has since gone to FOX ..barf). Covers the beginnings of the meltdown in CLEVELAND, Ohio. CLEVELAND???? Get the book.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Carl Mayo

    Interesting subject matter, well presented, but should have been edited for simplicity and length. The Sellout could have been shorter and easier to read, while still conveying the same information.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Christopher Lichtenberg

    Good overview for the financial crisis. It goes beyond the "bush's fault" mentality. Good overview for the financial crisis. It goes beyond the "bush's fault" mentality.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Kira Martin

    Loved this book.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Al

    He is an insider and his story sounds right. He gives a very interesting look into that world. It's enough to make you sick! He is an insider and his story sounds right. He gives a very interesting look into that world. It's enough to make you sick!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Mike Hurley

    Great read. Excellent job explaining what happened and why.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Jeff Heath

    One of the best explanations of the origins of the financial crisis!

  23. 4 out of 5

    Mark

    See our review at http://www.relaxedfitezine.com/m.news... See our review at http://www.relaxedfitezine.com/m.news...

  24. 4 out of 5

    Jim Clancy

    A great overview of the personalities on Wall Street and their lack of understanding of the financial crisis they were creating.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Robert Bob

    A little hard to focus for me. Charlie Gasparino does explain business well on TV. Thought provoking but I'm not sure of conclusions a decade after it was written. Ok book A little hard to focus for me. Charlie Gasparino does explain business well on TV. Thought provoking but I'm not sure of conclusions a decade after it was written. Ok book

  26. 5 out of 5

    Daniel Moore

    Mostly I think greed has ruined this country. And everybody is to blame.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Bernadette

  28. 4 out of 5

    Richard Garrabrant

  29. 4 out of 5

    Zachary Harless

  30. 4 out of 5

    Patrick Harrison

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