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Complicit: How Greed and Collusion Made the Credit Crisis Unstoppable

Complicit: How Greed and Collusion Made the Credit Crisis Unstoppable

Mark Gilbert

ISBN: 978-0-470-88551-2 May 2010 192 Pages




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.

  • Gilbert's argument—that everyone with skin in the money game had a vested interest in pretending that nothing could go awry—is a well-defended, compelling indictment of the financial community.
  • Gilbert is able to make complex financial events easy to understand.
  • His outlook is truly global: this financial crisis respects no geographical boundaries, and Gilbert draws on anecdotes and examples from around the world to make his case.

1 Bubbles Are For Bathtubs.

The Real Estate Boom.

2 Unsafe at Any Rating.

CDOs and the Companies that Judged Them.

3 Priced For Perfection.

The Financial Gene Pool Economic Darwinism Couldn't Improve.

4 Bubbles, Bubbles Everywhere.

Global Liquidity's Search for a Profitable Home.

5 Judgment or Luck.

The Profits Banks Couldn't Understand—or Protect Against.

6 Knight in Rusty Armor.

An Ill-Advised Rescue Helps Show Banks Just How Much Value Their Collateralized Debt Has Lost.

7 The Noose Tightens.

Frozen Money Markets Confound Central Bankers, Hurt Consumers, and Drive Imploding Investments Back onto Bankers' Books.

8 Central Banks, Unbalanced.

Caught Off Guard, the Financial Authorities Make Up the Rules as They Go Along.

9 Et Tu, Money Markets and Municipals?

The Crunch Catches Vanilla Investments.

10 Giants Fall.

The Credit Crisis Reaches Its Climax.

11 Conclusions and Policy Prescriptions.