Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Too Big To Fail [Book Review]

I recently listened to the book Too Big To Fail by Andrew Ross Sorkin. The book was well written, but I wouldn't say it was enjoyable because of what it talked about. Let me explain.

The book is the inside story of how Wall Street and Washington fought to save the financial system. It's written as a narrative pulled together from tons of interviews and news reports. THAT is very well done and the story is interesting.

The part that I didn't like was the entire premise: Wall Street (with the help of Washington) got themselves into an unmanageable situation driven by greed and the bet that the housing market would NEVER go down. The whole book is about them trying to stop the economy from collapsing overnight due to a few, extremely highly connected, financial organizations failing.

The book even notes at the end that their actions may have prevented an immediate collapse, but they by no means "fixed" the economy and some of the systemic problems.

After I finished the book and told Jessi that this would make an awesome movie. It turns out that HBO agreed and made one. The film was extremely good and stayed as true to the book as possible. The only thing I didn't like was that it was hard to track all the different people. If I hadn't read the book, I would of really struggled to follow.

I also found this 20 minute video that explains what happened. I highly recommend the first 5 because it explains how we got into this situation.

Do you need to read the book? Not really, but I do recommend watching the above video and finding a copy of the HBO show somewhere. At the very least it's educational on what happened.


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