Whoops!: Why everyone owes everyone and no one can pay, by John Lanchester

Goldman-Sachs-46830569144Whoops! is a clear, cogent and coherent explication of how the financial crisis came about, emerging from a culture of greed and a ludicrous, supposedly rational, belief that risk could, for all intents and purposes, be eliminated from financial transactions. More frightening is that almost nothing has been done to prevent such a crisis happening again – President Obama’s modest efforts having been eviscerated by the right of his own party and nothing notable in Europe at the time of publication in 2010.i-hate-being-greedy-but

So terrifying are the implications of the situation that even the regular and excellent jokes that pepper the narrative do little to alleviate the feeling of dread that the book evokes. It is a vital book and an indictment of pusillanimous politicians and economists who have defered to greedy bankers and consequently brought devastation to millions.

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