The Sunday New York Times has a nice review of Bailout Nation in the Business Section:
“MANY people were outraged when Goldman Sachs returned $10 billion in federal bailout money just in time to report its biggest quarterly profit ever, along with a plan to pay $11 billion in employee bonuses. Barry Ritholtz, who writes The Big Picture, a popular financial blog, wasn’t heartened by the news, either.
Mr. Ritholtz, however, tried to keep his sense of humor. He posted a satirical story on his Web site by the comedian Andy Borowitz, titled “Goldman Sachs in Talks to Acquire Treasury Department: Sister Entities to Share Employees, Money.”
This is very much in the spirit of Mr. Ritholtz’s book, “Bailout Nation: How Greed and Easy Money Corrupted Wall Street and Shook the World Economy” (Wiley), in which he argues that the American financial system has been twisted beyond recognition by cynical bankers and their Washington enablers, who champion the free market in good times but cry out for government rescue when times are hard.
The author writes with the fury of an insider mortified by the behavior of his heretical peers. Mr. Ritholtz is himself a creature of Wall Street — the chief executive of FusionIQ, an online equity research firm that profited last year by shorting the shares of companies like A.I.G. and Lehman Brothers . . .
Yet there is much to be said for the book’s irreverence. Mr. Ritholtz has written an important book about a complicated subject, and yet you could still read it at the beach. Here’s hoping that some policy makers in Washington take it with them on vacation this month.
Very cool . . .
Rescues Unlimited: Government as Wall Street’s Enabler
By DEVIN LEONARD
NYT, August 2, 2009
OFF THE SHELF