A Colossal Failure of Common Sense

3385 WordsFeb 25, 201813 Pages
1. Introduction A Colossal Failure of Common Sense was one of many books to be published in the aftermath of the Financial Crisis of 2007. After seeing the global economy stall in the face of massive losses in word financial markets, many Americans sought to better understand the crisis and its causes. This book, written from the perspective of a financial market insider, provides a glimpse into the world of global finance and also seeks to explain how the players in this world were involved in the crisis. In the words of the author Lawrence McDonald, “My objective in writing A Colossal Failure of Common Sense was twofold. First, to provide … a close-up, inside view of how markets really work…..And, second, to give… as crystal clear an explanation as possible about the real reasons why the legendary Lehman Brothers met with such a swift end”1. By writing about his personal experience at Lehman Brothers and recounting stories from within the famous investment banking firm, Mr. McDonald largely succeeds at his first goal. However, the elements of personal biography and the chronological order of the book make it difficult for the reader to fully appreciate all of the varied causes of the financial crash. I believe that the main value of reading this book is in understanding these causes, with Lehman Brothers acting as a microcosm of the greater financial universe. As such, in this review I have isolated elements from Mr. McDonald’s book which highlight how the crisis
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