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Robgoren

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  • Makers and Takers

  • The Rise of Finance and the Fall of American Business
  • Written by: Rana Foroohar
  • Narrated by: Rachel Fulginiti
  • Length: 13 hrs and 25 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 2
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2

Eight years on from the biggest market meltdown since the Great Depression, the key lessons of the crisis of 2008 still remain unlearned - and our financial system is just as vulnerable as ever. Many of us know that our government failed to fix the banking system after the subprime mortgage crisis. But what few of us realize is how the misguided financial practices and philosophies that nearly toppled the global financial system have come to infiltrate all American businesses, putting us on a collision course with another cataclysmic meltdown.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Well-Written, Enlightening and Disturbing

  • By Robgoren on 2019-01-18

Well-Written, Enlightening and Disturbing

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 2019-01-18

Makers and Takers is an eye-opening examination of the corruptive forces of the financial sector, our lapdog government completely captured by lobbyists, and the devastating cost of privatizing bank profits and socializing losses. Well-written and well-narrated.

  • A Midsummer Night's Dream (Adaptation)

  • Written by: William Shakespeare, Mary Lamb
  • Narrated by: Bart Wolffe
  • Length: 42 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 1
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 1

Bart Wolffe reads Mary Lamb's tale of A Midsummer Night's Dream, based on Shakespeare's work. Music by David Moore and the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra performing Felix Mendelssohn's A Midsummer Night's Dream.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A Short Tale with Lavish Production

  • By Robgoren on 2019-01-13

A Short Tale with Lavish Production

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 2019-01-13

Bart Wolffe's wonderful narration, accompanied by fantastic classic music, has resulted in a majestic rendition of Lamb's retelling of Midsummer Night's Dream.

  • Fed Up

  • An Insider's Take on Why the Federal Reserve Is Bad for America
  • Written by: Danielle DiMartino Booth
  • Narrated by: Danielle DiMartino Booth
  • Length: 9 hrs and 57 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 5
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 5
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 5

In the early 2000s, as a Wall Street escapee writing a financial column for the Dallas Morning News, Booth attracted attention for her bold criticism of the Fed's low interest rate policies and her cautionary warnings about the bubbly housing market. Nobody was more surprised than she when the folks at the Dallas Federal Reserve invited her aboard. Figuring she could have more of an impact on Fed policies from the inside, she accepted the call to duty and rose to be one of Dallas Fed president Richard Fisher's closest advisors.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • Revealing but Flawed

  • By Robgoren on 2018-12-18

Revealing but Flawed

Overall
1 out of 5 stars
Performance
1 out of 5 stars
Story
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 2018-12-18

Fed Up is occasionally rich with insight into the inner workings of the Fed. But with the author embedded in its inner circle for a decade, the book frequently suffers from a lack of objectivity, reading at times like an exculpation of the banking system, and a glorification of the so-called financial wizards who brought the world back from the brink, with whom Booth is far too enamoured. In her world, the collapse of 2008 was rooted in shadow banking, a New York Fed captured by Goldman Sachs, and mostly irresponsible borrowers. Lehman's Dick Fuld and JP Morgan's Jamie Dimon receive a thick coat of revisionist paint that not only whitewashes their crimes, but seem to transform them (Fuld, in particular) into victims - martyrs to the cause of global economic salvation. In fact, Booth completely omits Fuld's Repo 105s from the narrative, an accounting trick that amounted to massive fraud. The writing is often self-absorbed, egotistical, and ham-fisted, with "phew!" and "gulp!" punctuating dramatic moments. Bankers and hedge fund managers, along with their fictitious capital, are held up as the great infallible engines of capitalism, and as such, should remain immune to debt monetizing and government meddling. Booth never explains how this would work when capitalists invariably flee to the Nanny State when bubbles burst, but she does take the time to deliver a snide potshot at Bernie Sanders, "an avowed socialist," in her words. If you want a deeper, non-varnished look at what really happened in 2008, I suggest reading the works of Matt Taibbi or Nomi Prins.