The definitive narrative of two decades of folly that led to the financial crisis.
"Hell is empty, and all the devils are here." —Shakespeare, The Tempest
Before the dust even settled, competing theories emerged to explain the financial crisis. Should the blame fall on Wall Street, Main Street, or Pennsylvania Avenue? On greedy traders, clueless homeowners, or timid regulators? Or on foreign culprits in London, Beijing, or Tehran? Bethany McLean and Joe Nocera, two of America's most acclaimed business journalists, offer the definitive answer: all of the above and more. Many devils helped bring hell to the economy.
This surprising narrative goes back more than twenty years to reveal, in rich, anecdotal detail, how Wall Street, the mortgage industry, and the government conspired to change the way Americans bought their homes, creating a perfect storm. The authors take us inside elusive institutions such as Goldman Sachs, AIG, and Fannie Mae, to reveal who changed the game and why.
With new, sometimes startling details, and a surprising cast of characters, they get for the first time to the real roots of the financial crisis. It wasn't about credit default swaps, collateralized debt obligations, or other complexities. It was about basic human psychology—from the poorest Florida home buyer to the richest CEO.
Just as McLean's The Smartest Guys in the Room was hailed as the best Enron book on a crowded shelf, so will All the Devils Are Here be remembered for finally making sense of the road to the meltdown.