I just finished reading William D. Cohan's "House of Cards: A Tale of Hubris and Wretched Excess on Wall Street," and after 450 pages of references to "asset backed securities," "repo markets," and "credit default swaps," I now know a little, but pretty much next to nothing about banking. As such, I can say without hesitation that I am now completely qualified to be the CEO of a major investment bank, according to my interpretation of Cohan's account of the demise of Bear Stearns. So where do I go to pick up my $47 gazillion bonus? And can I get that shit in cash? - preferably small bills. People always make faces when you ask them to break a million dollar bill.
Parts of the book were really intriguing, while others read like a chemistry textbook you're forced to read because taking a science is a requirement at your college. Unfortunately, there are no pictures or diagrams taking up space in this book that would make the forty-five page chapters feel more like twenty-two.
Overall, I'd give the book a thumbs up, but spend a while reading a bit at your local bookstore before shelling out the $24 Barnes and Noble got from me. If this subject matter doesn't interest you, or if you don't truly enjoy reading about the incompetence of arrogant, Wall Street douchebags, you won't make it to page ten.
Next time on Marc's Book Club: "The Mystery Method: How to Get Beautiful Women Into Bed" by Mystery and Lovedrop. I hope that one really does have pictures and diagrams.