If you want a reasonably accurate story of how the current financial crisis evolved, with dates and names and definitions, then this is the book for you.
But, and it is a big but, I am disappointed.
It clearly states in the epilogue that J P Morgan was the winner, and because of its 'victory' over the derivatives beast, which had consumed some of J P Morgan's competitors leading to J P Morgan becoming "the biggest bank in the world in terms of market capitalization", J P Morgan won several banking awards at a dinner for investment banks in London in January 2009.
But several astronomically big questions remain unanswered.
The first is why is it that J P Morgan, who created the derivatives in the first place and still rules the derivatives market, came out of the crisis as the winner?
A second is why did Hank Paulson allow Lehman Brothers to go under, which really started the crisis?
A third is why was J P Morgan effectively simply given Bear Stearns and Washington Mutual?
A fourth is why was there so much regulation of the ordinary people, such as through the Patriot Act in the USA (which was not even read by Capitol Hill) and in the UK dustbins were microchipped and schoolchildren followed to discover where they lived so that they attended the school they should be, while the plethora of derivatives and unpayable mortgages were hardly regulated at all?
A fifth is why, when the bankers believed in free markets, were they quickly persuaded to accept hundreds of billions in bailouts from the taxpayer which were then used to buy up failing competitors and pay billions in undeserved bonuses?
But a sixth question, and this is the most disappointing, is why did Tett not address the Bilderberg factor? She writes for the Financial Times, yet she could have easily asked Gideon Rachman and Martin Wolf for advice on what was said at Bilderberg about the crisis. The key players, Geithner, Paulson and Bernanke and the banks who were the major beneficiaries of the crisis are Bilderberg.
Tett's account of the evolution of the crisis pushes the "shit happens" theory of history.
But we know that shit does not just happen.
World War 1 did not just happen.
The crash of 1929 did not just happen.
World War 2 did not just happen.
Shit does not just happen, particularly when J P Morgan and its ilk come out as winners and the ordinary people are the losers, suffering severe austerity such that the likes of Bill Gates can openly call for killing little old granny to pay for the bank bailouts.