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The Wall Street Journal Guide to the End of Wall Street as We Know It: What You Need to Know About the Greatest Financial Crisis of Our Time--and How

by Dave Kansas (Author)

Product Description

We're in the midst of the greatest financial crisis of our time. Do you know what really happened? Are you prepared for what's to come?

When every headline delivers bad news, and each morning market bell seems to usher in yet another bank debacle, stock market plunge or dire warning about the end of access to credit; threats to our savings and security; and the collapse of the entire financial system as we know it. . . . It's hard to keep up.

But we can't afford to be in the dark just because we can no longer bear to turn on the news.

Written by seasoned financial writer Dave Kansas, The Wall Street Journal Guide to the End of Wall Street as We Know It makes sense of the madness, revealing how the crisis is affecting our financial lives and what steps we should take to inform and protect ourselves. This comprehensive, practical and accessible book delivers:

* An inside look at the financial wizardry, easy money and overconfidence that drove the subprime crisis, credit crunch and market meltdown
* An analysis of the New World Order—the banking behemoths, the government's role—and how it will affect Main Street
* A look at what's safe: a rundown of which investments are protected and which aren't and how fund protection has changed
* Individual investor strategies: stocks, bonds, retirement and real estate (and whether you should think seriously about "the mattress")

From the most authoritative source for business and economic news and written by one of the most trusted voices in financial reporting, The Wall Street Journal Guide to the End of Wall Street as We Know It is the only book you'll need to navigate the storm ahead.

About the Author

Dave Kansas is Editor at Large of, a new online personal finance joint venture between Dow Jones and IAC Corp. Prior to that, Kansas spent four years as editor of The Wall Street Journal's Money & Investing section and was editor in chief of during its formative years, and he is the author of two previous books, The Wall Street Journal's Complete Money & Investing Guidebook and Guide to Investing in the Internet Era. He and his wife, Monica, live in New York City.

A concise and unbiased look at what happened to our economy, February 1, 2009
By Robert Frost (TX United States)

This is the first book I have read on my new Kindle. The author, Dave Kansas, is a former editor of the Wall Street Journal. The book is a concise and unbiased examination of what exactly has happened to the economy as well as a brief discussion on what an individual should currently do to protect their investments.

The book starts by giving a brief history of risk - specifically examining how changes in investment strategies created new risk markets and thus new avenues for profit, leading to the bundling and selling of high risk mortgages that largely kicked off the economic decline. From there proceeds a discussion of derivatives, private-equity, and leverage.

Chapter three deals with the 'canaries in the coal mine' that should have been taken note of before the collapse of Bear Stearns. Chapter four deals with the cascading impacts such as the takeover of Fannie and Freddie and the death of Lehman Brothers.

Chapter five is about where we go from here. Chapter six shifts to the individual and which types of investments are protected. Chapter seven is about debt and Chapter eight provides advice for the individual, based on their age.

Scattered throughout the book are mini-biographies of the names and faces involved, such as Timothy Geithner, Warren Buffett, and Alan Greenspan. At the end of each chapter is a summary in the form of an FAQ.

I found the book very interesting and well written. What to many would sound like a rather dry subject is given in a fast paced narrative.

Learn from this Crisis and make it Your Opportunity, February 10, 2009
By Gary O. Clement

I stopped cold when I saw "The Wall Street Journal Guide to the End of Wall Street as We Know It" on a bookstand in the Pittsburgh Airport in January 2009. Browsing through it, not only could I scarcely believe how quickly it was written and brought to market, I could barely believe how clearly it outlined our current economic environment.

Another thing became clear - that Dave Kansas, from his perch as a journalist with The Wall Street Journal,, and FiLife is one of the few writers who could have written this book.

Kansas captures the historical background to the cataclysmic month of October 2008 using the recent examples of the Asian financial crisis of 1997, the Russian crisis of 1998, the U.S. internet and technology bubble of 2000-2001. More pointedly, he delves into the implosion of hedge fund Long Term Capital Management (LTCM), the shortsighted policies of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and the creation of, and dependence on, credit-default swaps (CDSs), collateralized debt obligations (CDOs), and collateralized mortgage obligations (CMOs).

Kansas's conclusion: October 2008 was predictable. In fact, many of the firms swirling at the epicenter of the current crisis knew they had serious trouble brewing, but couldn't, or wouldn't, take action to avert their fate.

In early 2009, nothing can hide how much our world, let alone the financial markets, has literally changed overnight. Venerable financial firms have either ceased to exist or been swallowed up by stronger, more prudent, players. We are all left to deal with the aftermath.

We've got to deal with the aftermath as we deal with our individual and collective behavior. I say that because most of us have scant knowledge of the role that complex financial products played in this mess and, to a large degree, that's okay. What's not okay is our intimate, yet often unrecognized or unacknowledged, knowledge of our human frailties. Human frailties that Kansas intimates underlie the real problem.

As human beings, we do chase returns. We do act on our greed and overconfidence. We are often guilty of employing hope rather than sound strategy. And, if human beings approach the financial market in this way, what does that portend for a financial system run by human beings?

I learned a great deal from "The Wall Street Journal Guide to the End of Wall Street as We Know It." I found it as important as a chronicle of the human frailties that led to our current crisis as it is an explanation of the nuts and bolts of how it happened. It cut through the hype and explained very complex terms in a straight forward and easily understood manner. But, it went even further by aiming to arm me with usable information.

The bottom line is it's a true feat to produce a book this good so quickly. My only question is: Will we, individually and collectively, learn from it just as quickly?