Dave Kansas has an impressive track record of financial reporting: editor of Wall Street Journal’s Money and Investing section, editor in chief of TheStreet.com, and editor at large of FiLife.com. In “The Wall Street Journal Guide to the End of Wall Street As We Know It”, Kansas brings his extensive experience to the table in examining the largest financial meltdown of the twenty first century from its beginnings to the book’s publishing in late 2009.
Early Warning Signs
Kansas examines warning signs that should have alerted investors and regulators around the world prior to the recession. Citing examples such as BNP Paribas, Northern Rock, Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac, Kansas shows how powerful investors around the world suppressed and denied the possibility that global economic recession might result from the use of increasingly risky and sophisticated investment products and the boom of subprime mortgage related securities. Greed was the order of the day, and there seemed to be no limit to the financial wizardry that allowed investors to reap huge profits using products with virtually no underlying value.
Kansas explores the inner workings of a the financial crises, from the default related losses on mortgage backed securities to the failing of large, international banks. He profiles influential players in the desperate struggle to maintain financial order, including Henry Paulson, Alan Greenspan, and Timothy Geithner, while detailing the roles they played in shaping the future of international finance.
The Future of Finance
“The Wall Street Journal Guide to the End of Wall Street As We Know It” was written during the middle of the financial meltdown, and Dave Kansas’ insights into the future of international finance reflect the prevailing uncertainty of that time. He speculates as to the length and severity of the recession, as well as the new regulatory environment that is likely to reshape the nature of the financial industry. Much of what Kansas predicted about the near term future has come to pass in the year following the book’s publication, lending credibility to the rest of his predictions.
In addition to providing the historical background for the global recession, Kansas ends the book with two chapters dedicated to guiding personal investors through the new investment environment. The relative safety of a range of investments in considered, as well as the true value of real estate investing in the near future. Kansas details strategies for young adults, middle aged people, and people in retirement to take advantage of the opportunities offered by the new financial landscape while avoiding the new dangers.