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Bear Trap: The Fall of Bear Stearns and the Panic of 2008
Bill Bamber and Andrew Spencer
Brick Tower Press NY, 2008
I could hardly believe what I read when I started this book. Within a few pages, Bill Bamber, a former Bear Stearns senior managing director, declares (without a word of explanation) that he worked in "structured equities" at this investment bank. Wondering what on earth these are, I scurried to my search engine to find that these instruments are defined as equity interest structured notes and a kind of derivative. This seemed to be yet another dubious financial product created for these times. Deeply involved with the current crisis and defying all understanding and logic, this bizarre combination of equity and debt epitomizes the mess the financial markets are in today.
The first few chapters of Bear Trap are a history …