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Moral Hazard
Moral Hazard: Text Classics | Kate Jennings
4 posts | 3 read | 6 to read
I disapproved of bankers, on principle. Not that I knew any. Until this job, I had worked and made friends with people who shared my views. Mostly moral, mostly kind. An unlikely candidate, then, for the job of executive speechwriter, to be putting words in the mouths of plutocrats deeply suspicious of metaphors and words of more than two syllables. An unlikely candidate, too, to be working for a firm...whose ethic was borrowed in equal parts from the Marines, the CIA, and Las Vegas. A firm where women were about as welcome as fleas in a sleeping bag. Wall Street in the mid-1990s: the recession is over and finance companies are gearing up for the next boom. Cathwisecracking Australian-born bedrock feminist, unreconstructed left-wingerhas given up freelance writing for corporate life at one of the big investment banks. Her husband, Bailey, has Alzheimers, and they need serious money. For seven years Cath lives in two worlds, both of them mad. By day she grapples with the twisted logic and outsized egos of high finance. By night she witnesses the inexorable decline of the man she loves as, ravaged by disease, he is 'reduced to a nub'. Wise, unsentimental and darkly funny, Kate Jennings' Moral Hazard is a crisp accounting of looming meltdownsfinancial and personal. Kate Jennings is a poet, essayist, short-story writer and novelist. Both her novels, Snake and Moral Hazard, were New York Times Notable Books of the Year. She has won the ALS Gold Medal, the Christina Stead Prize for Fiction and the Adelaide Festival fiction prize. Born in rural New South Wales, she has lived in New York since 1979. 'This is a unique book by an extraordinary writer, the great city illuminated from within. Kate Jennings brings all her powers of pace and tone to bear in a novel that is humane and unsparing; witty, unsettling, and wildly intelligent. I know of no other voice that so conveys the contemporary workplace in its vulnerability and its denaturing, and its difficult morality.' Shirley Hazzard, author of The Transit of Venus 'An engrossing, cautionary tale for the twenty-first century...with unsparing rapier wit.' Philadelphia Enquirer 'A work of considerable formal beauty.' Age 'The finest novel I've read this year...Don't let its brevity fool you. Moral Hazard is a big book in the truest sense of the word.' Salon.com 'Written in spare and starkly honest prose, this novel foreshadows the recent accounting scandals at Enron, World-Com and other companies, and shows that even in the midst of corruption and tragedy, individuals can stick to their beliefs.' Wall Street Journal 'Jennings is a writer of substanceand Moral Hazard is substantial writing.' Australian 'Compelling reading; Cath's thorny humour adapts well to both terminal illness and terminal greed.' New York Observer 'An insider's view of the city without the spin; a steely, unsentimental vision delivered with a poet's sure touch.' Bulletin 'An extraordinary novel: pleasurable and powerful, mordant and harrowing.' New Statesman 'A piercing novel, gleaming with facets of hard-won knowledge, polished by experience and a keen intelligence.' Publisher's Weekly
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review
Centique
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Pickpick

This book was a gift from the lovely @CarolynM (not in the photo - this is my spot at the new cafe down the road. It‘s Vietnamese, keen to try Banh Mi but they‘ve sold out today)
A sharp and insightful memoir of six years in Kate‘s life when two crises converged - her husband‘s Alzheimers and the financial crisis of 2002 at the NY corporation where she worked. Her scathing analysis of corporate life makes excellent reading ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Centique Thank you @CarolynM !😘 6mo
MrsMalaprop I have had this on my #tbr stack for years. Really need to get to it! 6mo
CarolynM I'm very glad you liked it🙂 6mo
79 likes1 stack add3 comments
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Centique
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Look at the lovely surprise I just found in my letterbox! Thank you so much @CarolynM 💕💕 The wombat card is so cute and the book - I read the first few sentences and it wrapped its fingers around me straight away! The bookmark - an artwork called Milky Way Dreaming - is stunning. I love that the Aboriginal mythology is explained on the back. Thank you so much, I feel so spoiled by my Litsy friends. 💕

Rissreads This sounds interesting. Another one stacked....................... 13mo
Leftcoastzen Love the bookmark! 13mo
batsy That bookmark! 💜 And the book sounds fascinating... Left-winger, freelance writing, corporate jobs... #callingouttome 13mo
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Reggie This book sounds great!!! 13mo
Centique @batsy I know! It looks like a little zinger of a read @Rissreads @Reggie I‘ll let you know 😊👍 13mo
CarolynM @Rissreads @batsy @Reggie I loved the book. It's not a memoir but it is based on Kate Jennings's real life experiences. (edited) 13mo
CarolynM I was hoping it would reach you before Christmas @Centique but I guess today is next best 🙂 13mo
Centique @CarolynM even better because I feel like post Christmas is properly “my time”. 😍 13mo
73 likes3 stack adds8 comments
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CarolynM
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Cinfhen Sounds like a powerful read, both funny & heartbreaking 2y
46 likes1 stack add1 comment
review
CarolynM
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At only 150 pages this is a small gem of a novel that I devoured in one gulp. Written in such spare, direct prose with an insiders knowledge of both Wall St and the dementia ward it is both funny and heartbreaking. Highly recommended.

myers85 This sounds like my mind of book. Good review! 2y
CarolynM @myers85 Thanks. Let me know what you think if you get around to reading it. 2y
myers85 Will do 😊 2y
31 likes2 stack adds3 comments