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Other People's Money

3.49  ·  Rating Details ·  752 Ratings  ·  107 Reviews
In a world still uneasy after the financial turmoil of 2008, Justin Cartwright puts a human face on the dishonesties and misdeeds of the bankers who imperiled us. Tubal and Co. is a small, privately owned bank in England. As the company's longtime leader, Sir Harry Tubal, slips into senility, his son Julian takes over the reins-and not all is well. The company's hedge fund ...more
Paperback, 272 pages
Published April 12th 2011 by Bloomsbury USA (first published 2011)
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Jeffrey Keeten
Apr 20, 2011 Jeffrey Keeten rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

I wasn't sure what to expect from this book. I thought there was a chance that I would read a few pages and chuck it on to the "some other time" pile, but Justin Cartwright, first of all, is a wonderful writer. The plot was crisply handled and the book was the perfect length at 258 pages. I like a writer to show restraint.

The characters are fleshed out nicely we are exposed to their weaknesses and their strengths as the novel progresses. Cartwright does not waste our time with stereotypical cha
Nov 07, 2011 Kiwiflora rated it really liked it
This is the second book I have read by this South African born, London living author. I read 'To Heaven By Water' earlier in the year and enjoyed it very much. So when this one was put into book club, only published this year, I snapped it up. And it is even better than the first one I read. I have also found out via Google that this book has just won the Novel of the Year in the Spear's 3rd Annual Book Awards. Who might you ask is Spears? "Spear’s is the multi-award-winning wealth management an ...more
Apr 02, 2012 Nathan rated it liked it
The Economist suggested this book during its unfavorable review of John Lanchester's Capital. The story follows a prestigious British family dynasty whose bank is collapsing. They resort to fraud in order to keep it afloat. There are a few plotlines interwoven between the characters both inside and out of the family. The financial talk is in no way over-the-top, the reader can follow the details without much background knowledge.

Early in the story the reader meets Artair McLeod who is writing a
Oct 23, 2011 Cheryl rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: literature, british
‘OPM!' It's the trader's shout of glee that greets a deal gone bad. It's other people's money when they screw up, but they are quick to shout "mine!" when the deal looks good.
It’s all about the money.
The story is told from shifting viewpoints. Julian is the scion of one of England’s wealthiest and oldest private banking families; his father is the stroked out dying Harry, “…the tenth generation of Tubals, chairman of this and that, philanthropist, lover of the ballet, driven around all his lif
Jan 07, 2012 Lisa rated it really liked it
To be honest, when I started Other People's Money by Justin Cartwright, I wasn't sure that I was going to love it. The book came to me through the LibraryThing Early Reviewers Program, and when I got the notice I was getting it, I couldn't remember requesting it. It was a little slow going at first, but the story really draws you in. These aren't always very likable people, but you find yourself interested in them and wondering how things will turn out for them. Eventually, I found I did not wan ...more
Jonathon Dyer
Apr 23, 2013 Jonathon Dyer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I’ve been a fan of Justin Cartwright for some years. Look at it This Way – my wife refers to it as the “Lion Book” for its abundant use of leonine imagery – was the first Cartwright I read, about twelve years ago. That and Other People’s Money share common territory, though where Look at it This Way was, among other things, a gentle satire of London’s City culture, the pointing out the excesses of those who sought to create prosperity out of futures trading and similarly ephemeral devices, the p ...more
Mariano Hortal
"El dinero de los demás" de Justin Cartwright. "Cada vez más se da cuenta de que esta gente le ha tomado el pelo al resto de la humanidad con un timo gigantesco. Y que ahora han terminado por creerse sus propios mitos", con esta frase en boca de uno de los protagonistas del libro, el escritor describe la situación bancaria tan aplicable, desgraciadamente, al sentimiento que todos tenemos hoy en día en esta situación de crisis mundial galopante. Sin desvelar detalles de la trama en demasía, el li ...more
Dec 15, 2011 Mark rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, business
If I could, I would have given this 3.5 stars, for reasons I'll explain.

On the one hand, this is an elegantly written novel full of well-drawn and largely interesting characters. The plot revolves around the recession-driven problems of an old private bank in England, run by the Trevelyan-Tubal family. The patriarch, Harry, has had a stroke and is largely incapacitated at the family estate in the Antibes. His son Julian, now running the bank, must make hasty and barely legal arrangements to keep
Sep 17, 2016 Popup-ch rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kindle, fiction, 2016
Describes the financialisation of a bank, in the midst of the financial crisis, but seen from within the ruling family. It is fundamentally about the same subject as John Kays book with the same title - What Kay labels the transition from Gemeinschaft to Gesellschaft, i.e. from an interdependent collaborative long-term customer-serviceprovider relationship towards a short-term grab-all-you-can i'll-be-gone-and-you'll-be-gone mentality, and how this short-termism has unanticipated repercussions . ...more
This novel deserves a much wider readership, and would make an excellent movie. Shifting points of view tell three intersecting stories: that of a venerable London bank, family owned and scrambling to cover up a hedge fund debacle, a delusional Cornish actor and theater company owner who depends on a yearly grant set up by the bank's patriarchal head, and a young reporter in the same Cornwall town, who receives an anonymous tip that could cause a national financial scandal. Rich in language, wit ...more
Michael Berman
Jan 16, 2012 Michael Berman rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
I saw this book in the Economist's best books of 2011 list. I liked it, but didn't love it. I appreciated the way the author showed us how the character (the scion of a fabulously wealthy, long-established private bank in London) was caught up in the 2008 financial crisis, and ended up committing fraud (not a spoiler--it happens early in the book) to attempt to hide the bank's losses. As portrayed, he wasn't really a bad guy.

At the same time, I didn't particularly like, or even care about, any o
David Ball
Dec 29, 2011 David Ball rated it really liked it
First book of 2015! First of many I hope. I think it probably deserves three and a half stars. It's clever, and mostly well written, with a decent and believable assortment of characters, but I don't think it will date very well - it's very much about a certain time and place, and I'm not sure the world need another book on finance set in 2008. But the twist sets this book a part: it's rare to get a morality tale where the baddies get away with so much. A sly, subversive book.
Anneke Senden
Oct 05, 2011 Anneke Senden rated it liked it
Another easy read by Justin Cartwright. A solid plot and interesting characters all set within the the context of the financial world we live in today. The only disspointment for me was the hasty wrap up of the novel - after spending time unfolding the story and coming to terms with the characters I felt the story came to too much of an abrupt end.
It was inevitable that someone would fictionalise the banking crisis and I looked forward to getting an inside track on hedge funds, bond holders, foreclosures, takeovers etc. But, while there's plenty of information in this well written novel on the privileged inside trackers of the banking world, I still don't understand what hedge funds are or how takeovers solve any problems.
Oct 26, 2011 Susan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
a good book, well writen, and interesting characters. I did enjoy it very much.
Tony Snyder
Aug 25, 2014 Tony Snyder rated it it was amazing
Absolutely magnificent! The insights into the upper-class are keen. I couldn't stop reading...highly recommended!
Jul 04, 2017 Doug rated it liked it
It’s finally getting interesting, but I’m halfway through the novel!!! That means that at the very least, HALF the novel is uninteresting (and it truly was). The first half reminded me of The Cat’s Table with its meandering character descriptions and aimless direction. I almost put it down, but then thought I’ll just mindlessly skim through it. Well, 150 pages later, it paid off and now there is some feeling of suspense that will keep me entertained, although I know it’s moot – there’s no way th ...more
Veronica Liew
A satirical takedown on the rich, self-interested and powerful people with their sly maneuvering to cover their asses during the most recent European financial crisis, and a funny take on the characters on the periphery who are affected by the main protagonists. Fun if you want to read some good writing in a lighter mode, taking on a heavy subject of old money, shady money and other people's money.
Steve Dow
Feb 04, 2012 Steve Dow rated it really liked it

IN THE opening pages of South-African born British author Justin Cartwright’s latest novel, the patriarch of a family-owned private bank, Sir Harry Trevelyan-Tubal, has had a stroke.

Yet even as his days are numbered, his faithful long-time secretary Estelle writes letters on his behalf to his son Julian, containing homespun advice borne of centuries-bred privilege which infirmity now blissfully shields from the unsentimental realities of modern globalised finance.

The l
Charlotte Green
Nov 01, 2012 Charlotte Green rated it liked it
Other People’s Money details the decline of one of England’s oldest banks. At the start of the novel, the owner, Sir Henry Trevelyn-Tubal CBE, Bt., has suffered a crippling stroke and his younger son, Julian has taken over. The elder son (known as the ‘hairy heir’) took off many years before.

Cartwright portrays the family relationships well. He deftly illustrates the dread experienced by many members of the family before Sir Harry’s death, what it will mean for the family and for the bank, and t
Jen Crichton
Dec 11, 2011 Jen Crichton rated it liked it
The Financial Times put "Other People's Money" on their best-books-of-2011 list. And if FT says this book takes us behind closed doors into the heart of the insider banking practices that apparently rule our world, who am I to argue?

Well, yes, I will argue. Readable, well-written, but you will not see light shed on any financial practices that the FT has not already covered in fulsome detail.

"Other People's Money" takes us into the heart of the Tubal family, a Rothschild-like family whose tradi
I loved Other People's Money by Justin Cartwright, but I'll admit that I didn't start it with great expectations. However, it only took one chapter to win me over completely and the rest of the book didn't disappoint. This is one of those rare under-rated gems and it's obscurity confuses me greatly.

The book follows a large cast of people, but the focus is mainly on the Tubal family, the owners of a bank with rapidly increasing financial troubles. The bank had always been successful under the wa
May 07, 2011 Cathy rated it really liked it
Shelves: giveaways
Frankly, when I started this I thought I would be bored to tears but then it picked up and got interesting. Tubal's is a privately-owned English bank established in 1671 by Moses Tubal, a Jew, who loaned money to Gentiles. Generations later, bank president Julian says, they are no longer Jews - and taller. But that seems to be the extent of growth for these self-involved people.
In the aftermath of the financial breakdown in 2008 Tubal's seems to be okay, but it isn't. After Julian's father dies
Tamsin Burford
May 12, 2013 Tamsin Burford rated it liked it
Enjoyable, interesting, educational and well thought out. I read this quickly and with ease. Some of the financial reasoning, or lack of and mistakes were over my head but this is my ignorance and not the author's.

The characters were largely well drawn enough to arouse empathy and sympathy and that helped the novel skip along. Written from the perspective of a wide variety of characters, each chapter focuses on one or two of these or a group of these. It is a method that works well. We never get
I have to admit that I enjoyed this book, but did have some places where I was asking myself why? It was so out of the normal genre reading for me, but it kept me captivated. I was drawn to the characters specifically Melissa the journalist. I loved reading about her throughout the book and how she grew. I enjoyed how all of the characters intertwined, how they learned from one another, and how some really seemed to grasp what they wanted and others it wasn't until the final that they really und ...more
Nick Sweeney
Mar 06, 2012 Nick Sweeney rated it it was ok
I've liked most of Justin Catwright's novels. His late 80s debut Look At It This Way was, I thought, a great summary of 'the condition of England' at the time - all that yuppie crap coming home to bite its perpetrators - all the more remarkable as he is South African. He obviously has a great outsider's eye.

I didn't like this very much at all - I tried to. The story, of a private bank with a wide-ranging influence going tits up because of greed and malpractice, was potentially a good one. The li
Aug 27, 2011 Kay rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Have read two other books by Cartwright, and after reading this one I will have to register as an official fan.

The novel depicts the British version of the 2008 meltdown through the eyes of a very diverse group of characters, including a young journalist, Melissa, who is forced into blogging after her regional newspaper shrivels; a penniless theatrical "director" reduced to staging Thomas the Tank Engine productions; and a whole family of bankers whose house has been an icon in The City for 4 ce
May 06, 2011 Terri rated it it was ok
Shelves: first-reads
"Other People's Money" by Justin Cartwright is a novel that encompasses the worldwide financial turmoil of the past few years. In it the main characters are part of the Trevelyan-Tubal family, a family that has owned a private bank in England for many years. After Sir Harry, the patriarch of the family, has a debilitating stroke his son Julian is in charge of the bank and has managed to make a few major mistakes. There are also many interconnecting characters that are all affected by Julian's de ...more
Jun 10, 2011 Lisa rated it really liked it
I'm surprised I haven't heard of this author as he is mentioned on the jacket in the same company as Martin Amis and Ian McEwan.

This is a great book to read in conjunction with Michael Lewis's "The Big Short." The story of an old, small, private English bank that gets caught up in the incomprehensible derivatives circus that shook the world markets beginning in 2008 is told without clear heroes or villains. Or, the villainy (greed, dishonesty) is made so understandable through the author's treat
May 03, 2012 Doug rated it it was ok
It’s finally getting interesting, but I’m halfway through the novel!!! That means that at the very least, HALF the novel is uninteresting (and it truly was). The first half reminded me of The Cat’s Table with it’s meandering character descriptions and aimless direction. I almost put it down, but then thought I’ll just mindlessly skim through it. Well, 150 pages later, it paid off and now there is some feeling of suspense that should keep me entertained until the end...
(A week later...) Well, the
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Justin Cartwright (born 1945) is a British novelist.

Justin Cartwright
He was born in South Africa, where his father was the editor of the Rand Daily Mail newspaper, and was educated there, in the United States and at Trinity College, Oxford. Cartwright has worked in advertising and has directed documentaries, films and television commercials. He managed election broadcasts, first for the Liberal Pa
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