Colossal Failure of Common Sense The Inside Story of the Collapse of Lehman Brothers
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Description: They're the trillion-dollar questions of the financial crisis: What the hell happened at Lehman Brothers? And why was it allowed to fail, with aftershocks that rocked the global economy? In this news-making, often astonishing book, a Lehman former vice president gives us the straight answersright from the belly of the beast. Larry McDonald, a Wall Street insider, reveals, at last, the culture and unspoken rules of the game like no book has ever done.A Colossal Failure of Common Senseis couched in the very human story of Larry McDonald's Horatio Algerlike rise from a Massachusetts "gateway to nowhere" housing project to the New York headquarters of Lehman Brothers, home of one of the world's toughest trading floors. We get a close-up view of the participants in the Lehman collapse, especially those who saw it coming with a helpless, angry certainty. We meet the Brahmins at the top, whose reckless, pedal-to-the-floor addiction to growth finally demolished the nation's oldest investment bank. The Wall Street we encounter here is a ruthless place, where brilliance, arrogance, ambition, greed, capacity for relentless toil, and other human traits combine in a potent mix that sometimes fuels prosperity but occasionally destroys it. McDonald's gripping story of Lehman's death spiral is a modern-day thriller, studded with remarkable revelations: The collapse of Lehman Brothers was no surprise and didn't have to happen. In fact, CEO Richard Fuld and President Joe Gregory were confronted with warnings on three occasionsstarting as far back as 2005that the real estate market, on which they were betting the ranch, was teetering toward collapse. The secret dinner that plotted a coup against Lehman's top executives. The Paulson-Fuld blowup that left the treasury secretary furious that his office had been disrespected. The final call to President George W. Bush made by his own cousin, Lehman partner George Walker IV, that was not accepted by the president. The full significance of the dissolution of Lehman Brothers remains to be measured. But this much is certain: it was a devastating blow to America'sand the world'sfinancial system. And it need not have happened. This is the story of why it did.
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List price: $33.00
Copyright year: 2009
Publisher: Crown Publishing Group
Publication date: 7/21/2009
Size: 6.50" wide x 9.50" long x 1.50" tall
Patrick Robinson was a journalist for many years before becoming a full-time writer of books. His non-fiction books were bestsellers around the world and he was the co-author of Sandy Woodward's Falklands War memoir, One Hundred Days.
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