Too Big to Fail: Inside the Battle to Save Wall Street

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9780141043166: Too Big to Fail: Inside the Battle to Save Wall Street

This book was shortlisted for the BBC Samuel Johnson prize 2010. They were masters of the financial universe, flying in private jets and raking in billions. They thought they were too big to fail. Yet they would bring the world to its knees. Andrew Ross Sorkin, the news-breaking "New York Times" journalist, delivers the first true in-the-room account of the most powerful men and women at the eye of the financial storm - from reviled Lehman Brothers CEO Dick 'the gorilla' Fuld, to banking whiz Jamie Dimon, from bullish Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson to AIG's Joseph Cassano, dubbed 'The Man Who Crashed the World'. Through unprecedented access to the key players, Sorkin meticulously re-creates frantic phone calls, foul-mouthed rows and white-knuckle panic, as Wall Street fought to save itself.

Les informations fournies dans la section « Synopsis » peuvent faire référence à une autre édition de ce titre.

Extrait :

PROLOGUE

Standing in the kitchen of his Park Avenue apartment, Jamie Dimon poured himself a cup of coffee, hoping it might ease his headache. He was recovering from a slight hangover, but his head really hurt for a different reason: He knew too much.

It was just past 7:00 a.m. on the morning of Saturday, September 13, 2008. Dimon, the chief executive of JP Morgan Chase, the nation’s third largest bank, had spent part of the prior evening at an emergency, all-hands-on-deck meeting at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York with a dozen of his rival Wall Street CEOs. Their assignment was to come up with a plan to save Lehman Brothers, the nation’s fourth-largest investment bank—or risk the collateral damage that might ensue in the markets.

To Dimon it was a terrifying predicament that caused his mind to spin as he rushed home afterward. He was already more than two hours late for a dinner party that his wife, Judy, was hosting. He was embarrassed by his delay because the dinner was for the parents of their daughter’s boyfriend, whom he was meeting for the fi rst time.

“Honestly, I’m never this late,” he offered, hoping to elicit some sympathy.

Trying to avoid saying more than he should, still he dropped some hints about what had happened at the meeting. “You know, I am not lying about how serious this situation is,” Dimon told his slightly alarmed guests as he mixed himself a martini. “You’re going to read about it tomorrow in the papers.”

As he promised, Saturday’s papers prominently featured the dramatic news to which he had alluded. Leaning against the kitchen counter, Dimon opened the Wall Street Journal and read the headline of its lead story: “Lehman Races Clock; Crisis Spreads.”

Dimon knew that Lehman Brothers might not make it through the weekend. JP Morgan had examined its books earlier that week as a potential lender and had been unimpressed. He also had decided to request some extra collateral from the firm out of fear it might fall. In the next twenty four hours, Dimon knew, Lehman would either be rescued or ruined.

Knowing what he did, however, Dimon was concerned about more than just Lehman Brothers. He was aware that Merrill Lynch, another icon of Wall Street, was in trouble, too, and he had just asked his staff to make sure JP Morgan had enough collateral from that firm as well. And he was also acutely aware of new dangers developing at the global insurance giant American International Group (AIG) that so far had gone relatively unnoticed by the public—it was his firm’s client, and they were scrambling to raise additional capital to save it. By his estimation AIG had only about a week to find a solution, or it, too, could falter.

Of the handful of principals involved in the dialogue about the enveloping crisis—the government included—Dimon was in an especially unusual position. He had the closest thing to perfect, real-time information. That “deal flow” enabled him to identify the fraying threads in the fabric of the financial system, even in the safety nets that others assumed would save the day.

Dimon began contemplating a worst-case scenario, and at 7:30 a.m. he went into his home library and dialed into a conference call with two dozen members of his management team.

“You are about to experience the most unbelievable week in America ever, and we have to prepare for the absolutely worst case,” Dimon told his staff. “We have to protect the firm. This is about our survival.”

His staff listened intently, but no one was quite certain what Dimon was trying to say.

Like most people on Wall Street—including Richard S. Fuld Jr., Lehman’s CEO, who enjoyed one of the longest reigns of any of its leaders—many of those listening to the call assumed that the government would intervene and prevent its failure. Dimon hastened to disabuse them of the notion.

“That’s wishful thinking. There is no way, in my opinion, that Washington is going to bail out an investment bank. Nor should they,” he said decisively. “I want you all to know that this is a matter of life and death.

I’m serious.”

Then he dropped his bombshell, one that he had been contemplating for the entire morning. It was his ultimate doomsday scenario.

“Here’s the drill,” he continued. “We need to prepare right now for Lehman Brothers fi ling.” Then he paused. “And for Merrill Lynch filing.” He paused again. “And for AIG fi ling.” Another pause. “And for Morgan Stanley filing.” And after a final, even longer pause he added: “And potentially for Goldman Sachs filing.”

There was a collective gasp on the phone.

As Dimon had presciently warned in his conference call, the following days would bring a near collapse of the financial system, forcing a government rescue effort with no precedent in modern history. In a period of less than eighteen months, Wall Street had gone from celebrating its most profitable age to finding itself on the brink of an epochal devastation.

Trillions of dollars in wealth had vanished, and the financial landscape was entirely reconfigured. The calamity would definitively shatter some of the most cherished principles of capitalism. The idea that financial wizards had conjured up a new era of low-risk profits, and that American-style financial engineering was the global gold standard, was officially dead.

Reprinted by arrangement with Viking, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc., from Too Big to Fail by Andrew Ross Sorkin. Copyright © 2009 by Andrew Ross Sorkin.

Revue de presse :

He has done a remarkable job in producing a lively account that will be hard for subsequent authors to beat ( Gillian Tett, FT)

As close to a definitive account as we are likely to get ( Dominic Lawson, Sunday Times)

Andrew Ross Sorkin has written a fascinating, scene-by-scene saga of the eyeless trying to march the clueless through Great Depression II ( Tom Wolfe)

Andrew Ross Sorkin pens what may be the definitive history of the banking crisis ( The Atlantic Monthly)

Sorkin has succeeded in writing the book of the crisis, with amazing levels of detail and access ( Reuters)

Too good to put down . . . It is the story of the actors in the most extraordinary financial spectacle in 80 years, and it is told brilliantly . . . It is hard to imagine them being this riveting ( Economist)

Sorkin can write. His storytelling makes Liar's Poker look like a children's book ( SNL Financial)

The most readable and exciting report of the events surrounding the Lehman collapse that we have seen . . . impeccably sourced ( Edmund Conway, Daily Telegraph)

The sense of being in the meeting rooms as hitherto all-conquering alpha male egos fight for their reputations, as their and our world judders, is palpable ( Chris Blackhurst, Evening Standard)

Surpassed its rivals with its depth, range of reporting and high quality analysis ( Stefan Stern, FT)

A superbly researched and sobering take on the events surrounding the meltdown on Wall Street ( Sam Mendes)

With Too Big to Fail , Andrew Ross Sorkin has broken the Barbarians [At The Gate] curse ... Ross Sorkin's ... astonishing narrative of the epic financial crisis of 2008 is an extraordinary achievement that will be hard to surpass as the definitive account ( John Gapper, FT)

The heir to Barbarians at the Gate ( FT)

Les informations fournies dans la section « A propos du livre » peuvent faire référence à une autre édition de ce titre.

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Description du livre Penguin Books Ltd, United Kingdom, 2010. Paperback. État : New. 196 x 128 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. SHORTLISTED FOR THE BBC SAMUEL JOHNSON PRIZE 2010 They were masters of the financial universe, flying in private jets and raking in billions. They thought they were too big to fail. Yet they would bring the world to its knees. Andrew Ross Sorkin, the news-breaking New York Times journalist, delivers the first true in-the-room account of the most powerful men and women at the eye of the financial storm - from reviled Lehman Brothers CEO Dick the gorilla Fuld, to banking whiz Jamie Dimon, from bullish Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson to AIG s Joseph Cassano, dubbed The Man Who Crashed the World . Through unprecedented access to the key players, Sorkin meticulously re-creates frantic phone calls, foul-mouthed rows and white-knuckle panic, as Wall Street fought to save itself. N° de réf. du libraire APG9780141043166

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Description du livre Penguin Books Ltd. Paperback. État : new. BRAND NEW, Too Big to Fail: Inside the Battle to Save Wall Street, Andrew Ross Sorkin, This book was shortlisted for the BBC Samuel Johnson prize 2010. They were masters of the financial universe, flying in private jets and raking in billions. They thought they were too big to fail. Yet they would bring the world to its knees. Andrew Ross Sorkin, the news-breaking "New York Times" journalist, delivers the first true in-the-room account of the most powerful men and women at the eye of the financial storm - from reviled Lehman Brothers CEO Dick 'the gorilla' Fuld, to banking whiz Jamie Dimon, from bullish Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson to AIG's Joseph Cassano, dubbed 'The Man Who Crashed the World'. Through unprecedented access to the key players, Sorkin meticulously re-creates frantic phone calls, foul-mouthed rows and white-knuckle panic, as Wall Street fought to save itself. N° de réf. du libraire B9780141043166

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