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Money and Power: How Goldman Sachs Came to Rule the World [Kindle Edition]

William D. Cohan
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $17.95
Kindle Price: $11.84
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Sold by: Random House LLC

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Book Description

From the bestselling, prize-winning author of HOUSE OF CARDS, a revelatory history of Goldman Sachs, the most dominant, controversial and feared investment bank in the world 
 
Goldman Sachs has always projected an image of being better than its competitors. The firm—buttressed by an aggressive and sophisticated PR machine—often boasts of "The Goldman Way," a business model predicated on hiring the most talented people, indoctrinating them in a corporate culture of “the greater good,” and honoring the 14 Principles, the first of which is "Our clients' interests always come first."
 
But there is another way of viewing Goldman -- a secretive money-making machine that has straddled the line between conflict-of-interest and legitimate deal-making for decades; a firm that has exerted undue influence over government since the early part of the 20th century; a workplace rife with brutal power struggles; a Wall Street titan whose clever bet against the mortgage market in 2007 -- a bet not revealed to its clients -- may have made the Great Recession worse.
 
The firm has also shown a remarkable ability to weather financial crises, congressional, federal and SEC investigations, and numerous lawsuits, all with its reputation and enormous profits intact.  By reading thousands of pages of government documents and conducting over 100 interviews, including those with clients, competitors, regulators, current and former Goldman employees (as well as the six living men who have run Goldman), Cohan has constructed a vivid narrative that looks behind the veil of secrecy to reveal how Goldman has become so profitable, and so powerful.
 
 
William D. Cohan is the author of the New York Times bestsellers House of Cards and The Last Tycoons, which won the 2007 FT/Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year Award.  He writes frequently for Vanity Fair, The New York Times, The Financial Times, Fortune, The Atlantic, and the Washington Post.  A former investment banker, Cohan is a graduate of Duke University, Columbia University’s School of Journalism and Graduate School of Business.



Editorial Reviews

Review

"[A] definitve account of the most profitable and influential investment bank of the modern era....recounts these events capably.....[and explains] Goldman's cultivation of a reputation for brilliance unique even in the rarefied precincts of Wall Street.....gives readers the information they need to ponder whether investment banking has moved in a constructive direction."--The New York Times Book Review


""Destined to be a runaway bestseller...There's no shortage of Goldman clients, rivals, and former employees willing to explain how greed and recklessness led Goldman to become too big, too powerful, and even too conflicted to fail. As one Goldman alum puts it, 'I saw what they did to their customers...They'd steal from them, rape them, anything they could do.' It worked like a charm...[Cohan] has produced the frankest, most detailed, most human assessment of the bank to date. Cohan portrays a firm that has grown so large and hungry that it's no longer long-term greedy but short-term vicious. And that's the wonder -- and horror -- of Goldman Sachs."
-- Businessweek

"
[Money and Power] offers the best analysis yet of Goldman's increasingly tangled web of conflicts...The writing is crisp and the research meticulous, drawing on reams of documents made publicly available by congressional committees and the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission."
-- The Economist

"[E]xhaustive, revelatory account of the rise and rise of Goldman Sachs....engrossing....penetrating....Cohan revels in a good bust-up and lingers over anecdotes involving intrigue....All the senior partners still living spoke to him, often very candidly, and only a few from the next ranks seem to have refuse....a vast trove of material"
--The Financial Times

"A former Lazard Freres & Co. banker and newspaper reporter, Cohan brings the bank's sometimes 'schizophrenic' behavior to vivid life...Dra...

About the Author

William D. Cohan is the author of the New York Times bestsellers House of Cards and The Last Tycoons, which won the 2007 FT/Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year Award.    He is a contributing editor at Vanity Fair, has a bi-weekly opinion column in The New York Times, and writes frequently for The Financial Times, Fortune, The Atlantic, and the Washington Post, among other publications. A former investment banker, Cohan is a graduate of Duke University, Columbia University School of Journalism and the Columbia University Graduate School of Business.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1633 KB
  • Print Length: 684 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 184614499X
  • Publisher: Anchor; Reprint edition (April 12, 2011)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004J4XG54
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #103,974 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
84 of 87 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inside scoop on the "giant vampire squid" April 17, 2011
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
In his now famous - infamous? - Rolling Stone article Matt Taibbi refers to Goldman Sachs as a "...great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells of money." Cohan,whose earlier books gave you the inside scoop on Lazard Freres and Bear Stearns now turns his searchlight on Goldman Sachs, arguably one of the most powerful financial institutions that ever existed.

It is not really a Goldman "bashing" book but there is plenty of hard reporting that lead one to wonder how Goldman can get away with proclaiming itself to be a temple of team play and a firm where customer interests always come first. Team playing culture? Cohan gives you details about the unusually sharp knives that came out frequently in succession struggles from earlier days - Gus Levy clashing with Sid Weinberg - to more recent events - Hank Paulson ousting Jon Corzine - and paint a picture quite at variance with Goldman PR.

Customer comes first? Cohan reveals that way back in the sixties Goldman was sued for "...fraud, deception, concealment, suppression and false pretense..." in connection with the Penn Central fiasco. Creditors claimed that Goldman "...made promises and representations as to the future (of the company) which were beyond reasonable expectations and unwarranted by existing circumstances." You make up your mind about whether this was a disgruntled customer trying to splash mud or a depiction of Goldman's approach. It certainly was a harbinger of later developments such as the firms disingenuous statement that it was not "betting against its customers" during the sub-prime crisis but merely and prudently managing its risk profile. If you believe that may I interest you in a solid gold brick I found on Fifth Avenue the other day?
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87 of 97 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Every now and then, someone comes along and writes a book, and in the process lays out a new framework of understanding with such exquisite detail that the average reader's generalized understanding of how the world works is blown away, and a new understanding becomes the norm. This is EXACTLY what author William Cohan has achieved with "Money and Power: How Goldman Sachs Came to Rule the World."

Such a book was Carroll Quigley's "Tragedy and Hope". Quigley understood how the world worked and the dark forces that can exert undue enormous power behind the scenes. President Clinton in his inauguration speech specifically mentioned the power that Carroll Quigley had over him when he was student at Georgetown and Quigley lectured about those who truly control the world. Clinton understood the power structure, and their assumed ruthlessness, and was forever changed by it. Now we have in Cohan's book the thorough exposure of the less seemly side of Goldman Sachs.

Today there are only two firms that have the cache value to make an MBA's dream of working for them. They are Goldman Sach's in the financial world and McKinsey & Company in management consulting. If you work for either entity, it is the equivalent of having a halo over your head. You are anointed. Goldman Sachs now stands alone as the ultimate financial wheeler dealer in our time. With 35,000 employees, they still manage to be able to cut and slash like an institution a tenth of their current size.

Being a former alumnus of both Lehman Brothers and Bear Stearns, and currently managing several billions of dollars of private money, I have always had the utmost respect for Goldman. I believed then as now that only Goldman could possibly have been better run than either Bear or Lehman.
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting read but a bit too long August 1, 2011
By Robert
Format:Hardcover
I have read a variety of books recently about the current financial crisis, the Great Depression, and other crises of late 19th century and 20th century. This is a reasonable addition to that list. The details on the founding of GS, it's impacts over the years on important historical events: Penn Central, LTCM, Bear Sterns, Lehman, AIG, are all very interesting and enlightening. I was quite surprised to learn many of these details.

I also appreciated the author's relatively objective tone. I came into this book with no particularly strong opinion about whether GS is evil or not and this book didn't really change my mind. However, this book does paint a strong picture of an organization with a lot of conflicts of interest. Given that most of their clients are generally other sophisticated organizations: other financial institutions, large corporations, etc, I find myself surprised that these clients continue to do business with them.

The stories about the various players of the years from Marcus Goldman through Waddill Catching and Sydney Weinberg up to the present day players in Jon Corzine, Henry Paulson, and Lloyd Blankfein are all interesting, to a point. I found many of these mini autobiographies to be way too long & tedious. This book is 600 pages long and I think could have been a much better book at maybe 400 or 450 pages.

That said, if you tackle this book, the payoffs come later. Skim some of biographies and you'll be rewarded with interesting details about GS's involvement the Penn Central crisis, the LTCM crisis, and how GS had concluded that a mortgage meltdown was coming way ahead of a lot of other players and took actions to both protect themselves and profit from it.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars this was a great price. the delivery was on-time
i bought this as a present for my bf, this was a great price. the delivery was on-time.
Published 15 days ago by Alake Davy
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Excellent item ... glad to own it!
Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
very good
Published 1 month ago by eugine solonchuk
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Fascinating history tracing development and growing influence of GS from its founding to the present.
Published 2 months ago by John F Pizzi
4.0 out of 5 stars but this is a good book to understand the changing nature of Wall St...
The title implied a more analytical than historical account, but this is a good book to understand the changing nature of Wall St and how Goldman became the leading firm. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Graham Marshall
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
a very good read
Published 3 months ago by ma st1
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great book, loved it.
Published 5 months ago by MMK
3.0 out of 5 stars Title is misleading and best for PR
Ok. The usual story with some hyperbole. Title is misleading and best for PR. Goldman doesn't "rule the world;" but they have been extremely successful over many years.
Published 5 months ago by DS
5.0 out of 5 stars The history in depth of Goldman
Well written
Interesting to know about the early history og Goldman
Must read for everyone in the financial industry or every real investor
Published 7 months ago by Mauritz Redin
4.0 out of 5 stars Juicy Inside Stories of a Great Investment Bank
A very detailed but interesting history of Goldman Sachs. When a 600 page book can keep your interest right through its entire reading, you can be sure you are in the hand of a... Read more
Published 8 months ago by MechPebbles
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More About the Author

WILLIAM D. COHAN, a former senior Wall Street M&A investment banker for 17 years at Lazard Frères & Co., Merrill Lynch and JPMorganChase, is the New York Times bestselling author of three non-fiction narratives about Wall Street: Money and Power: How Goldman Sachs Came to Rule the World; House of Cards: A Tale of Hubris and Wretched Excess on Wall Street; and, The Last Tycoons: The Secret History of Lazard Frères & Co., the winner of the 2007 FT/Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year Award. His new book, The Price of Silence about the Duke lacrosse scandal will be published on April 8, 2014. He is a contributing editor at Vanity Fair and writes a bi-weekly opinion column for BloombergView. He also writes for The Financial Times, Bloomberg BusinessWeek, The Atlantic, ArtNews, the Irish Times, the Washington Post, the New York Times and the New York Times Magazine. He previously wrote a bi-weekly opinion column for The New York Times and features for Fortune. He also appears regularly on MSNBC, on Bloomberg TV, where he is a contributing editor, and on CNN and the BBC-TV. He has also appeared as a guest on the Daily Show, with Jon Stewart, The NewsHour, The Charlie Rose Show, The Tavis Smiley Show, and CBS This Morning as well as on numerous NPR, BBC and Bloomberg radio programs. He is a graduate of Duke University, Columbia University School of Journalism and the Columbia University Graduate School of Business


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Publisher Kindle price absurd
Amen.
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