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Memos from the Chairman Paperback – June 10, 1997

4.4 out of 5 stars 26 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

In nearly two decades as chairman of the board, Alan "Ace" Greenberg has successfully guided Bear Stearns & Co. through the financial marketplace's dizzying highs and sickening lows. His management philosophy, often credited to "advisor and mentor" Haimchinkel Malintz Anaynikal, was articulated over the years in a series of witty and revealing memoranda. Grouped by era and prefaced briefly by the author in Memos from the Chairman, they now offer a front-seat look at a unique business style.

From Library Journal

When Greenberg became chair of the investment banking firm Bear Stearns in 1978, he began the practice of communicating to his staff via memos. While this is accepted practice in the business world, Greenberg's staff soon discovered that their boss wrote memos quite unlike the ones they were used to receiving. This collection of memos written between 1978 and 1995 covers topics ranging from conserving electricity to promptly answering telephones. All are written with gentleness and wit. It is comforting to read memos from an employer who communicates to employees with intelligence and compassion. For business collections.
Andrea C. Dragon, Coll. of St. Elizabeth, Convent Station, N.J.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 156 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley (June 10, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0471177571
  • ISBN-13: 978-0471177579
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 0.4 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,680,032 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Ah - a book that recalls the days when people wanted to work for corporations! As a former employee of Bear Stearns who received some of the memos in this book, I can say that those memos created an atmosphere of comraderie and humor during the recession of the early '90s. Back then, Bear Stearns was considered a great place to work. Of course, Mr. Greenberg is not running the company anymore. At that time, BSC was one of the largest banking institutions in the world, and every level of employee was very proud of his or her role in the success of the company. I recommend this book for managers who need to remember who is really doing the work!!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Alan "Ace" Greenberg's pithy sayings apparently created a spirit of comradery which brought Bear Stearns through the tumultuous 1970s and 80s, to be the powerhouse it is today. In addition to his many talents with arbitrage, yoyo, and playing bridge, the Chairman is a funny guy. It's heartwarming to know he still has his finger in the game, and that his successor is cut of the same cloth. Save your paperclips and fix those rubber bands, people!

BTW, if you've ever been to Bear Stearns HQ on Madison avenue; the place still sizzles with elan and zeal. He's certainly built a corporate culture which has lasted. No slouchy people in jeans at the Bear; people there never got sloppy like the rest of america did. Of course, I'm an outsider looking in, but what I saw looks pretty impressive. Who would you trust with your money? The slob slouching around throwing paper clips in the trash, or the guys who are neat as pins who waste nothing? Check out their returns for the answer to that.

Edit Add: OK, maybe ties were not all that was needed. It's still a great book, even if the coda to the Bear story is a sad one.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
To begin with, an author, particularly of a business-related book could not receive a better endorsement than from Warren Buffett. For the informed reader, that could suffice for a review.

For those unfamiliar with Buffett, this book is a must read. Ace Greenberg is witty, humorous and on the money with each subject. Peter Drucker suggested that the most effective form of communication is the 1-page memo and Ace Greenberg shows uncanny mastery of that form of communication. Whether you work in a small or large organization, but particularly a large one, this book is must reading.

Enjoy.
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Format: Hardcover
As I was sifting through dust-ridden literature in my library, I came across this legendary book. I too am a former employee of Bear Stearns and remember meeting Mr. Greenberg during my frequent visits to the trading floor.

I enjoyed 'Memos from the Chairman' because it's from the real Alan Greenberg, the legend....

Five stars!!!
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Format: Hardcover
"Memos from the Chairman" is a unique and interesting publication. Unique in the sense that the vast majority of this book is in fact a compilation of Memorandas from Alan Greenberg, of Bear Stearns fame. Interesting from the perspective that a book can tell a story using, more or less, just a series of Memorandas.

Entertaining, amusing, insightful and educational, this is a book well worth reading. Add to that a Foreword penned by Warren Buffett, and the case for taking the time to read this book is just made stronger.
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By User on July 15, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Good book, quick read. I finished it in about two days and thoroughly enjoyed it. Although it's a little repetetive on cutting costs, Greenberg, HAC, and Nookie make some very good points. At times they do seem quite greedy and money-centric but Greenberg says, "I hate throwing money out the door." The lesson I took away was to not waste rather than to be greedy.
P.S.: Keeping with the spirit of the book, save some money and buy it used although I have no plans of selling my copy anytime soon.
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Format: Hardcover
A truly inspirational insight into the creation of the corporate culture of Bear Sterns, one of the most successful US investment banks. Put simply, the book is a collection of memos passed around the office, written by the ubiquitous Ace Greenberg. His fascination with saving on paper clips and lighting expenses should be a lesson to us all.
At the time I read the book, I was so impressed with the content that I wrote to Mr Greenberg personally, and asked him for a job - need I say any more!!
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Format: Paperback
Cost cutting comes in vogue whenever a company gets in trouble. This book advocates making this important activity a habit. Too bad Mr. Greenberg was unable to have his successor manage risk with the same tenacity.
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