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Too Big to Fail: The Inside Story of How Wall Street and Washington Fought to Save the Financial System---and Themselves Hardcover – October 20, 2009
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“. . . His action scenes are intimate and engaging.”
—The New Yorker
“Sorkin’s prodigious reporting and lively writing put the reader in the room for some of the biggest-dollar conference calls in history. It’s an entertaining book, brisk book . . . Sorkin skillfully captures the raucous enthusiasm and riotous greed that fueled this rational irrationality.”
—The New York Times Book Review
“Brings the drama alive with unusual inside access and compelling detail . . . A deeply researched account of the financial meltdown."
“Meticulously researched . . . told brilliantly. Other blow-by-blow accounts are in the works. It is hard to imagine them being this riveting.”
“Sorkin’s densely detailed and astonishing narrative of the epic financial crisis of 2008 is an extraordinary achievement that will be hard to surpass as the definitive account . . . as a dramatic close-up, his book is hard to beat.”
“Sorkin’s book, like its author, is a phenom . . . an absolute tour de force.”
—The American Prospect
“Andrew Ross Sorkin pens what may be the definitive history of the banking crisis.”
—The Atlantic Monthly
“Andrew Ross Sorkin has written a fascinating, scene-by-scene saga of the eyeless trying to march the clueless through Great Depression II.”
“Sorkin has succeeded in writing the book of the crisis, with amazing levels of detail and access.”
“Sorkin can write. His storytelling makes Liar’s Poker look like a children’s book.”
About the Author
Andrew Ross Sorkin is the award-winning chief mergers and acquisitions reporter for The New York Times, a columnist, and assistant editor of business and finance news. He is also the editor and founder of DealBook, an online daily financial report. He has won a Gerald Loeb Award, the highest honor in business journalism, and a Society of American Business Editors and Writers Award. In 2007, the World Economic Forum named him a Young Global Leader.
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Too big to fail recounts the events from bear's collapse to the recapitalization through equity injections of the major US financial institutions. It describes in what feels like real time, the politics, both on the corporate side as well as the government side of what was happening during the crisis. I cant tell how much of the conversations were embellished but the dialogue definately feels like it could be close to what was really being said. You get a sense of the way various CEO's evolved during the crisis in attitude, how they became overwhelmed or remained clear headed. You get a sense of the desire of some to try to work together and try to help to the best of their ability given their constraints and the desire of others to try to vulture invest and seek personal gain.
One gets a lot out of this book. It doesnt focus on the structural failings of the market, but you get a great sense of the way that the heads of banks dealt with it and reacted to one another. You get a real glimpse at the most testing time for these individuals and how they succeeded or failed. I enjoyed it from the beginning to the end. Im really curious as to how the author managed to get the recounts as they seem very plausible. In anycase, highly worth reading, if only to get a play by play of the financial crisis at the CEO level of the major banks.
However, the author spent too many chapters on Lehman Brothers before playing out the more balance picture in the later chapters. things move fairly fast towards the end. Perhaps, he deliberately did that to create tension. And that shouldn't be so big a discouragement that stops a reader from finishing it.