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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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“Comprehensive and chilling.”
“. . . 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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According to Sorkin, the financial downturn that occurred in the summer of 2008 was actually years in the making. Many of the nation’s greatest investment banks, along with their commercial bank counterparts, had been busily dealing in high-risk subprime mortgages for years. As long as demand for housing remained high, so did housing prices; however, when massive numbers of people began defaulting on mortgages they could no longer afford, the housing market suddenly crashed, credit froze up, and banks began to fail…
…Thus begins the story of America’s economic meltdown in the late summer and early autumn of 2008. With the collapse of the housing markets, many of America’s oldest and greatest investment banks – among them Bear Stearns, Lehman Brothers, and Morgan Stanley – also find themselves threatened by total failure. So do commercial banks like Citigroup, Wachovia, and Bank of America; insurance companies like AIG; and the two government sponsored mortgage guarantors (Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac). Now, U.S. Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson, New York Federal Reserve Bank President Timothy Geithner, Congress, and other government regulators must find a way to save these financial institutions from ruin. If they don’t, America faces the very real possibility that its entire economic system may collapse…
I read “Too Big to Fail” not long after watching the HBO movie upon which it’s based. I was actually very impressed by how well written this book is. Andrew Ross Sorkin is a highly knowledgeable financial journalist who is also a very gifted storyteller. He writes with prose that is both clear and concise. He makes highly complex financial matters easy to understand by explaining them with a minimum of technical jargon. His portraits of the key players in the drama – Hank Paulson, Tim Geithner, Dick Fuld, Chris Flowers, and Erin Callan, among others – are unbiased, allowing readers to form their own judgments about them. Best of all, Sorkin avoids making “Too Big to Fail” a political treatise, focusing instead on the efforts of government officials and Wall Street executives to bring the nation back from the precipice of financial disaster.
“Too Big to Fail” is actually quite a page-turner. Sorkin tells his story in a crisp, fast-paced narrative style that’s never boring. Overall, I found it a very enjoyable and informative reading experience. Highly recommended.
I remember when the housing bubble began to show, my husband and I talked about how people with barely an income were buying quarter and half million dollar homes! Our common response was shaking our heads in disbelief and too saying.....what a greedy mess that's developing! This will not end well as this bubble will (not might), will burst!
My background is STEM on the aviation side of the house. Wall Street, book keeper, auditor, banking etc. was never of interest to me. When I saw this book a knowing grin came over my face. I figured it would be dry reading, as again, money specialties are not my thing. Curiosity drove me to buy this book. Dry? Oddly for me, NOPE! It is written well, such that us non Wall Street or Banker types can follow, understand -and- stay interested! I knew greed was the central ingredient to the crash, and this book not only confirms my belief but also shows all the entities and characters, not to mention their motivations of same that sent our country into the recession and housing crisis. The government bailouts that ensued.
Are we doomed to repeat that mess? With all the fingers and interlocking parts to our financial structure, if they aren't careful, and the safeguards followed that are in place, most likely yes. It's sad what folks out for themselves will do in the name of greed. If the safeguards are followed, overseeing is maintained, chances are a recession of that magnitude will never happen again. My ending question to self, will they learn from the past to prevent this happening again in the future?
Couldn't and didn't want to put it down!!!