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When Genius Failed Audiobook

When Genius Failed: The Rise and Fall of Long-Term Capital Management

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Publisher's Summary

John Meriwether, a famously successful Wall Street trader, spent the 1980s as a partner at Salomon Brothers, establishing the best - and the brainiest - bond arbitrage group in the world. In 1991, in the wake of a scandal involving one of his traders, Meriwether abruptly resigned. For two years, his fiercely loyal team - convinced that the chief had been unfairly victimized - plotted their boss' return. In 1993, Meriwether gathered together his former disciples and a handful of supereconomists and proposed that they become partners in a new hedge fund different from any Wall Street had ever seen. And so Long-Term Capital Management was born.

Meriwether & Co. truly believed that their finely tuned computer models had tamed the genie of risk, and would allow them to bet on the future with near mathematical certainty. Thanks to their cast - which included a pair of future Nobel Prize winners - investors believed them. Four years later, when a default in Russia set off a global storm that Long-Term's models hadn't anticipated, its supposedly safe portfolios imploded. In five weeks, the professors went from mega-rich geniuses to discredited failures. The firm's staggering $100 billion balance sheet threatened to drag down markets around the world. At the eleventh hour, fearing that the financial system of the world was in peril, the Federal Reserve hastily summoned Wall Street's leading banks to underwrite a bailout.

Best selling author Roger Lowenstein captures Long-Term's roller-coaster ride in gripping detail. Drawing on confidential internal memos and interviews with dozens of key players, Lowenstein crafts a story that reads like a first-rate thriller from beginning to end. He explains not just how the fund made and lost its money, but what it was about the personalities of Long-Term's partners, the arrogance of their mathematical certainties, and the late-90s culture of Wall Street that made it all possible.

Executive Producer: Dan Zitt
Producer: Paul Ruben
Original cover design Kapo Ng
©2000 by Roger Lowenstein
(P)2001 Random House, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"This book is story-telling journalism at its best." (The Economist)
"Lowenstein [is] one of the best financial journalists there is¿" (New York Times Book Review)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (962 )
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4.1 (499 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Ginger F. French 05-25-16
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "No Tree is too Big to Gall"

    This is an in-depth review of the events that took place and nearly brought down the global financial world. Can it happen again, with more severe ramifications? The answer from the book is yes
    The need for those working in the financial markets to ALWAYS weigh. the risks being taken, is critical, whether seemingly large or small. LTCS was a "model" for arbitrage. The men who rode it to glory could not foresee the potential for problems arising until it was much too late. And they were not alone among financial entities in this position. The euphoria of money piling in "proving" their model to be right far overshadowed any doubts that this was a strong and capable way to grow money, with little risk. The clause immediately preceding this sentence was, indeed, proven to be incorrect. The risks were very great and ultimately brought those who had previously benefited close to the brink of ruin, in reputation, careers, and their personal solvency.
    Excellent read!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nathan J Erickson 05-18-16 Member Since 2016
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    "Great!"

    As good as the big short, fascinating look at bond and merger arbitrage. Book also fills in details around the liars poker story and salomon brothers, how they made so much money. This would make a great movie if done right.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Vitor 05-07-16
    Vitor 05-07-16
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    4
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    "chapters"

    chapters are misconfigured somehow in the application, causing me to lose track of which chapter I actually was in the book. narrator was perfect though. great story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    ryon aguirre 04-21-16 Member Since 2016
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    8
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    "Great Story"

    What an excellent story of how complicated financial models can steer even the brightest people toward financial doom. Such an interesting story of genius, success, and ultimately failure. A must listen for those in finance.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ryan S. Buckmaster 02-13-16 Member Since 2016
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    "A must listen for anyone serious about finance"

    Aside from being genuinely entertaining, it was quite educational. As someone with a career in investment management, specifically in bonds, I found it to be very useful. I highly recommend it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Leah 11-26-15
    Leah 11-26-15
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    "The worst orator I've ever heard"

    Bad accent, lisp, and horrendous timing. Breathy pauses. Waste of money. Would rather have the book read by Siri.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    jakob taylor 08-19-15
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    8
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    "Excellent book with valuable lessons"

    The story of long-term capital management's rise and fall is full of extremely valuable lessons. The author does a great job without saying as much of outlining LTCM's arrogance, failure to recognize their own mistakes and failure to adapt after having experienced the catastrophic results of their investing models. Fast read and very informative.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sam Bapasola 05-11-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Good book, A little tough as an audible"

    The key lesson learned is that overconfidence and hubris will destroy a sound and potentially brilliant investment process. It's a good book for those who are seeking investment advice as being smart isn't the only thing you need to win in the game of investing.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Erwin C. Pantel NJ, USA 04-28-15
    Erwin C. Pantel NJ, USA 04-28-15 Member Since 2012

    ECP

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    6
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    Story
    "Details of a story of Wall Street Hubris"

    An excellent book that details the origins, rise and the fall of Long Term Capital Management. Recommend this for those interested in an interesting financial history.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sabine St Petersburg, FL, United States 04-06-15
    Sabine St Petersburg, FL, United States 04-06-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Boring, Boring, and still Boring"

    The voice is boring. The story is boring. It should have been so much better than it was. I couldn't get past 2 chapters. Maybe it was nothing I could relate to or understand. Maybe it was just a boring read. I will be returning this one.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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