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.
"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)
A worthy successor to Lewis's Liar's Poker, following the later story of John Meriwether's big fall. Gives a good look inside the hedge fund industry.
I teach Business, Economics, and English at a university in Tokyo. My interests are in politics, economics, and philosophy. I hold a BA in English Literature, and an MA in Political Science.
I listened to this book as I drove from DC to LA. It only got me to Alabama. LOL!!! It was a really good book though. It's telling about the greed of the financial industry. It reminds us that Wall Street is a smarter man's Vegas with better odds. For all the laissez faire capitalist out there, this book is a wake-up call. There are too many lives tied into the money on Wall Street for it to go loosely regulated.
You don't need to know the Black Scholes options pricing model to enjoy this book: The author makes very complex financial history clear and understandable -- no small accomplishment.
Well read, very interesting, very entertaining. You will like this book even if you have very little knowledge of finance as long as you have an interest in the human condition. Get it.
This is a fantastic book that touches on every aspect of this intricate event. It presents the technical details at an appropriate level and offers insight into the personal motivations of the key players. To top it off, Lowenstein, through his tone in narrating the book, enlivens the story by subtly interjecting his own perspective.
This book is utterly fascinating and fast moving. I couldn't turn it off! The writer makes complex issues easy to understand and describes the personalities involved weaving an interesting tale.
I think the book would have been easier to listen to if the author had a less annoying voice. Listen to the sample to judge for yourself. I had to put this book down and come back to it again and again to get through it. I am glad I now know what happend in the book but I feel that this one case where the abridged version would have been a better choice.
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