A real-life thriller about the most tumultuous period in America's financial history by an acclaimed New York Times reporter. Andrew Ross Sorkin delivers the first true, behind-the-scenes, moment-by-moment account of how the greatest financial crisis since the Great Depression developed into a global tsunami.
From inside the corner office at Lehman Brothers to secret meetings in South Korea and the corridors of Washington, Too Big to Fail is the definitive story of the most powerful men and women in finance and politics grappling with success and failure, ego and greed, and, ultimately, the fate of the world's economy.
"We've got to get some foam down on the runway!" a sleepless Timothy Geithner, the then-president of the Federal Reserve of New York, would tell Henry M. Paulson, the Treasury secretary, about the catastrophic crash the world's financial system would experience. Through unprecedented access to the players involved, Too Big to Fail re-creates all the drama and turmoil, revealing neverdisclosed details and elucidating how decisions made on Wall Street over the past decade sowed the seeds of the debacle.
This true story is not just a look at banks that were "too big to fail"; it is a real-life thriller with a cast of bold-faced names who themselves thought they were too big to fail.
©2009 Andrew Ross Sorkin; (P)2009 Penguin Audiobooks
"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." (Tom Wolfe)
Although I'm not even remotely affiliated with anything "Wall-Street" I have a high level of interest in economics and finance, so I had high expectations for this book. Those expectations were not met.
The book: The book is more about the people behind the scenes than it is about HOW the various financial institutions became "Too Big to Fail". And listening to the stories of how much greed and arrogance exists in these institutions was infuriatingly aggravating. My biggest complaint, however, was how the book was structured; there were simply too many people involved to allow the listener to keep track of who's who. And the tangents the author takes to provide background on many of these individuals, although probably intended to provide context, took the listener into so many different directions that it made it extremely difficult to follow the storyline.
The reader: The reader was "OK," but I didn't like the manner in which he frequently used inflection as HE thought a person would speak. Not having been there (the reader, that is) I have no idea how he can assume HOW a sentence or exclamation was spoken. After awhile, it got annoying.
At two-thirds of the way through, I had had enough and wanted to stop listening, but I had paid for the book so was determined to get through it--it didn't get any better.
It may make a good movie someday, but as an audio book I found it quite lacking.
This book is a must read for anyone that wishes to truely know what happened during the credit crunch.
I loved this book. I was not sure what to expect and this book completely exceeded expectations I had. I have a much better understanding of what went into the financial crisis in 2008 and the players that were directly involved. This book is not a technical review of finance but a narrative, story telling style novel that would make for great fiction....if it wasn't real. Can't wait for the movie being produced by HBO.
it was hard to listen of this book. Almost every page infuriates you because it seems like huge decisions that affect you and your money are made on gut feeling and the whims of the large investment bankers. what's perhaps more frightening is the government officials who actually make policy and decisions in this matter are good friends with all of the investment bankers. The story is mostly about the human aspect of the financial crisis and doesn't really go into theory realm -which is a nice change from most of the books trying to explain what happened.
I followed the financial crisis as it was occurring, but at the time I didn't have a good understanding of what was happening and why. Sorkin explains the causes of the crisis, the fall of Lehman and the political pressures clearly, in a way that appeals to someone without a background in the industry. The book is well written. In places it reads more like a thriller novel than a nonfiction book - I'm sure that more technical industry insiders won't appreciate this, but I certainly did!
Nearly 1200 titles.
This inside perspective offers true insight into the nature, cause, thinking and personalities that led to the biggest bailout in history.
This story was not news to me, but I heard so many talk about Andrew Ross Sorkin's book and I thought that I was missing something. It was an enjoyable listen but I got the feeling that the author held back on his criticism for Paulson and Geithner. Obviously, as a popular blogger for the NYTimes, and a young man, Sorkin was making sure that he would be able to make calls and have them returned. My problem with the story started with how he let these two off the hook and I just didnt trust Sorkin's analysis later on with some of the backroom deals where I had no frame of reference.
As a story, it is well done, but the author lost me when he provided cover for Paulson obvious mismanagement.
This book ate an entire weekend for me. I find the narration of the events to be gripping, and the hour-by-hour time scale during the critical time span between the failure of Lehman and the rescue of AIG to give me a lot of insight into the course of the great train wreck of the financial collapse.
Sorkin is too sympathetic to the people he is narrating. Ifound myself annoyed from time to time by the gentleness with which he approached his subjects.
On the other hand, William Hughes' narration was fabulous and upped my rating by a full star. This truly is a case where the quality of the production made the material better.
The story is inconceivable but unfortunately true. You feel like the story is happening with you in the room. The writing is great and the narration is perfect. All I can say is wow and if you are on the fence about listening to behind the scenes of the financial mess, get this book. I thought I already heard it before but this book makes your hands sweat with the stress of hearing the downfall of America's old established financial giants. Wow!
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