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The Accidental Investment Banker: Inside the Decade That Transformed Wall Street
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The Accidental Investment Banker: Inside the Decade That Transformed Wall Street

3.48 of 5 stars 3.48  ·  rating details  ·  380 ratings  ·  30 reviews
Jonathan A. Knee had a ringside seat during the go-go, boom-and-bust decade and into the 21st century, at the two most prestigious investment banks on Wall Street--Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley. In this candid and irreverent insider's account of an industry in free fall, Knee captures an exhilarating era of fabulous deal-making in a free-wheeling Internet economy--and t ...more
Hardcover, 254 pages
Published August 1st 2006 by Oxford University Press, USA (first published 2006)
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Esther
This book sat on my shelf for a long time, after I found Liar's Poker a most disappointing read. This book is quite different - much more informative and introspective - and ultimately much more worth a read.

"Liar's Poker" was recommended it to me as a 'rollick' but when I read it, I found these self-important, abrasive characters who bullied their way around deeply depressing against the backdrop of the knowledge that the markets they invented, ultimately brought the financial markets - and wit
...more
karl
Jun 20, 2008 karl rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Investment Banker wannabe's
Recommended to karl by: former student
Paul and I read this book, which a former student (who works with the author) gave us. Jonathan Knee is now a managing director in the media group at Evercore, a boutique investment banking firm that specializes in advising activities. The book blends historical background on the big IB'ing firms, description of what IB'ers do and how the industry has changed over the last 20 years, and Jonahan's career autobiography including his 15+ years with GS in London and MS in New York. He does not duck ...more
Haider Hussain
Written in a biographical style, The Accidental Investment Banker is more a critique than a memoir. Not as informative as i expected, but still, it gives the reader an insider's view on how the investment banking culture, norms and practices have changed in the last couple of decades.
David Lau
Good for aspiring Ibankers, current professionals, or those just curious about the soft nuances of the profession. Money, women, politics, it almost runs the risk of falling into the category of literature candidates for film rendition. However, Knee's credibility and no-nonsense writing style gives the book a grimy, realistic feel so that the reader feels like he is, for the moment, living vicariously as an ibanker. Don't expect to learn too much about the field but the book does provide a dece ...more
Margaret
Review of the I-Banking industry from the 80s - 06 from the perspective of a man working at both Goldman and Morgan Stanley during this period. There is also a historical overview of the inception and growth of the industry from 1930 forward. The content is about 1/2 personal anecdote, 1/2 reportage/ethnographic discussion. I really enjoyed it for the education on the industry but it would be utterly boring if you didn't have some desire for such an education and were purely looking for a compel ...more
DebZ
Fascinating personal account of time spent at powerhouse investment banks Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley during the boom and bust of the late 90s/early 00s. Combines stories of deals with details on the inner workings of the banks and a thoughtful analysis on changes in the industry. I thoroughly enjoyed the book and would recommend it to anyone interested in finance or business.
James
By page 14 I was thinking this is a boring book.

Then on Page 15 the author himself says:
"Admit it. That shit is B-O-R-I-N-G"

Mostly the book is gossip about the author and how important he is.

To the extent the book covers investment banking, it is simplistic AND B-O-R-I-N-G.

Published in 2006, it has nothing about recent developments in the financial markets.



Keith
The coolest thing about this book is where it is talking about the star wars that went on at Goldman Sachs but written before John Corzine became Governor of New Jersey, before Hank Paulson became Secretary of the Treasury, certainly before Hank Paulson became a household name, and several other luminaries that graduated from Goldman into the public eye.
Sean
This book reads as a personal vanity project of the writer, who spends most of the book fawning over brand names and name-dropping as much as possible. While there are a few interesting historical factoids sprinkled throughout the text, the whole book seems to serve primarily as a vehicle for the self-promotion and self-aggrandizement of the writer.
Brad Hayes
If you seek a "trusted advisor" to provide a behind-the-scenes view of The Street, you'd be wise to find Jonathan Knee. His dry wit makes his story all the more enjoyable.
Jim
Nov 14, 2007 Jim rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone interested in investment banking, or finance in general
A good, accesible inside view of how investment banking works and how it has developed over the past several decades - particularly during the 90s and early 00s. Author does a good job of weaving his personal experience with the larger course of events in the investment banking world.
Jules
Good insight into inner workings of Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, as well as what investment banking used to be like in a previous life.

Well written in a straight-forward manner. Good intro to what investment banking actually is, without the glossy, glamourous cover.
Greg
Don't expect too much out of it without a background in the big players, both the personalities and the businesses. But it's an interesting enough insider look at the world of investment banking from 1995-2005.
Michal
very informative ,clear, and interesting. written as a personal hisoty, this book provides a rare inside look into how the banking industry is run and what it takes to succeed in the field.
Jose
Great coming of age story that documents the excesses of Wall Street during the go-go 80's era from a first person perspective. For fans of Michael Lewis' Liars Poker and vice-versa.
David Pincus
I was just starting to get interested in finance. While this book was very interesting, I did feel that some parts might have been a little dry, and not that interesting for a beginner
Jill
Seth gave this book to me to learn about investment banking. Knee's anecdotes, humor and in-depth analysis make this a must read for the mom of a future investment banker.
Nicole
Mar 28, 2008 Nicole is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
read half through it. its very interesting and very relatable for me. unfortunately when im not at work its hard to want to spend time reading about it.
Terri
interesting, but not nearly as intriguing as the reviews led me to be believe. it is NOT "the devil wears prada" for investment banking!
Alan Wu
Interesting and chockful of fun facts, don't pick it up without some passion for the industry and Finance 101 knowledge.
Jude
It was interesting to me, but I can't believe it got published, because he's not a very good writer.
Shriram Narayanan
very good book, not as much of a page turner as Liar's poker but broader and also quite detailed
Todd
I learned that you can be an investment banker and not be a jerk. Maybe.
Kathy
Good insights into the financial industry culture.
Mikhail Dubov
A very good introduction to the world of M&A
Christina Boyle
Jonathan Knee is a witty writer.
Jose
backstage of investment banking.
Mona Zhang
Easy to read, fun and vivid
Scotty
Crazy; worth reading.
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