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The Lion Wakes: A Modern History of HSBC

3.69  ·  Rating Details ·  16 Ratings  ·  5 Reviews
This is the modern story of HSBC, starting in the late 1970s, when the bank first broke out of the Asia-Pacific region with its purchase of Marine Midland Bank in the United States. It follows HSBC's battle to purchase Midland Bank in 1992, the subsequent move of head office from Hong Kong to London, and the string of acquisitions that brought the bank to its preeminent ...more
Hardcover, 768 pages
Published March 17th 2015 by Profile Books (first published March 5th 2015)
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Breakingviews
Mar 02, 2015 Breakingviews rated it liked it
By Peter Thal Larsen

On March 3 it will be exactly 150 years since the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation opened for business. Normally such a milestone would prompt celebration: after all, the bank founded by colonial merchants now ranks among the world’s largest financial institutions. However, any merriment is likely to be mute. For HSBC the birthday brings challenges as great as any it has ever faced.

The bank was already on probation by the U.S. government for failing to stop money-lau
...more
Hrishi
May 27, 2015 Hrishi rated it really liked it
A worthwhile read - this book provides insights into the shape, culture, and overall trajectory of one of the largest, most significant enterprises of our age - one that I happen to work for!

I know its not fashionable to profess an interest in, or (horrors!) pride in your employer these days - or not unless you are working for one of the new "cutting edge" bratty Silicon Valley concerns - but surely there's something wrong with working in a place day after day and feel nothing of the sort?

So ye
...more
Mei Yue
Nov 26, 2015 Mei Yue rated it liked it
Although the book is informative on HSBC, it seems boring to me that the whole book has been centred on the flourishing side of the bank but it has never reported any negativity of the bank. I don't believe this bank is forever going on its smooth way. There should have been adversities for the staff of the bank to expereince and not only HSBC the most flouished bank in the world.
However, as I also like to read about finace, it really taught me much how it runs in an corporation.
Dinko
May 31, 2015 Dinko rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: banking
Excellent well written history books on what was formerly The World's Local Bank, but keep in mind the book is (C) HSBC Holdings... As such, one can guess that some of the more negative episodes of the bank's history have been ignored.
Nevertheless, it provides an excellent overview of HSBC's massive expansion since the 1970's, as well as how it managed to survive a variety of economic crises, including the 2007/2008 subprime fiasco. But the book remains an overview. There are few earth-shatteri
...more
Jan Bos
Feb 29, 2016 Jan Bos rated it liked it
Fascinating description of HSBC's early history in a country ravaged by civil war, foreign occupation and revolution. Comprehensive description of of its modern history (post 1970s) with string of acquisitions, a relatively good performance in the financial crisis - but also a good overview of the Household Finance debacle - and a subsequent rationalisation.
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