Barbarians at the Gate: The Fall of RJR Nabisco
The atmosphere at Tuesday morning's breakfast between Cohen and Kravis was no worse than that inside any commercial meat locker.
It's about as bad as All the President's Men, but the material kinda saves the ...more
It’s the story of an attempt to take RJR Nabisco private, and then a series of take over attempts that were instigated by the original privatization plan. Johns ...more
This tsunami of details in this story of the leveraged buy-out of RJR Nabisco would be mind-numbing if it were not for the sharp anger at the incessant and insatiable greed it highlights.
One feels an eerie sense of déjà vu reading this book. The RJR Nabisco takeover battle was fought in 1988, but the unmitigated (and unregulated) greed on the part of Wall Street seems to only have changed in form, not in magnitude. It borders (then and now) on the obscene.
This book is not for the faint o ...more
The book begins with the history of the two sides of the company. I’ll review their early history here, as it’s particularly i ...more
It's probably because I don't get around much, but I've only seen one depiction of greed that I thought was funny, and that's the one from The Addams Family, in which Gomez Addams shows the impostor Fester how to get to the money vault by pulling on the book titled "Greed" on the bookshelf.
Then there's the other kind of greed, the greed that is just nasty, heartless, s ...more
For example, the rise of Johnson through the ranks of Standard Brands, the late ni ...more
It was in my husbands distribution box at school. He was s ...more
The book turned out to be a wonderful read. I learned a tremendous deal about private equity, the mid-to-late century evolution of finance on Wall Street, and the important role of corporate governance in business. Some of these points were not discussed on an academic level (e.g. ...more
Detailed - and downright shocking - display of the egos and attitudes of hundreds of real people involved in the biggest private equity buyout of its day (and until relatively recent days). Describes far too many people to follow and too much detail, but the sheer magnitude of greed, excess and penis envy is amazing.
The DVD of the same title gives the abridged version of the story. It's quite hard to follow the story without knowing the background from the book. DVD also emphasizes Linda Robinso...more
The book covers the several weeks leading up to the buyout of RJR Nabisco and the various cultural, interpersonal, and business factors that played into the saga. We learn of some of the biggest players on Wall Street and Corporate America a ...more
Back to the actual reality of my current circumstances however, and the book was still very good bar a few issues. The claims of it having "the suspense of a first-rate thriller" m ...more
As i was reading the book, though, and as i have not watched the movi ...more
The only knock(the authors did help with this with a list at the beginning) is the cast of characters. It's hard to keep it straight at times who is in which camp.
Overall, an excellent bo ...more
I thought this would be boring. The book proved me wrong; there are more than 500 pages here, and it is a page turner.
The topic is LBOs or "leveraged buyouts' and in particular the LBO of RJR Nabisco in the late 80s.
In a leveraged buyout, company A buys company B with mostly borrowed money, attempting to make an eventual profit from company Bs assets. Making the deal happen can become a very competitive, complex and lucrative process. LBOs reveal the cross section of people in the financial ind ...more
RJR Nabisco was un ...more
Prior to joining ...more