House of Cards
A blistering narrative account of the negligence and greed that pushed all of Wall Street into chaos and the country into a financial crisis.
At the beginning of March 2008, the monetary fabric of Bear Stearns, one of the world’s oldest and largest investment banks, began unraveling. After ten days, the bank no longer existed, its assets sold under duress to rival JPMorga
Actually, Too Big to Fail began after the Bear Stearns meltdown so even though there was some background there, I felt like I hadn’t gotten the whole story so I picked this up to try and complete the picture. The two books dovetail nicely with this one concentrating on the history of Bear Stearns and how it became the warning alarm that something bad ...more
This is by far the worst of all.
The story starts on May 1st 1923,
and the author retells everything others have written and added a story of just about every cough, sneeze, and fart that occurred on Wall st since then.
This book clearly wasn't edited.
At 430 painfully long pages it just covers too much unimportant drivel.
About the only interesting thing he brought to attentions was the attitude of BS's exec's when t ...more
But these things happen and they're big, and when they happen everybody tries to look at what happened in t...more
He shows how quickly rumors about liquidity led to a run on the bank, and how fears that a bankruptcy of Bear Stearns could wreak fiscal havoc around the world led the Federal Reserve to approve a $30 billion credit line to help JPMorgan Chase acquire the ailing ...more
So I picked this up. The first 150 pages on the fall of Bear I found really interesting, if for no other reason than the author clearly has top level co ...more
""Destined to be a runaway bestseller...There's no shortage of Goldman clients, rivals, and fo ...more
Worth a read if you've already read "Too Big To Fail", "The Big Short" and maybe another book or two and wanted to ...more
William D. Cohan's "House of Cards: A Tale of Wretched Excess on Wall Street" ranks with Bethany McLean's "The Smar ...more
'House of Cards' will no doubt stand out historically a ...more
George W. Bush reportedly said of a proposed fix for the financial meltdown of 20008, "Why am I supporting a program I don't understand?" Whatever you may think of Bush's intellect and leadership, his remark is right on target in what it reveals about the complexity of the problem and the difficulty of arriving at solutions. Along with most of his fellow Americans, including many of those working on Wall Street and those supposedly regulating Wall Street, Bush found himself bewildered by the "su ...more
William D. Cohan, a journalist for the Financial Times and Fortune magazine and formerly an "investment" banker on Wall Street, has written an account of the financial company Bear Sterns from its inception to its demise during the initial stages of the recent financial crisis.
Cohans starts of his tale at the end with an account of the goings on as Bear Sterns attempted to stave of liquidation before going on to tell the story of it's inception and life, finally ending on where it b ...more
This book recounts the rise and fall of Bear Stearns, once the fifth largest investment bank in America and now a mere rounding error on JP Morgan's balance sheet. It centers around Jimmy Cayne, the aggresive CEO of Bear Stearns for the 15 years preceding its collapse, and, importantly, a renowned international bridge champion who spent much of the firm's crucial days perfecting his game.
Cohan has a point of view on the excesses of Wall St. and the need for better regulation -- a recent NY Times op-end piece co-written by the author ...more
Hubris is the operative word.
I read this in order to get a better handle on the economic meltdown of the late 2000s, the Great Recession, whatever you want to call it. I figured a readable account would do more for my comprehension than a dry economic treatise.
Shameful behaviors by multiple players.
I didn't feel much pity for the thousands of Bear Stearns traders/analysts/s ...more
I liked this book but wish it was a lot better. Cohan deserves credit for winning the cooperation of high-ranking sources. But his account of the specific decisions & events that lead to Bear's collapse is inadequate, suffers significantly from the obvious non-cooperation of two actors at the center of events, Warren Spector & Ralph Cioffi.
I worked as a bond salesman at Bear Stearns in the late '80s/early '90s, so I'm familiar with many characters Cohan introduces. After having reread t ...more
When the American housing boom ended abruptly, the good times enjoyed by many of the Wall Street giants ended. One of these giants was Bear Stearns, a smallish investment bank (among other things) that had a good, ...more
Prior to becoming a journalist, he worked on Wall Street for seventeen years. He spent six years at Lazard Frères in New York, then Merrill Lynch & Co., and later became a managing director at JP Morgan Chase. He also w ...more