Jen's Reviews > Too Big to Fail: The Inside Story of How Wall Street and Washington Fought to Save the Financial System--and Themselves

Too Big to Fail by Andrew Ross Sorkin
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Aug 08, 11

Read from July 21 to August 08, 2011

This was a very dense play-by-play of the financial meltdown. I listened to it as an audiobook and it was 21 hours long or as someone else has commented almost Too Big to Read. However, the degree of detail is what made the book so fascinating. I was particularly intrigued by the glimpse a reader gets into big bank CEO lifestyles. For example, they all had drivers zipping them around the city, but in many of these meetings, they are ordering in pizza and Dunkin Donuts. The classy and aloof was mixed pretty evenly with the casual and mundane.

I was also shocked at the decision making processes of both the bankers and the politicians. There are some factors we know lead to poor decision making such as a lack of sleep and time pressure. As professional decision makers, they were setting themselves up to fail.

The people who organized the buying and bailing out of these institutions were undoubtedly very clever people. They were able to devise financial products so complex that only a select few understood their inner-workings. And that meant that they were also able to construct a political product to benefit themselves that made if past government review.


If you can't get through the whole book, I recommend the epilogue. Here the author gives you his highly educated summary of what happened, what could have happened, and what should have happened.
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