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The End of Wall Street

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  1,988 ratings  ·  102 reviews
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The roots of the mortgage bubble and the story of the Wall Street collapse-and the government's unprecedented response-from our most trusted business journalist.

The End of Wall Street is a blow-by-blow account of America's biggest financial collapse since the Great Depression. Drawing on
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published April 6th 2010 by Penguin Press HC, The (first published January 1st 2010)
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 ·  1,988 ratings  ·  102 reviews

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Rebecca McNutt
Going to Wall Street (the famous financial hub of North America for better or for worse) is on my bucket list. Of course, it's not what it used to be, and the collapse of the mortgage bubble and its resulting Financial Crisis really ruined a lot of innocent people. As The End of Wall Street so cynically but truthfully points out, money has an uncanny way of bringing out the worst in people.
John McDonald
Nov 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing
In 1873, Walter Bagehot, the noted financial columnist for the Times of London, wrote the bible on banking and the measures central banks, then the Bank of England, should be prepared to take when a nation's banking system is plagued with dysfunction or the economy has receded. Bagehot wrote in Lombard Street,"every banker knows that if he has to prove he is worthy of credit, however good may be his arguments, in fact his credit is gone."
J.P. Morgan made an identical observation, more pithy and
William Breakstone
Dec 30, 2010 rated it it was amazing

”The End of Wall Street”
by Roger Lowenstein, The Penguin Press, 2010

Reviewed by Bill Breakstone
Somers, New York, Tuesday, May 11 2010

Here is yet another chronicle of the 2008—2009 financial collapse. It is a thorough re-telling of the tragedy, and though much will be found repetitive by those who have read many of the other books on the subject (and there are plenty of them) it does offer some significant new insights or interpretations that other authors may have mentioned in
George Bradford
Oct 02, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: m-o-n-e-y, america
If Wall Street is not working in the public's interest, why did the government bail it out?

How did Wall Street -- once primarily engaged in raising capital for industry, advising on mergers and selling stocks to the public -- migrate to casino style gambling activities with no conceivable social benefits? Why did the U.S. Government fail to identify and regulate Wall Street's serial risk binging? How did U.S. taxpayers get stuck with the tab for Wall Street's reckless greed?

Former Wall Street
Jul 18, 2011 rated it really liked it
With essentially the same content as Sorkin's "Too Big to Fail," Lowenstein's book traces the roots of the financial crisis and follows the events as they unfolded. While it doesn't have the same level of detail that "TBTF" contains, it does have more in-depth analysis of the events, something Sorkin clearly resisted.

With this analysis comes a point of view, and Lowenstein identifies under-capitalization of banks as the true cause of the financial meltdown. He points out, fairly, that there
Bryan Craig
Mar 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is another approachable book on the 2008 financial crisis. I learned a lot about how the crisis started; it gives you a solid background on how Wall Street become one wild casino.
Megha Sreeram
Mar 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
A detailed description about the happenings and what triggered it. I liked this book in particular because of the clarity. It is clear that the bankruptcy and the recession that happened in 2008 wasn't something that to off in 2008. It was like magma boiling inside the earth and finally thrown out as lava. Excellent read for people who like simple language and longer narrations. Although the number of characters in the book is a little intimidating.
Apr 09, 2012 rated it liked it
It is difficult to place this book in a list of recommended readings. It includes detailed information presented in a chronological scheme; but the writing style assumes the reader is versed in the language and operations of Wall Street. However, if the reader is familiar with the lingo of the business world - and derivatives in particular - and the operations of Wall Street, the book may be too simple.

As someone reading for casual interest, I got only bits and pieces of understand. Lowenstein
Kathy Scantle
Aug 07, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Of all of the financial crisis books I've read, The End of Wall Street by Roger Lowenstein was by far the most comprehensive and informative. Lowenstein went in to just about every single aspect of the financial crisis including credit rating agencies, Fannie and Freddie, Lehman, leverage, capitalization, Bear Stearns, credit default swaps, deriviatives, CEOs, subprime mortgages, Wall St bonuses, politics, Geithner, Paulson, Bernanke, Greenspan, Congress, Citigroup, the TARP and on and on. This ...more
Dan Schiff
Apr 21, 2010 rated it it was ok
A clinical, relatively bloodless recounting of the subprime mortgage bubble and resulting mess that infected Wall Street. Lowenstein's knack for detail is a plus, but he is more reporter than storyteller.

There's not much of a narrative here, and "character" development (since he lists an extensive "Cast of Characters" at the book's outset) is limited mostly to where an executive grew up, what his parents did, and how much he likes to golf. Attempts at color are few and largely unsatisfying. Do
John Gurney
Jan 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
End of Wall Street is highly readable, even suspenseful, although we already know how the mortgage crisis ended in 2007-2008. Author Roger Lowenstein commendably takes us through a brief financial history of mortgage lending and securitization. We are reminded of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and how, as early as the 1990s, they were loosening lending standards and fending off additional regulation. The late Clinton-era days of Robert Rubin and the ultra-low interest rates of Fed Chair Alan ...more
Apr 21, 2010 rated it really liked it
I'm a finance nerd, so I'm into this sort of thing, but even if you're not a fellow nerd, it's still easy to get sucked into this book. I've never read Grisham, but I'm guessing the narrative of The End of Wall Street is just as suspenseful. I mean, we all know what happens, but I was on the edge of my seat, gobbling this up, all testament to Lowenstein's writing style.
Vince Ciaramella
May 20, 2019 rated it liked it
Teaching Economics, I really wanted to know what happened. When one tries to research it independently there is a lot of finger pointing. I really didn't know who to believe. I took a gamble with Lowenstein's book and I wasn't let down.

I feel I have a better command of the chaos that descended upon our economy during late 2007 into 2009. His book was balanced and didn't hold back. It wasn't just one person or institution that was guilty, it was an interconnected web of shady deals, unregulated
Jill Martin
Jun 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017-audio-books
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Viktor Nilsson
Sep 12, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Finance buffs wanting to dig deeper
Shelves: history, economics
For someone reasonably well-traveled in the land of finance, but not so much in the province of mortgage finance and investment banking, this book left me with a deeper understanding of the mortgage bubble. I also found it thoroughly interesting all the way through, yet still very factual and not overly dramatized. I find the analysis to be balanced and unbiased.

However, there are lots of people and intrigues to keep track of. Possessing an EQ on par with a goldfish, I found those parts mildly
Gary Slavens
Apr 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Working in Charlotte, home to Bank of America and Wachovia, during the financial crisis, “The End of Wall Street” was informative and infuriating in turns. Seeing how “too big to fail” played out in reality made for page-turning reading. The most painful part of this book, however, was the realization that we, as a country, society, and government, don’t appear to have learned any lessons from the crisis. If that’s true, then I fear that we’re doomed to repeat them.
Mark Robertson
Aug 11, 2018 rated it liked it
This obituary was decidedly premature, as the bankers went largely unchastened and those too big to fail have only gotten bigger. Still, a good description of the US-centered events at the start of the global crisis with a healthy respect for economic theory and government’s role.
Nov 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great summary of the crisis.

As a mortgage banking attorney who was involved in loan pool reviews from that era it was an exciting look back
Caio Malufe
Jun 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Very good account of the world crisis and how it came to be the size it eventually got to! Highly recommended, especially for those who are interested in the financial markets
Dec 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Great explanation of the great recession. Recommend this to anyone looking for knowledge on what happened.
Brad Trademark
Aug 10, 2018 rated it liked it
Great info on the fall out of the housing market which kicked off The Great Recession.
Nov 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
Although nearly a decade old now, this accessible and engaging book gives a fascinating look at the events before, during, and immediately following the banking crisis.
Harsimran Sahni
Oct 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Great book ..must recommend to all who want to learn about 2008 recession.
Annalise Schamuhn
Nov 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Almost too detailed and play-by-play, but maybe that's what you're looking for! I admit I skimmed through a lot of the plot and focused more on the discussion and analysis.
May 06, 2012 rated it liked it
This is a book that works best as a credible marker for the events that led to September 18, 2008. It is credible because its author - the man who wrote When Genius Failed - is held in justifiably high esteem. You read this work, in other words, for its conclusion.

There is little else in this book that breaks ground. Anyone who has read one or maybe two other books about the collapse of the free-market system in the fall of 2008 already knows the players and personalities. Even those who haven't
Chip Lichtenwalner
Mar 11, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Obviously covers a lot of the same ground as All The Devils Are Here and others. Maybe I just don't remember those as well, but I feel like this went over some other areas that weren't explored as much. The liquidity and capital problem in particular and how the latter is what the Fed needed to do, which they eventually did with TARP. Also, this one gives a little more information on the talking point I hear a lot about from the right, which is that the governments push to get low income housing ...more
Apr 09, 2011 rated it really liked it
If you followed the sub-prime mortgage debacle as it developed in the news, I suppose there's not a lot that's new here. But the characters (Greenspan, Bernanke, Paulson, Geithner, and a long list of others in the front of the book) who were principally involved in dealing with the banking crisis, are all put together into one narrative, and even though I didn't understand (who does? - highly questionable that many of our politicians did, or do) all of the technical financial language, the ...more
Oct 30, 2011 rated it it was amazing
The End of Wall Steet is is a very thorough and critical view of the events leading up to and through the 2008 meltdown. This is surprising both because of the pedigree of the author (WSJ) and because the book started out as almost a cliche FOX News criticism of Fannie/Freddie and the "evil" enablers Dodd and Frank. I don't know if that was Lowenstein's starting point and he evolved from it during the writing, or maybe he is "fair and balanced" in a way that is hard to recognize anymore... but ...more
Tom Armstrong
Feb 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Classic Lowenstein, an informative, balanced look at the events leading up and resulting from the mortgage crisis.
Aug 12, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: those who wants an overall understanding of the financial crisis of 2007-2008.
"The End of Wall Street" provided an excellent survey of the financial crisis of 2007-2008. The book does a very good job of tracing the roots of the crisis and explaining esoteric concepts such as mortgage securitization, CDOs, SIVs, credit default swaps, and other relevant financial instruments. This foundation allows you to follow the chain reaction of events that set the stage for the crisis and how the dominoes tumbled. I had a general idea of causes and events of the crisis but this book ...more
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Podcast interview with Roger Lowenstein 1 1 May 23, 2016 06:55PM  

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Roger Lowenstein has reported for the Wall Street Journal for more than a decade and is a frequent contributor to The New York Times and The New Republic. He is the author of Buffet: the Making of an American Capitalist