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Chasing Goldman Sachs: How the Masters of the Universe Melted Wall Street Down... and Why They'll Take Us to the Brink Again
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Chasing Goldman Sachs: How the Masters of the Universe Melted Wall Street Down... and Why They'll Take Us to the Brink Again

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3.61  ·  Rating details ·  172 ratings  ·  25 reviews
You know "what" happened during the financial crisis ... now it is time to understand "why "the financial system came so close to falling over the edge of the abyss and "why "it could happen again.""Wall Street has been saved, but it hasn't been reformed. What is the problem?
Suzanne McGee provides a penetrating look at the forces that transformed Wall Street from its tra
...more
Hardcover, 398 pages
Published June 15th 2010 by Crown Business (first published January 1st 2010)
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3.61  · 
Rating details
 ·  172 ratings  ·  25 reviews


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Richard Derus
Jun 24, 2010 rated it really liked it
Not to put too fine a point on it, but does the world *really* need another book about The Meltdown That Ate Our Jobs? Do we *really* have anything left to learn about these greedy so-and-sos whose pursuit of their own profits gifted us with a huge expansion of the Federal debt?

In a word, yes.

Suzanne McGee (a good friend of mine) assumes that her readers are smart, savvy, and plugged in, so she hits only the highlights of the WHAT about the crisis. Her brief, as the subtitle of the book "How the
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James
May 25, 2011 rated it did not like it
Very little new material, long, bloated, and boringgg.

I keep hoping to get some more insight into the crisis of 2008,
but the story is pretty much the same from book to book to book.

People on Wall st are greedy, stupid, and grossly overpaid.

It is unfortunate that MS & GS weren't put in bankruptcy like Lehman bro.

Raising money for corporations, their original purpose is a minor activity now.
Does America really need a couple of gamblers who are too big to fail?

The author recycles the Thomas
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Sajith Kumar
Jul 25, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: management
A great book on the American economy that does not economize on words!

Wall Street is the synonym of America’s financial muscle, where the most lavishly paid bankers and traders in the world decide the direction in which corporate enterprise moves. Occasionally, hiccups arise in the banking community which soon acquire dimensions that the government is forced to intervene in the market to set things right. Such a thing happened in 1929, which led to the Great Depression that had lasting influenc
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Susan
May 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is an excellent recap of the mortgage bubble and crash of 2008 which gives the history and underlying causes without getting bogged down in the details. I've read other books about the 2008 meltdown and found that McGee approaches the problem by examining the risk taking behaviors of Wall Street and why risk is so integral to the operations of the big investment banks.

In my private rants about the whole 2008 meltdown I have complained that risky trades shouldn't be allowed for publicly tra
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Alberto Lopez
Feb 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
As the seemingly perpetual performance leader, Goldman Sachs became the one others had to follow.
This author offers a different angle on a well narrated story about the recent financial collapse. Nonetheless and despite my high familiarity with the subject, the author succeeds at sharing unique insights missing from other books.
A fun read.
Richard
Oct 04, 2011 rated it liked it
Suzanne McGee is a contributing editor to "Barron's" who worked for thirteen years as a staff writer for the "Wall Street Journal." "Chasing Goldman Sachs" is not a history of the financial crisis that messed up the American economy; other authors have covered that ground. This book is directed more at the underlying cultural reasons that caused Wall Street's banks to go out of control by 2008. The problem is rooted in the change of mission of Wall Street financial institutions from what McGee c ...more
Tim
Jul 19, 2010 rated it really liked it
In the wake of the 2008-2009 global financial meltdown, whose epicenter was found at the intersection of Wall Street and K Street, many books (Andrew Ross Sorkin’s ‘Too Big To Fail,’ Hank Paulson’s ‘On the Brink,’ etc.) have emerged to describe the macro view of how such events co-mingled to send the financial system spiraling out of control. Now, two new books have surfaced to open the kimono on the inside machinations that gave fuel to the financial meltdown fire.

In “Chasing Goldman Sachs”, au
...more
Blog on Books
Jul 26, 2010 rated it really liked it


In the wake of the 2008-2009 global financial meltdown, whose epicenter was found at the intersection of Wall Street and K Street, many books (Andrew Ross Sorkin’s ‘Too Big To Fail,’ Hank Paulson’s ‘On the Brink,’ etc.) have emerged to describe the macro view of how such events co-mingled to send the financial system spiraling out of control. Now, two new books have surfaced to open the kimono on the inside machinations that gave fuel to the financial meltdown fire.

In “Chasing Goldman Sachs”, au
...more
Liam
Dec 28, 2013 rated it really liked it
"The relationship between Wall Street and its partners on both the buy and sell sides has been under threat for more than a decade, as Wall Street drifted further and further away from its core utility function and those clients generated a decreasing proportion of its revenue and profits." (44)

"[P]ublically traded investment banks found that their new shareholders had a slightly different view of what the institutions' priorities should be than the former partners had had. Both want to maximize
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jordan
Oct 16, 2010 rated it really liked it
Thought everything on the financial crisis worth reading had already been written? Now pick up Suzanne McGee’s thoughtful //Chasing Goldman Sachs: How the Maters of the Universe melted Wall Street…and Why They’ll take us to the Brink Again//. Rather than starting in the recent past, McGee examines how evolution in the financial system laid the seeds of the meltdown in the 1970s.

At its heart, McGee’s book offers two theses: first, that it was banks attempting to match Goldman’s extraordinary pro
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Patrick
McGee does an excellent job in covering the extent to which government regulation failed, investment banks failed, and especially in discussing the psychology that moves the "masters of the universe" to willfully ignore the iceberg directly in front on them as they order their version of the Titanic to go full speed ahead. It is for these reasons that I give a four-star rating. And also her discussion regarding the rise of "Hedge Funds" and the impact these vehicles have had on more traditional ...more
Alan
Feb 03, 2015 added it
I am sorry I didn't finish this book. It's not the writers fault, it's mine. I love books about Wall Street and Investment Banking. But, I'm on the side of Barbarians at the Gate and Liar's Poker. Book's that show the underhanded and dirty, loud mouthed sweary, excessively paid yuppie consumers and Porsches side of Wall Street, the Kids who complain if they don't get bonuses of $1million+ regardless of whats happening in the real world. Spoilt and entitled assholes who are in an industry that cr ...more
Joseph
Nov 29, 2010 rated it liked it
The book discusses a half a century of trends in the investment banking business model by featuring a series of interviews with Wall Street deal-makers. The interviews are surprisingly candid due to the bankers' frequent use of pseudonyms. Each chapter reveals a shift in the business model from advisor, to utility, to agent and finally to "casino". The book accurately discusses the timeline of these transitions and adequately discloses the shades-of-gray considerations. The book's title is refle ...more
Jennifer
Jun 06, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
I am not well versed in finance, and so this was a challenging yet enlightening read for me. Wall Street is compared to a utility, which makes good sense in many ways. I learned a lot about how Wall Street operated in the past, and how that has changed, and how the changes contributed to the meltdown. Being naturally in favor of free market and less intervention by the Federal Government, I am not entirely certain that government regulation is a good solution here. That said, I don't know what t ...more
Tania
Jan 24, 2012 rated it really liked it
This is yet another book I have read about the financial crisis of 2008. This book endeavors to explain how the culture of Wall Street allowed the financial crisis to take place rather than an explanation of what happened. I would not make this your first or even second or third book about the crisis, but if you really want to delve deep into the psychology of Wall Street this is the book for you. The sad this is this book was written in 2010 and the last few chapters are the authors observation ...more
Philip
Aug 11, 2012 rated it really liked it
It's all about risk management until it isn't. Everybody wanted what Goldman Sachs had: big returns in the short term.
"Big clients didn't want to wait around to sell big blocks of stock until the trading desk could find the buyers. Goldman kept the securities on their own balance sheet and took the risk. Unloaded them later, usually at a profit." Fiduciary duty didn't stretch to include the whole financial system. Bankers can't be trusted to look beyond their short term interests. "It's in their
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TW Yeung
Mar 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing
it's a book of exceptional importance in which not only is how the reckless way of business operation of Wall Street I revealed but also how it ends up in a self-fulfilling doomsday prophesy. the author outlines a roadmap for readers to take a judgment instead of having made one herself. a fairly researched and thoroughly explained thesis. all in all it's a smooth read even when the subject itself is of little of my interest. applause!
Glen Demers
The best book I've read explaining the financial meltdown on Wall St. in September, 2008. Not a lot of finger-pointing, just a look at all the historical events, such as the rise of online trading, investment banks going public, the repeal of Glass-Steagall, that led to the "perfect storm" economic disaster.
Ken Fields
Mar 14, 2014 rated it really liked it
Good take on how the company has changed over the years and more specifically how Wall Street itself has evolved - for better or for worse.
Jose
Sep 26, 2011 rated it really liked it
good audio book, good premise--everyone is trying to make that dollar dollar bill. lots of greed..
Ken Jacobi
May 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
Read "The Big short" for a micro level look at the crisis... read this book for the macro level book. A terrific and unique look at the crisis and companies/people who lead us to it.
Keith Clasen
Mar 06, 2012 rated it it was ok
Not a great read, a bit slow. Lots of numbers in a range that I can't comprehend so they quickly lost their meaning. It did give me some insight into the finacial meltdown that occured.
Jahodge6
Jul 15, 2010 rated it really liked it
Read if you dont understand what people in the financial sector are talking about.
Mark Rose
Jan 01, 2014 rated it it was ok
Just okay, there are quite frankly, many books out there on Goldman Sachs that are done better.
Geoff
Mar 09, 2015 rated it liked it
Interesting read, less an explanation of what happened than an exploration of the culture that led to the 2008 crisis.
Warren Hosseinion
rated it liked it
Mar 30, 2013
David
rated it liked it
Jan 28, 2016
Pam
rated it really liked it
Jul 06, 2010
Jeffrey Mastronardi
rated it it was ok
Apr 03, 2013
Jason
rated it it was ok
Oct 29, 2012
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