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

Too Big to Fail by Andrew Ross Sorkin
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's review
Jun 19, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: finance-economics-current-events, finance, current-events, money, economics

'Too Big to Fail' has been described as the definitive account of the financial crisis and it is easy to see why. To say it is detailed would be an understatement. The writer describes what the characters (real people, I guess) are THINKING -- That is research. I won't lie, I got lost plenty of times and needed to refer to the photographs of the financial players, which was much appreciated, but I always made my way back. The story is very fast paced which is appropriate because the events were unfolding quickly. Considering the tension of the time I was expecting a villain or two but Sorkin does not provide any. Basically, as he describes it, these people just got caught up in something they themselves did not understand and that includes Dick Fuld, who has been vilified by the press. I was surprised by how well Hank Paulson came out. In the media he was always described as awkward but he is the hero of this story. There isn't much scrutiny of the decisions he made but then there also isn't any exploration of how Wall Street got itself in this mess. This is a story about people and the analysis will have to come at another time, in another book. I did find this book too long. Sorkin's writing is clear and easy to read but maybe too detailed even for a 'definitive account'. Still, given the subject matter and the fact that so few people understand what exactly happened in the summer of 2008, I think it is a must read... if you're into that sort of thing.

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Reading Progress

June 19, 2011 – Shelved
Started Reading
July 10, 2011 – Finished Reading
July 14, 2011 – Shelved as: finance-economics-current-events
July 14, 2011 – Shelved as: finance
July 14, 2011 – Shelved as: current-events
July 14, 2011 – Shelved as: money
July 14, 2011 – Shelved as: economics

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