Books that Inspire Me

  • Too Big to Fail: The Inside Story of How Wall Street and Washington Fought to Save the Financial Sys Andrew Ross Sorkin

    12 April 2012

    Too Big to Fail: The Inside Story of How Wall Street and Washington Fought to Save the Financial Sys

    by Andrew Ross Sorkin

    Overview

    Andrew Ross Sorkin delivers the first true behind-the-scenes, moment-by-moment account of how the greatest financial crisis since the Great Depression developed into a global tsunami. From inside the corner office at Lehman Brothers to secret meetings in South Korea, and the corridors of Washington, Too Big to Fail is the definitive story of the most powerful men and women in finance and politics grappling with success and failure, ego and greed, and, ultimately, the fate of the world’s economy.

    “We’ve got to get some foam down on the runway!” a sleepless Timothy Geithner, the then-president of the Federal Reserve of New York, would tell Henry M. Paulson, the Treasury secretary, about the catastrophic crash the world’s financial system would experience.

    Through unprecedented access to the players involved, Too Big to Fail re-creates all the drama and turmoil, revealing never disclosed details and elucidating how decisions made on Wall Street over the past decade sowed the seeds of the debacle. This true story is not just a look at banks that were “too big to fail,” it is a real-life thriller with a cast of bold-faced names who themselves thought they were too big to fail.

    Lesson learned

    Hands down the best book I have read on this topic. Andrew Ross Sorkin has done some of the most complete reporting I have ever seen. The detail he went into seemed as if he was in every room, on every call, and cc’ed on every email during the real estate financial meltdown. I have read over a dozen books on the subject and this is the book I will read over and over again.

    I think everyone should read it, too. It will help truly highlight how Hank Paulson, Ben Bernanke, and Tim Geithner saved the world from a complete financial meltdown. Often we hear criticisms about how they bailed out the system. “Too big to fail” walks the reader step by step through how they came to have to bail out the US financial system, highlighting how they really had no choice. The consequence was that they truly saved our financial system.

    What I enjoyed most about all this was learning how the system really works. We all have a big picture of how government and the private sector engage with each other, and Sorkin gives a more micro view into how things really work.

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