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Too Big to Fail: Inside the Battle to Save Wall Street by [Sorkin, Andrew Ross]
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Too Big to Fail: Inside the Battle to Save Wall Street Kindle Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 123 customer reviews

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Length: 616 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Review

..".comprehensive and chilling..."
-"TIME"
..".his action scenes are intimate and engaging..."
-"The New Yorker"
"Sorkin's prodigious reporting and lively writing put the reader in the room for some of the biggest-dollar conference calls in history. It's an entertaining book, brisk book...Sorkin skillfully captures the raucous enthusiasm and riotous greed that fueled this rational irrationality."
-"The New York Times Book Review"
..".brings the drama alive with unusual inside access and compelling detail...A deeply researched account of the financial meltdown."
-"BusinessWeek"
..".meticulously researched...told brilliantly. Other blow-by-blow accounts are in the works. It is hard to imagine them being this riveting."
-"The Economist"
"Sorkin's densely detailed and astonishing narrative of the epic financial crisis of 2008 is an extraordinary achievement that will be hard to surpass as the definitive account...as a dramatic close-up, his book is hard to beat."
-"Financial Times"
"Sorkin's book, like its author, is a phenom...an absolute tour de force."
-"The American Prospect"
"Andrew Ross Sorkin pens what may be the definitive history of the banking crisis."
-"The Atlantic Monthly"
"Andrew Ross Sorkin has written a fascinating, scene-by-scene saga of the eyeless trying to march the clueless through Great Depression II."
-Tom Wolfe
..".Sorkin has succeeded in writing "the" book of the crisis, with amazing levels of detail and access."
-Reuters
"Sorkin can write. His storytelling makes "Liar's Poker" look like a children's book."
-SNL Financial

About the Author

Andrew Ross Sorkin is the award-winning chief mergers and acquisitions reporter for "The New York Times," a columnist, and assistant editor of business and finance news. He is also the editor and founder of DealBook, an online daily financial report. He has won a Gerald Loeb Award, the highest honor in business journalism, and a Society of American Business Editors and Writers Award. In 2007, the World Economic Forum named him a Young Global Leader.


Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2918 KB
  • Print Length: 616 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin (1 July 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002VNFNZ6
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars 123 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #57,136 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This fascinating and compulsively readable book seeks to spill the beans on what was going on at the highest levels during those calamitous weeks in summer/autumn 2008 when the financial system of the U.S. (and beyond) was on the brink of collapse. Using a vast amount of interviews with a number of the top bank CEOs, their boards and colleagues and with the top players in government (possibly with the exception of Ben Bernanke), Sorkin has created a remarkable narrative illuminating exactly what happened behind closed doors as Lehman Brothers sunk and AIG and American finance's most storied institutions tottered on the brink, culminating in the notorious 'bailout' legislation. The conversations, the phonecalls, the deals, the shuttling back-and-forth, the extraordinary meetings of the heads of the mafia-like Wall Street 'families,' the fear and the panic: it's all here in this gripping book.

It's a great read and the author succeeds admirably in his stated aim of showing these titans of the economy as human beings under immense strain, being forced to improvise their way through the most testing of circumstances. It makes the macho world of high, high finance seductive and intriguing and made me hungry to read more books from the business section. The writer even makes the people he portrays come across sympathetically and it is good to see the British government, in a cameo role, standing up for itself in the face of American pressure (not that it seems that way to the Americans themselves!)

However, it fails to go further. Sorkin provides very little in the way of context and analysis.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The global recession that raged through the entire globe in 2008-2009 was one of the biggest in history. The causes are complicated and it underlined how interconnected the global economy really is.

What Sorkin does is introduce the major (mainly American) players in this tale of an inexorable slide into chaos across the world's economies and show you what they were thinking and how they responded. In 100 years this book will be priceless as we get a look at the human element more than the numbers. He interviewed them, and dissected their statements with colleagues what this leaves us with is a day by day guide to what happened.

It reads almost like a Dan Brown thriller, it is page turning stuff which is a major achievement as this is ultimately a tale of middle aged men talking a lot about sub prime mortgages, however jargon is either avoided or explained and the sheer pace and authority of the writing pulls you in and keeps you engaged.

In short this is a must read.

If you liked this there's more historical debate and fun at @HistoryGems on Facebook and Twitter
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is the first and gripping inside story of the unfolding drama of the 2008 financial crisis, the worst since the great depression, which metastasized like a mailignant cancer to envelope the whole world.

The author, Andrew Ross Sorkin, a business writer at the New York Times, has conducted a meticulous research drawing on 200 of those participated in the events it covers. The book is as detailed as spiced with many colourful anectodes.

The book is the definitive story of the most powerful men in finance and politics grappling with success and failure, ego, and, ultimately, the fate of the world's economy but also elucidating how decisions made in the Wall Street over the last decade sowed the seeds of financial catastrophe.

The book reconstructs vividly the events surrounding the seizure of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, Lehman's Brothers collapse, the rescue of the American International Goup (AIG) and the shoring of big banks' capital with Public funds.

The book describes vividly the confusion, reversal and arbitrariness of policy decisions. Regulators would back a merger in one instance only to reverse it in the next for reasons that confused bankers. The $700 billion of the Troubled Asset Relief was a monument of arbitrariness and guesswork. The improvisations evident across Wall Street was similary notorious.

The author casts protagonists in different light. Hank Paulson, the then Treasury Secretary, acted decisively but not always wisely. Tim Geithner then President of the Federal Reserve of New York was tough minded while Ben Bernanke, Chairman of the Federal Reserve was cool headed and professorial. Under unfavourable light comes Christopher Cox, then the wavering head of the Securities and Exchange Commission.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book would have been easier to follow and more impactful if it had been shorter. You can see the author's problem from the 38 page appendix (in small typeface) "Notes and Sources", where he lists the sources he was allowed to cite, though he also had plenty more from sources he was not allowed to cite. Most reviewers have reveled in this level of detail - but some readers will find it just gets in the way.

My abiding insight after finishing the book is that few if any of the big hitters of Wall Street had any particular wisdom. Many financial institutions were brought to the knees because their leaders completely failed to understand the level of risk they had taken on. They were not nearly as smart as their pay-packets implied, but just ordinary human beings who had risen above their levels of competence.

In summary, this book does give you a lot of insight into the events on Wall Street, and little insight into the peripheral role played by some UK banks. But unless you like devouring a large stack of background material, you will find it frustratingly long-winded.
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