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Street Fighters: The Last 72 Hours of Bear Stearns, the Toughest Firm on Wall Streetby Kate Kelly
Synopses & Reviews
The shocking fall of Bear Stearns in March 2008 set off a wave of global financial turmoil that continues to ripple. How could one of the oldest, most resilient firms on Wall Street go so far astray that it had to be sold at a fire sale price? How could the guys who ran Bear so aggressively miscalculate so completely?
In this vivid and dramatic narrative, Kate Kelly takes us inside Bear's walls during its final, frenzied 72 hours as an independent firm. Expanding with fresh detail from her acclaimed front- page series in The Wall Street Journal, she captures every sight, sound, and smell of those three unbelievable days.
For decades, Bear had proudly recruited "P.S.Ds"- employees who were poor, smart, and had a deep desire to become rich. An elite family or Ivy League diploma didn't matter. Were you willing to do almost anything to make money for the firm? Were you tough enough to be a street fighter?
Bear's leaders were arrogant and didn't play nice. But their style had made them a fortune, and had helped Bear survive every crisis from the Great Depression to the dotcom bubble.
Yet as the subprime mortgage crisis began to brew, the firm's key executives descended into civil war. Kelly reveals fresh, never-before-told details about the moves that led to that brutal final weekend.
With a style as riveting as it is enlightening, Street Fighters is the definitive account of a once-great firm's demise, and the human folly that led to the worst financial crisis since the 1930s.
"Wall Street Journal reporter Kelly expands on her 2008 three-part series, written just two and a half months after the collapse of financial giant Bear Stearns, with an hour-by-hour account of the crisis that goes behind the stock prices and into the meeting rooms of top executives as the crisis comes into horrifying focus. A kind of 'dysfunctional family, driven by greed and a complex code of internal politics,' Kelly expertly breaks down Bear's vulnerability as a leader in mortgage-backed securities, with 'one of the heaviest debt loads of any firm on the Street.' As word got out that the firm was in trouble, a wave of panic selling sent the stock plummeting to $60 on the second day of the crisis (after securing Federal Reserve funding) only to bottom out at two dollars a share in fire-house-sale offer from J.P. Morgan. Enlivened by graphic descriptions of executive disarray and cameo profiles of scrambling financiers as they come to appreciate the magnitude of the disaster they unleashed (COO Friedman, when asked by NY Fed Geithner how bad it was, answered 'Very. End of the world bad.'), this riveting account puts the ensuing worldwide financial crises in stark perspective." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
The riveting, untold story of the men who are transforming global energy
In five years, the United States has seen a historic burst of oil and natural gas production, easing our insatiable hunger for energy. A new drilling process called fracking has made us the worldand#8217;s fastest growing energy power, on track to pass Saudi Arabia by 2020. But despite headlines and controversy, no previous book has shown how the revolution really happened.
The Frackers tells the dramatic tale of how a group of ambitious and headstrong wildcatters ignored the ridicule of experts and derision of colleagues to pursue massive, long-overlooked deposits. Against all odds, they changed the worldand#151;and made astonishing fortunes in the process.
Zuckermanand#8217;s exclusive access enabled him to get close to men like George Mitchell, who developed a new way to drill for gas in shale rock; Harold Hamm, who discovered so much oil heand#8217;s now worth more than the estate of Steve Jobs; and Aubrey McClendon, who lost more than $2 billion on a misguided gambit. Zuckerman shows how the frackers are now using their wealth to shake up Hollywood, education, politics, sports, and other fields, much like the Rockefellers and Gettys before them.
He also explores the debate over the environmental risks of fracking, and whether those risks are worth it for the United States to achieve energy independence and for the rest of the world to follow.
The acclaimed New York Times bestseller-updated for the second anniversary of the collapse of Bear Stearns
The fall of Bear Stearns in March 2008 set off a wave of global financial turmoil that continues to ripple. How could one of the oldest, most resilient firms on Wall Street go so far astray that it had to be sold at a fire sale price? How could the street fighters who ran Bear so aggressively miscalculate so completely?
Expanding with fresh detail from her acclaimed front-page series in The Wall Street Journal, Kate Kelly captures every sight, sound, and smell of Bear's three final days. She also shows how Bear's top executives descended into civil war as the mortgage crisis began to brew.
About the Author
Kate Kelly is a staff reporter for The Wall Street Journal and a former reporter for Time magazine and the New York Observer. She attracted international attention for her three-part series of articles on Bear Stearns, which ran on the front pages of The Wall Street Journal in May 2008. This is her first book. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.
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