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A Colossal Failure of Common Sense: The Inside Story of the Collapse of Lehman Brothersby Lawrence G. Mcdonald
Synopses & Reviews
One of the biggest questions of the financial crisis has not been answered until now. What happened at Lehman Brothers and why was it allowed to fail, with aftershocks that rocked the global economy? In this news-making, often astonishing book, a former Lehman Brothers Vice President gives us the straight answers—right from the belly of the beast.
In A Colossal Failure of Common Sense, Larry McDonald, a Wall Street insider, reveals, the culture and unspoken rules of the game like no book has ever done. The book is couched in the very human story of Larry McDonalds Horatio Alger-like rise from a Massachusetts “gateway to nowhere” housing project to the New York headquarters of Lehman Brothers, home of one of the worlds toughest trading floors.
We get a close-up view of the participants in the Lehman collapse, especially those who saw it coming with a helpless, angry certainty. We meet the Brahmins at the top, whose reckless, pedal-to-the-floor addiction to growth finally demolished the nations oldest investment bank. The Wall Street we encounter here is a ruthless place, where brilliance, arrogance, ambition, greed, capacity for relentless toil, and other human traits combine in a potent mix that sometimes fuels prosperity but occasionally destroys it.
The full significance of the dissolution of Lehman Brothers remains to be measured. But this much is certain: it was a devastating blow to Americas—and the worlds—financial system. And it need not have happened. This is the story of why it did.
From the Hardcover edition.
McDonald, a former vice president at Lehman Brothers, offers an intimate look inside the mad house that Lehman became, and shows beyond a doubt that Lehman's top executives were totally out to lunch, allowing Lehman's risk profile to reach gargantuan proportions.
About the Author
LAWRENCE G. McDONALD is a managing director of Pangea Capital Management LP. He was, until 2008, vice president of distressed debt and convertible securities trading at Lehman Brothers. He ran an extremely successful joint venture between the firms fixed income and equity divisions and was one of Lehmans most consistently profitable traders. McDonald is also cofounder of Convertbond.com, named by Forbes magazine as “Best of the Web” from 2000 to 2003, specifically citing it as the Webs premier source for convertible securities information, valuation, and news.
PATRICK ROBINSON wrote Lone Survivor with the U.S. Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell.
From the Hardcover edition.
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