free Too Big to Fail: Inside the Battle to Save Wall Street By Andrew Ross Sorkin –

Useful book to understand, easily, what happened during the financial crisis Gives some good and interesting info to make one owns idea of how the world is running. SHORTLISTED FOR THE BBC SAMUEL JOHNSON PRIZE They were masters of the financial universe, flying in private jets and raking in billions They thought they were too big to fail Yet they would bring the world to its kneesAndrew Ross Sorkin, the news breaking New York Times journalist, delivers the first true in the room account of the most powerful men and women at the eye of the financial storm from reviled Lehman Brothers CEO Dick the gorilla Fuld, to banking whiz Jamie Dimon, from bullish Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson to AIG s Joseph Cassano, dubbed The Man Who Crashed the WorldThrough unprecedented access to the key players, Sorkin meticulously re creates frantic phone calls, foul mouthed rows and white knuckle panic, as Wall Street fought to save itself Il libro veramente consigliato La versione in inglese consente di non perdere nulla rispetto al testo originale Il libro stato consegnato nei tempi previsti. Libro interessantissimo per capire gli andamenti e gli stati d animo dei protagonisti della famosa crisi dei mutui subprime. ok Unfortunately never received This is a very good book if you want to know what happened to Lehman Brothers but, if like me, you want to understand why and how the crash happened, this may not be the book for you It largely focuses on Lehman Brothers who were not the first major financial institution to fall in the crash and, because of this, there is not enough time to go into the same detail about the other banks and others that were involved It also assumes some knowledge of the types of financial products that were being traded such as Credit Default Swaps without much, or any, explanation of how they worked As these products were all interconnected, a better explanation would have allowed me to understand why the failure of one product would have a knock on effect in another.It does provide a good, detailed, insight into the pressure that the main characters were under at the time and is an enjoyable read despite my criticisms above. This book would have been easier to follow and 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 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. Hindsight is a wonderful thing and books are normally written with the benefit of hindsight But this account of the response to the catastrophic events in 2008 of as they unfold, portrays the uncertainty and momentousness of the decisions made on a day to day basis to prevent world financial meltdown It provides a gripping, page turning read even for someone unfamiliar with Wall Street.Sorkin touches on the seeds to the disaster the deregulation of the banks in the late 1990 s the push to increase home ownership which encouraged lax mortgage standards, historically low interest rates which created the liquidity bubble, and the system of Wall street compensation that rewarded short term risk taking They all came together to create the perfect storm.The account of the battle to save Wall Street interweaves the responses and actions of many of the leading players from Hank Paulson of the US Treasury, Tim Geithner President of the New York Federal Reserve, to CEO s, legal advisors and other key characters in the 9 major banks, and the key insurance and mortgage companies With the sheer number and complexity of the simultaneous negotiations, this could lead to total confusion, but Sorbin manages to provide a comprehendable picture of this complex situation.The book portrays the idiosyncracies and personal agendas of the people leading the financial institutions as they respond to the financial hurricane After the decisions of the Federal officials, Paulson, Geithner and Bernanke, to intervene directly with Freddie Mac and Fanny Mae and their underwriting the toxic assets of Bear Stearns to allow Jamie Dimon of JP Morgan to buy the first investment bank casualty, the pressure was on them not to bail out the fat cat bankers but to allow the market to find a solution to the investment banks predicaments When the British FSA refused to allow Barclay to buy Lehmans and expose itself to risk associated with its toxic assets, the deal negotiated by CEO, Bob Diamond, collapsed and Lehman s had to go into Chapter 11 bankruptcy This decision was followed by the rescue of AIG by US Federal Bank s underwriting of its merger with the Bank of America.Sorkin vividly describes the policy by deal that followed Lehman s bankruptcy and AIG bail out as the investment banks frantically negotiated major mergers or refinancing deals, often within the space of 24 hours, to avoid running out of cash as the financial system ground to a halt And he describes Paulson, Geithner and Bernanke s decisions, perhaps belatedly to introduce fiscal measures through TARP, through opening up lines of credit and direct investment by the USA government in the 9 major banks.The book provides food for thought on whether the battle averted disaster or whether it was a series of decisive but reactive actions.This book well deserves its shortlisting for the Samuel Johnson non fiction book of the year 2010. Might not be good for your blood pressure why did govts in the US, UK and elsewhere throw so much money at this industry populated with so many useless greedy uckw1t Why weren t they regulated enough to make their misadventures their own problem, not society s problem Are we doing enough to prevent a repeat entertaining read compulsive The characters are compelling and the personal motivations are credible There are a few factual inaccuracies you may get the feeling that the author was in a race with Dan brown to see who could write a book fastest but they dont detract materially