When Genius Failed

  • by Roger Lowenstein
  • Narrated by Roger Lowenstein
  • 9 hrs and 16 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

John Meriwether, a famously successful Wall Street trader, spent the 1980s as a partner at Salomon Brothers, establishing the best - and the brainiest - bond arbitrage group in the world. In 1991, in the wake of a scandal involving one of his traders, Meriwether abruptly resigned. For two years, his fiercely loyal team - convinced that the chief had been unfairly victimized - plotted their boss' return. In 1993, Meriwether gathered together his former disciples and a handful of supereconomists and proposed that they become partners in a new hedge fund different from any Wall Street had ever seen. And so Long-Term Capital Management was born.Meriwether & Co. truly believed that their finely tuned computer models had tamed the genie of risk, and would allow them to bet on the future with near mathematical certainty. Thanks to their cast - which included a pair of future Nobel Prize winners - investors believed them. Four years later, when a default in Russia set off a global storm that Long-Term's models hadn't anticipated, its supposedly safe portfolios imploded. In five weeks, the professors went from mega-rich geniuses to discredited failures. The firm's staggering $100 billion balance sheet threatened to drag down markets around the world. At the eleventh hour, fearing that the financial system of the world was in peril, the Federal Reserve hastily summoned Wall Street's leading banks to underwrite a bailout.Best selling author Roger Lowenstein captures Long-Term's roller-coaster ride in gripping detail. Drawing on confidential internal memos and interviews with dozens of key players, Lowenstein crafts a story that reads like a first-rate thriller from beginning to end. He explains not just how the fund made and lost its money, but what it was about the personalities of Long-Term's partners, the arrogance of their mathematical certainties, and the late-90s culture of Wall Street that made it all possible.

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What the Critics Say

"This book is story-telling journalism at its best." (The Economist)
"Lowenstein [is] one of the best financial journalists there is┬┐" (New York Times Book Review)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Informative and interesting, full of suspense

I read this book with the aim of increasing my knowledge about the stock market and various terminologies etc. I did'nt want to read some dull boring book. My way of getting the hang of things when I am *very* new in a field is to listen (or read) on topics related to that field. Knowingly or unknowingly, you start to pick up terms that you had never heard of.

This Book was a very interesting reading all by itself. Many people are drawn towards the stock markets (or success in general) without understanding that success now can be followed by failure. That is the entire essence about being careful and playing safe. Risk management in short.

This book teaches how to be not blinded by present success blah blah blah. its a very interesting book. Informative and full of suspense. It surely teaches somethings. Besides risk management it teaches the value of experience and the concept of rising back from your fall. Many people just accept one defeat as their entire life. There is a lot that can be learnt from this book. Very interesting.
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- Pankaj

When Genius Failed

I could not listen for more than 30 minutes. The book may be good but I could not stand the narration. I suggest you listen to a sample before purchasing. Listen for a while to get a good sense of the narrator's style.
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- Sean

Book Details

  • Release Date: 08-27-2001
  • Publisher: Random House Audio