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From inside the corner office at Lehman Brothers to secret meetings in South Korea and the corridors of Washington, Too Big to Fail is the definitive story of the most powerful men and women in finance and politics grappling with success and failure, ego and greed, and, ultimately, the fate of the world's economy.
"We've got to get some foam down on the runway!" a sleepless Timothy Geithner, the then-president of the Federal Reserve of New York, would tell Henry M. Paulson, the Treasury secretary, about the catastrophic crash the world's financial system would experience. Through unprecedented access to the players involved, Too Big to Fail re-creates all the drama and turmoil, revealing neverdisclosed details and elucidating how decisions made on Wall Street over the past decade sowed the seeds of the debacle.
This true story is not just a look at banks that were "too big to fail"; it is a real-life thriller with a cast of bold-faced names who themselves thought they were too big to fail.
"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)
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Laura on 01-11-10
Initially, I didn't even consider listening to this book since I'm well aware of current events, and I thought it would be repetitive. After all, didn't we get enough of the daily harping on the factors contributing to our economic crisis? But The Economist listed it as one of the best books of the year, so I thought I would give it a try. In fact, Too Big to Fail is not a dull chronology of the events leading up to Lehman's failure and the creation of TARP; rather, it exposes the sentiments, conversations, decisions, and intentions of every major player and government figure involved with Wall Street's financial rescue. It reads like a suspense novel and is full of gossipy, fascinating tidbits which one would never hear on the news.
Sorkin's awareness of private conversations and correspondence between government regulators and the investment banking firms' staff is absolutely incredible. Since there haven't been any lawsuits accusing Sorkin of slander, I can only assume that they are truthful portrayals. He must have convinced friends, spouses, government staffers and high-level figures alike to recount everything they had witnessed, heard, or said. I don't know how he managed to do all of that and publish the book in such a short amount of time, but it's pretty impressive.
28 of 28 people found this review helpful
By Chuck on 12-08-09
Best Book About Meltdown
This is the 4th book I have listened to on the market meltdown of 2008 and this is by far the best. The others focused on the downturn from the perspective of a particular firm while this one gave detailed descriptions of the events that led to it. Clearly, Sorkin has gotten incredible access to the big players both in the government and the private sector to put together an absoltuely riveting book. I have listened to a long list of books on the economy and finance and this is by far my favorite. It's a great listen.
26 of 26 people found this review helpful