Fatal Risk

  • by Roddy Boyd
  • Narrated by Joe Barrett
  • 11 hrs and 57 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Long-listed for the FT & Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year Award 2011.
The true story of how risk destroys, as told through the ongoing saga of AIG From the collapse of Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers, the subject of the financial crisis has been well covered. However, the story central to the crisis-that of AIG-has until now remained largely untold. Fatal Risk: A Cautionary Tale of AIG's Corporate Suicide tells the inside story of what really went on inside AIG that caused it to choke on risk and nearly brining down the entire economic system. The book:

Reveals inside information available nowhere else, including the personal notes and records of key players such as the former Chairman of AIG, Hank Greenberg
Takes readers behind the scenes at the U.S. Treasury and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York
Details how an understanding of risk built AIG, but a disdain for government regulators led to a run-in with New York State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer
Fatal Risk is the comprehensive and compelling true story of the company at the center of the financial storm and how it nearly caused the entire economic system to collapse.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

My favorite business-finance writing, full stop

Awhile back I read this in print, and I like the audio even better. This qualifies as popular business history, though it is a mild shade more sober and less tinselly-popular than Michael Lewis's (for example, time is not spent on physical and personal quirks of people unless it very directly feeds the meaning of the story). Yet, we get vivid portraits of these players as distinctive personalities, decision makers and actors in business. It is right at the sweet spot for me. This author can craft a clear, short, tight sentence that will teach the reader a lot about recent/contemporary business and finance in a few words, wrapped nicely into a story that moves briskly. Of course, I am a seasoned business history reader who is very centered there, so the terminology is already familiar. As for the story itself: we get plenty of fly-on-the-wall moments, with just the right nuances, as AIG evolved from its fascinating origins in Shanghai and founder C.V. Starr via the amazing stewardship of Maurice "Hank" Greenberg (a business genius by anyone's measure) into a player in an increasingly whirling environment of modern financial markets. We see the personalities as key to the various steps that wound up in its historic crisis and bailout. The rivalries and battles, the doubts and flareups are here without sugarcoating. And the central toipic of life, as I see it, risk and its pricing and management, is cast in so many different lights. This story has everything I look for in Shakespeare, in modern dress.
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- Phil O.

Near Miss

The author started off the book well, delving into interesting personalities and developing a compelling story. However, he quickly digressed by mentioning too many names and focusing on too many complicated financial products. It would've been better if he concentrated on a few key people and the key products. To make matters worse, he jumped around in the time sequence, which got very confusing. The narrator was okay, but at times would change his voice to sound like he was mimicking someone else, when in fact that was not the case.
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- Steve

Book Details

  • Release Date: 08-13-2012
  • Publisher: Audible Studios