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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.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
This is another instructive book about the mortgage crisis of 2008 as it related to AIG. The writing is clear, the audible narration is performed well paced and the voice is well suited to the subject. I would recommend that the reader have some knowledge in finance and accounting—at least in the basics, to appreciate the descriptions of the financial vehicles. I have read other books that have discussed AIG and it’s executives’, but this one emphasizes AIG. Is it worth reading then? Yes.