By Greg Farrell
The intimate, fly-on-the wall story of the decline and fall of an the US icon
With one awesome exception, the companies that make up what we all know as Wall road have constantly been a part of an inbred, insular tradition that the majority humans basically vaguely comprehend. The exception used to be Merrill Lynch, an organization that revolutionized the inventory marketplace through bringing Wall road to major highway, developing workplaces in far-flung towns and cities lengthy neglected through the giants of finance. With its “thundering herd” of economic advisers, possibly no different company, no matter if in monetary prone or in different places, so epitomized the yank spirit. Merrill Lynch was once not just “bullish on America,” it was once a huge this is because such a lot of general american citizens have been capable of develop prosperous by way of making an investment within the inventory market.
Merrill Lynch was once an icon. Its unexpected decline, cave in, and sale to financial institution of the USA used to be a surprise. How did it take place? Why did it ensue? And what does this tale of greed, hubris, and incompetence let us know in regards to the tradition of Wall road that keeps to at the present time although it got here with reference to destroying the yankee economic system? A tradition within which the CEO of a company wasting $28 billion pushes demanding to be paid a $25 million bonus. A tradition during which Merrill Lynch executives are assured bonuses of $30 million and $40 million for 4 months’ paintings, even whereas the company is suffering to minimize its losses by way of firing millions of employees.
Based on unprecedented assets at either Merrill Lynch and financial institution of the USA, Greg Farrell’s Crash of the Titans is a Shakespearean saga of 3 fallacious masters of the universe. E. Stanley O’Neal, whose inspiring upward push from the segregated South to the nook workplace of Merrill Lynch—where he engineered a winning turnaround—was undone by means of his trust smooth-talking salesman may perhaps deal with the most tough jobs on Wall highway. simply because he loved O’Neal’s help, this govt was once allowed to accumulate an amazing $30 billion place in CDOs at the firm’s stability sheet, at a time while all different Wall road corporations have been desperately attempting to go out the enterprise. After O’Neal comes John Thain, the cerebral, MIT-educated technocrat whose rescue of the hot York inventory alternate earned him the nickname “Super Thain.” He used to be employed to save lots of Merrill Lynch in overdue 2007, yet his trust that the markets could rebound led him to underestimate the intensity of Merrill’s difficulties. ultimately, we meet financial institution of the USA CEO Ken Lewis, a highway fighter raised slightly above the poverty line in rural Georgia, whose “my method or the street” administration type suffers fools extra simply than capability competitors, and who made a $50 billion dedication over a September weekend to shop for a company he relatively didn’t comprehend, therefore jeopardizing his personal institution.
The merger itself seems to be a extraordinary mixture of cultures that mix like oil and water, the place slick Wall highway bankers all of sudden locate themselves reporting to a forged of characters immediately out of the Beverly Hillbillies. BofA’s inbred tradition, which perceived ny banks its enemies, used to be in keeping with loyalty and a good-ol’-boy community during which competence performed moment mess around to blind obedience.
Crash of the Titans is a monetary mystery that places you within the theater because the ancient occasions of the monetary predicament spread and other people accountable for billion of bucks of alternative people’s cash gamble recklessly to augment their energy and their paychecks or to avoid wasting their very own skins. Its wealth of never-before-revealed details and concentrate on icons of company the US make it the booklet that places jointly all the things of the Wall road disaster.
From the Hardcover edition.