July 12th, 2010

A Colossal Failure of Common Sense: The Inside Story of the Collapse of Lehman Brothers (2010)

Lawrence G. McDonald tells how shit hit the fan at Lehman Bros.

by Lawrence G. McDonald
More info @ Amazon
  • this is a story of a guy who gives his account of how shit the fan @ Lehman Bros leading up to the the economic crisis

  • don't expect an economics lesson, it tells the personal story of Lawrence G. McDonald and how he got into Lehman and what happened while he was there. From what I read elsewhere, McDonald was a pretty junior level employee, and he had limited exposure to a lot of the leadership.

  • Book lacks a big picture view of why Lehman went down, but it does offer insights of people the author was directly working with and what went down in his eyes.

  • The first part of the book is irrelevant to what was wrong with Lehman. He talks about himself and how he got himself to Lehman Bros.

  • book was damn interesting. I always had a vague idea of how Wall Street firms worked, but this book really shed some light for me.

  • it's interesting that many (smart) people knew that real estate bubble was bound to burst

  • as back as 2004/2005

  • the story emphasized that the leadership was a key factor that led to the demise of Lehman Bros.

  • in fact, the corporate leaders had their heads stuck so far up their own asses they couldn't see the bubble was about to burst when it was glaringly obvious to anyone who can add 1+1.

  • not only were they oblivious to financial Armageddon, they made the situation worse by going on shopping sprees which pretty much guaranteed that Lehman could not be saved.

  • I can't shake the feeling that the author is whitewashing some of the actions of his colleagues.

  • the book doesn't suggest this, but I have a feeling this was orchestrated somehow. The amount of incompetence and stupidity required to let things get this bad (inside Lehman) is hard to believe.

  • its worth a read for anyone who is interested in finance or the economic collapse in general

  • please note, I have absolutely no experience or detailed knowledge of how Wall Street works.

in a nutshell

damn interesting

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