By Greg Farrell
The intimate, fly-on-the wall story of the decline and fall of an the United States icon
With one outstanding 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 merely vaguely comprehend. The exception was once Merrill Lynch, a company that revolutionized the inventory industry by way of bringing Wall highway to major highway, constructing workplaces in far-flung towns and cities lengthy missed by means of the giants of finance. With its “thundering herd” of economic advisers, maybe no different enterprise, no matter if in monetary companies or somewhere else, so epitomized the yankee spirit. Merrill Lynch used to be not just “bullish on America,” it was once a major this is because such a lot of ordinary american citizens have been capable of develop filthy rich via making an investment within the inventory market.
Merrill Lynch used to be an icon. Its unexpected decline, cave in, and sale to financial institution of the USA used to be a surprise. How did it ensue? Why did it occur? And what does this tale of greed, hubris, and incompetence let us know in regards to the tradition of Wall highway that keeps to at the present time although it got here with regards to destroying the yankee economic climate? A tradition within which the CEO of a company wasting $28 billion pushes not easy to be paid a $25 million bonus. A tradition within which Merrill Lynch executives are assured bonuses of $30 million and $40 million for 4 months’ paintings, even whereas the enterprise is suffering to minimize its losses by means of firing millions of employees.
Based on extraordinary resources at either Merrill Lynch and financial institution of the United States, Greg Farrell’s Crash of the Titans is a Shakespearean saga of 3 mistaken masters of the universe. E. Stanley O’Neal, whose inspiring upward thrust from the segregated South to the nook place of work of Merrill Lynch—where he engineered a profitable turnaround—was undone through his trust smooth-talking salesman may deal with the most tricky jobs on Wall highway. simply because he loved O’Neal’s help, this govt used to be allowed to accumulate an amazing $30 billion place in CDOs at the firm’s stability sheet, at a time whilst all different Wall highway enterprises have been desperately attempting to go out the company. 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 avoid wasting Merrill Lynch in overdue 2007, yet his trust that the markets could rebound led him to underestimate the intensity of Merrill’s difficulties. eventually, we meet financial institution of the United States CEO Ken Lewis, a highway fighter raised slightly above the poverty line in rural Georgia, whose “my manner or the street” administration type suffers fools extra simply than power competitors, and who made a $50 billion dedication over a September weekend to shop for a enterprise he fairly didn’t comprehend, therefore jeopardizing his personal institution.
The merger itself seems to be a extraordinary blend of cultures that mix like oil and water, the place slick Wall road bankers without notice locate themselves reporting to a forged of characters immediately out of the Beverly Hillbillies. BofA’s inbred tradition, which perceived big apple banks its enemies, used to be in line 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 historical occasions of the monetary trouble spread and other people answerable for billion of greenbacks of alternative people’s cash gamble recklessly to reinforce their strength and their paychecks or to save lots of their very own skins. Its wealth of never-before-revealed details and concentrate on icons of company the United States make it the ebook that places jointly every little thing of the Wall highway disaster.
From the Hardcover edition.