By Greg Farrell
With one awesome exception, the companies that make up what we all know as Wall highway have consistently been a part of an inbred, insular tradition that the majority humans simply 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 overlooked by way of the giants of finance. With its “thundering herd” of monetary advisers, maybe no different company, no matter if in monetary prone or somewhere else, so epitomized the yank spirit. Merrill Lynch used to be not just “bullish on America,” it used to be a tremendous this is because such a lot of usual american citizens have been capable of develop filthy rich via making an investment within the inventory market.
Merrill Lynch was once an icon. Its surprising decline, cave in, and sale to financial institution of the US was once a surprise. How did it occur? 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 today although it got here with reference to destroying the yank economic climate? A tradition during which the CEO of a company wasting $28 billion pushes difficult 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 company is suffering to minimize its losses by way of firing millions of employees.
Based on unheard of assets at either Merrill Lynch and financial institution of the United States, Greg Farrell’s Crash of the Titans is a Shakespearean saga of 3 unsuitable 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 profitable turnaround—was undone via his trust smooth-talking salesman may deal with probably the most tough jobs on Wall road. simply because he loved O’Neal’s aid, this government was once allowed to accumulate an magnificent $30 billion place in CDOs at the firm’s stability sheet, at a time while all different Wall highway agencies have been desperately attempting to go out the enterprise. After O’Neal comes John Thain, the cerebral, MIT-educated technocrat whose rescue of the recent York inventory alternate earned him the nickname “Super Thain.” He was once 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. ultimately, we meet financial institution of the US CEO Ken Lewis, a highway fighter raised slightly above the poverty line in rural Georgia, whose “my manner or the road” 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 particularly didn’t comprehend, therefore jeopardizing his personal institution.
The merger itself seems to be a extraordinary mix of cultures that mix like oil and water, the place slick Wall highway bankers unexpectedly locate themselves reporting to a solid of characters directly out of the Beverly Hillbillies. BofA’s inbred tradition, which perceived manhattan banks its enemies, was once in accordance 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 problem spread and folks chargeable for billion of bucks of alternative people’s cash gamble recklessly to augment their strength and their paychecks or to avoid wasting their very own skins. Its wealth of never-before-revealed info and concentrate on icons of company the US make it the booklet that places jointly everything of the Wall road disaster.
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Extra resources for Crash of the Titans: Greed, Hubris, the Fall of Merrill Lynch, and the Near-Collapse of Bank of America
Crash of the Titans: Greed, Hubris, the Fall of Merrill Lynch, and the Near-Collapse of Bank of America by Greg Farrell