House of Cards

House of Cards

A Tale of Hubris and Wretched Excess on Wall Street

Downloadable Audiobook - 2009
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In March 2008, Bear Stearns, a swashbuckling eighty-four-year-old financial institution, was forced to sell itself to JPMorgan Chase for an outrageously low price in a deal brokered by Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, who was desperately trying to prevent the impending catastrophic market crash. But mere months before, an industry-wide boom had "the Bear" clocking a record high stock price. How did a giant investment bank with $18 billion in cash on hand disappear in a mere ten days? In this tour de force, Cohan provides a minute-by-minute account of the events that brought America's second Gilded Age to an end.Filled with intimate portraits of the major players, high-end gossip, and smart financial analysis, House of Cards recounts in delicious narrative form the dramatic events behind the fall of Bear Stearns and what it revealed about the financial world's progression from irrational boom to cataclysmic bust. House of Cards is the Rosetta Stone for understanding the dramatic and the unprecedented events that have reshaped Wall Street and global finance in the past two years.
Publisher: [United States] : Tantor Audio : Made available through hoopla, 2009
Edition: Unabridged
ISBN: 9781400191680
Branch Call Number: Streaming Hoopla Audiobook
Characteristics: 1 online resource (1 audio file (1500 min.)) : digital
Additional Contributors: Sklar, Alan
hoopla digital


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Feb 25, 2010

This is a fascinating look into the history and collapse of Bear Stearns. Readers without any business background may want to have an Internet connection handy to look up a few unexplained terms, and the further you get into the book, the more convoluted the wheeling and dealing gets. Unfortunately, that's Wall Street for you. There are points in the book where it becomes clear that even the CEO of Bear Stearns didn't even know what was going on, so it's no surprise that even when we're presented with a fairly clear-cut description of the events, it can be a bit confusing.

Of particular interest is the cast of this real-life melodrama. Bear Stearns drew larger-than-life characters to itself, and it's fascinating to read about the clashing egos and hubris that led to the end of Bear Stearns.

This book does run a little long, and is only for those very interested in the crash of Bear Stearns. However, the collapse of BS definitely sent shockwaves throughout the economy as a whole that are still being felt today. If you want to understand the current "economic downturn," and you don't mind slogging through a bit of jargon, this is a great place to start.


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