A Colossal Failure of Common Sense

A Colossal Failure of Common Sense Lawrence McDonald
Pub date September 2009
Publisher (UK) Ebury Press
Publisher (US) Crown Publishing Group
International publishers Guangdong Yongzheng Book Distribution Co., Ltd (China) United Press (Russia)

The inside, untold story of the collapse of Lehman Brothers

They’re the trillion-dollar questions of the financial crisis: What the hell happened at Lehman Brothers? And why was it allowed to fail? In this astonishing book, Larry McDonald, a former Lehman vice president, gives us the straight answers at last – right from the belly of the beast.

As he rises from a housing project to the New York HQ of Lehman Brothers, home of one of the world’s toughest trading floors, McDonald sees it all. The Wall Street we encounter is a ruthless place, where brilliance, arrogance, ambition and greed combine in a potent mix that fuels prosperity but occasionally destroys it.

We meet those at the top, whose reckless, pedal-to-the-floor addiction to growth finally demolished America’s oldest investment bank. And we get a close-up view of those who saw it coming with a helpless, angry certainty.

The story of Lehman’s death spiral is a modern-day thriller, studded with incredible characters, dramatic confrontations, insider meetings and remarkable revelations. It was a devastating blow to the world’s financial system. And it need not have happened.

This is the gripping story of why it did.


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