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To Big to Fail

I am in the midst of reading on of the best books I’ve ever come across. The book is entitled “Too Big to Fail” by New York Times reporter Andrew Ross Sorkin. The book is a blow by blow account of the turbulent few weeks surrounding the collapse of Lehman Brothers and the Government bailout of AIG, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Sorkin had unfettered access to many of the conversations, emails and documents that passed through the hands of almost all the key players in the situation. It makes for a compelling account of one of the darkest economic times in our nation’s history.

There is a real sense of suspense in the story as Lehman Brothers CEO Dick Fuld is racing against the clock to try and save his firm by finding a suitor that would either merge with or buy Lehman. The series of miscalculations and misunderstandings that eventually led to Lehman filing for bankruptcy will be talked about for years to come in financial circles and in the history books. The decisions made by The Treasury Dept. as well as by some of the other large financial firms in the game will be analyzed and studied by historians.

“Too Big to Fail” is a story of greed, pride, envy, fear and ultimately despair. It’s an inside look at how big financial firms make decisions and how big a role the government sometimes plays in those decisions. It’s a story of how Wall Street tried to save the economy and itself.