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Too Big to Fail: The Inside Story of How Wall Street and Washington Fought to Save the Financial System--And Themselves

Andrew Ross Sorkin

Acclaimed "New York Times" reporter Sorkin delivers the first true, behind-the-scenes, moment-by-moment account of how the greatest financial crisis since the Great Depression developed into a global tsunami.

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Book Information

Publisher: Penguin Books
Publish Date: 09/06/2010
Pages: 618
ISBN-13: 9780143118244
ISBN-10: 0143118242
Language: English

What We're Saying

November 16, 2009

Too Big to Fail: The Inside Story of How Wall Street and Washington Fought to Save the Financial System—And Themselves by Andrew Ross Sorkin, Viking Books, 624 pages, $32. 95, Hardcover, October 2009, ISBN 9780670021253 Even though Too Big to Fail was written during the same year as the recent financial collapse occurred, Andrew Ross Sorkin has written what I predict will be the definitive book on the subject. It not only tells a gripping “perfect storm” story—with all the gory details as our 401k’s disappeared and our financial system became nationalized included—but the author humanizes all the players, resulting in an imminently readable, albeit lengthy, book. READ FULL DESCRIPTION

July 15, 2010

The Zeroes: My Misadventures in the Decade Wall Street Went Insane by Randall Lanes, Portfolio, 353 Pages, $27. 95, Hardcover, July 2010, ISBN 9781591843290 Every decade seems to have a nickname: The Roaring Twenties and The Swinging Sixties, for example. Randall Lane makes a strong case for the past decade to be christened The Zeroes. READ FULL DESCRIPTION

January 15, 2010

Freefall: America, Free Markets, and the Sinking of the World Economy by Joseph E. Stiglitz, W. W. READ FULL DESCRIPTION

September 16, 2010

The shortlist for the Financial Times and Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year has been announced. As with the longlist for the award, it is dominated by books covering the recent financial turmoil. The only two covering other topics are: The Art of Choosing by Sheena Iyengar, Twelve The Facebook Effect: The Inside Story of the Company That Is Connecting the World by David Kirkpatrick, Simon & Schuster The books on the shortlist that cover the crisis are: The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine by Michael Lewis, W. READ FULL DESCRIPTION

December 08, 2009

The Economist has released their Best Books List of 2009. In their Economics & Business category, they chose: Too Big to Fail: The Inside Story of How Wall Street and Washington Fought to Save the Financial Systems—and Themselves by Andrew Ross Sorkin, Viking Lords of Finance: The Bankers Who Broke the World by Liaquat Ahamed, Penguin Press How Markets Fail: The Logic of Economic Calamities by John Cassidy, Farrar Straus Giroux Poorly Made in China: An Insider’s Account of the Tactics Behind China’s Production Game by Paul Midler, John Wiley & Sons Check out The Economist's Page-turners for summaries of these titles and their picks in other categories including Politics & Current Affairs, Biography & Memoirs, History, Science & Technology, Culture & Society and Fiction. READ FULL DESCRIPTION

January 13, 2011

The article below was printed in last year's In the Books—our annual review of the best in the business genre. It my (possibly ill-advised) attempt to look at how some of the books published in 2009 tackled the macroeconomic issues, with a (possibly ill-advised) splash of Candide thrown in awkwardly, for emphasis. If you don't feel like reading the entire essay on the topic, you can skip to the end of the post and see F. READ FULL DESCRIPTION

February 26, 2010

The Quants

By 800-CEO-READ

I've not yet finished reading Scott Patterson's The Quants: How a New Breed of Math Whizzes Conquered Wall Street and Nearly Destroyed It, but I'd like to go on record now in disagreement with The Economist's review of the book. I do agree that Patterson's prose can get a bit "purple" in places, but I think his focus on the quantitative models developed and used on Wall Street over the last three decades is an important one. And the way he explores the topic—through the stories of the individuals who created those models—keeps the reader engaged in a tale that might otherwise turn too academic for most. READ FULL DESCRIPTION

September 12, 2012

It's the morning after 9/11, eleven years later. As I sat down to write this post yesterday, I began typing up a description of four commercial airplanes hijacked by religious zealots and flown into the heart of the American establishment: two hitting a set of twin towers in the middle of the country's financial district, which when built were the tallest on Earth; another crashing into a five-sided office building—still the largest on Earth by sheer floor area—that housed the nerve center of the mightiest military the world has ever known; and one that was brought down in a field outside Shanksville, Pennsylvania before it could reach it's final target, believed to be either the White House or the U. S. READ FULL DESCRIPTION

February 07, 2012

Paper Promises

By 800-CEO-READ

Our economic lives could literally stop on a dime. All it would take is an agreement redefining what a dime is, or is worth, backed by or tied to. It's happened before, and The Economist's "Buttonwood" columnist Philip Coggan believes it will inevitably happen again as the great international play of creditors and debtors enters its next act. READ FULL DESCRIPTION

October 28, 2010

The Financial Times and Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year was announced last night at The Pierre in New York City, and it was something of an upset. Raghuram Rajan's Fault Lines: How Hidden Fractures Still Threaten the World Economy, released by Princeton University Press in May, beat out more widely recognized and commercially successful books like Michael Lewis's The Big Short and Andrew Ross Sorkin's Too Big to Fail (which was the runner up last night, and which we named The 800-CEO-READ Business Book of the Year in 2009). The award was presented by Lionel Barber, FT editor and chair of the judging panel, and Lloyd Blankfein, the chief executive of Goldman Sachs who recused himself as a judge because of the number of books on the shortlist about the financial crisis—books he was a character in having been the head of a major Wall Street firm during the crisis. READ FULL DESCRIPTION

August 27, 2010

A Defense of Business Books

By Sally Haldorson

It's a common reaction. When I explain to people that I work for a bookstore that specializes in business books, most people either furrow their brows or wrinkle their noses. Sometimes this reaction is caused by confusion as bookstores, to most people, are brick and mortar locations that display New York Times best selling fiction, spin racks of greeting cards, and children's pictures books. READ FULL DESCRIPTION

August 09, 2010

The longlist for The Financial Times and Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year was announced this morning. And just as interesting as the list itself, which includes a novel this year, is the fact that Lloyd Blankfein is recusing himself as a judge. He is doing so because "a number of books on this year’s longlist address various aspects of the financial crisis," a crisis Blankfein was intimately involved in as CEO of Goldman Sachs. READ FULL DESCRIPTION

July 01, 2010

Too Big To Fail again!

By 800-CEO-READ

From Penguin: "Andrew Ross Sorkin’s Too Big to Fail won a Loeb Award for the Best Business Book of the Year. The Loeb, an annual competition administered by the UCLA Anderson School of Management, is considered the highest award in business journalism. " Earlier this year, 800-CEO-READ awarded Sorkin's book, Business Book of the Year in our annual Business Book Awards. READ FULL DESCRIPTION

April 20, 2010

The Greatest Gamble Ever

By 800-CEO-READ

Gregory Zuckerheim's The Greatest Trade Ever: The Behind-The-Scenes Story of How John Paulson Defied Wall Street and Made Financial History tells of how Paulson "realized something few others suspected—that the housing market and the value of sub-prime mortgages we grossly inflated and headed for a major fall. " But it turns out that "The Greatest Trade Ever" may have been something very akin to a rigged bet. What the book didn't tell us (because it was unknown at the time) is that Paulson had shaped the portfolio of mortgages—hand-picking the bonds it contained for Goldman Sachs—that he bet against to make his fortune. READ FULL DESCRIPTION

March 18, 2010

Michael Lewis's latest book, The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine, was released this week to a lot of media attention and bestseller lists. We'll review the book more in depth on this site and elsewhere over the coming weeks, but its very release is what's giving me hope this week. You see, for all the doom-and-gloom surrounding publishing these days, publishers themselves have done a quietly masterful job of finding books that put the Great Recession, and what caused it, in focus over the last year and a half—Michael Lewis being but the latest (albeit one of the finest) voices in the choir that publishers have been directing. READ FULL DESCRIPTION

July 15, 2010

Diary of a Very Bad Year: Confessions of an Anonymous Hedge Fund Manager by n+1, Keith Gessen & Anonymous Hedge Fund Manager, Harper Perennial, 260 pages, $14. 99, Paperback, June 2010, ISBN 9780061965302 Keith Gessen is the founder of n+1, a mostly literary magazine out of New York City, and the author of All the Sad Young Literary Men, which, as you can probably gather from the title, is also thoroughly literary. So, how is it that he has now penned one of the most fascinating books to date on the recent calamity on Wall Street? READ FULL DESCRIPTION

October 14, 2011

Once Upon a Car: The Fall and Resurrection of America’s Big Three Auto Makers—GM, Ford and Chrysler by Bill Vlasic, William Morrow & Company, 400 Pages, $26. 99, Hardcover, October 2011, ISBN 9780061845628 A couple of years ago, Andrew Ross Sorkin wrote Too Big to Fail, a brilliant and unparalleled “fly on the wall” narrative deep from the heart of the financial meltdown. Now, Bill Vlasic has written the equivalent about the American automotive industry meltdown from 2005 to the present. READ FULL DESCRIPTION

December 15, 2009

The 800-CEO-READ Business Book of the Year Too Big to Fail: The Inside Story of How Wall Street and Washington Fought to Save the Financial System—And Themselves by Andrew Ross Sorkin, Viking Books, 624 pages, $32. 95 Even though Too Big to Fail was written during the same year the financial collapse occurred, Andrew Ross Sorkin has written what we predict will be the definitive book on the subject. Sorkin not only tells a gripping “perfect storm” story—reporting the gory details as our 401k’s disappeared and our financial system became nationalized—but he humanizes the players as well, resulting in an imminently readable, albeit lengthy, book. READ FULL DESCRIPTION

Full Description

Brand New for 2018: an updated edition featuring a new afterword to mark the 10th anniversary of the financial crisis

The brilliantly reported New York Times bestseller that goes behind the scenes of the financial crisis on Wall Street and in Washington to give the definitive account of the crisis, the basis for the HBO film

"Too Big To Fail is too good to put down. . . . It is the story of the actors in the most extraordinary financial spectacle in 80 years, and it is told brilliantly." --The Economist

In one of the most gripping financial narratives in decades, Andrew Ross Sorkin--a New York Times columnist and one of the country's most respected financial reporters--delivers the first definitive blow-by-blow account of the epochal economic crisis that brought the world to the brink. Through unprecedented access to the players involved, he re-creates all the drama and turmoil of these turbulent days, revealing never-before-disclosed details and recounting how, motivated as often by ego and greed as by fear and self-preservation, the most powerful men and women in finance and politics decided the fate of the world's economy.

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