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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
by Andrew Ross Sorkin
published by Viking Adult
© 2010 by Andrew Ross Sorkin

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From The NY Times
In "Too Big to Fail," Sorkin skillfully captures the raucous enthusiasm and riotous greed that fueled this rational irrationality. The brokers and bankers and traders he brings to life couldn’t resist doing one more insanely hazardous deal because, well, everyone else was doing it, and the profits were too alluring. The only event likely to disrupt the party was if real estate went bust all across the country. And then, that's exactly what happened.

Sorkin, a reporter and business columnist for The New York Times, has written what his publisher calls "a true-life financial and political thriller": 600 pages of dramatic scene play and salty dialogue in which powerful bankers and government regulators clash on the precipice of global depression. Since the broad outlines of these events are well known by now, "Too Big to Fail" can't deliver on the thriller billing. But Sorkin's prodigious reporting and lively writing put the reader in the room for some of the biggest-dollar conference calls in history. It’s an entertaining, brisk book.

Although Sorkin doesn't attempt much deep analysis, he does concisely summarize what he thinks all the maneuvering and sweaty panic add up to: "The calamity would definitively shatter some of the most cherished principles of capitalism," he writes. "The idea that financial wizards had conjured up a new era of low-risk profits, and that American-style financial engineering was the global gold standard, was officially dead."

Copyright © NY Times, 2010. All rights reserved.

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