“It would not surprise anyone to find that in our work we come across some rather peculiar cases which are indeed stranger than fiction. You often saw the life story of some child unfold in front of you and there appeared little you could do to effect any change in the course it was going to take.” Chapter 36 Entrepreneur, The Cockroach Catcher .
Stranger than fiction!
“At the age of ten, I resided in some kind of a marital no-man’s-land, a beautiful but loveless gabled house.”
No this was not from one of my cases; this was extracted from a book I have been reading:
Fortune gave a fairly neutral review:
“It's the tale of Lehman Brothers, which rose and fell in spectacular fashion, ending with the largest bankruptcy filing in
Written with novelist Patrick Robinson, the book is engaging and even funny, which is tough to do when you're writing from the perspective of a bond trader at a now-extinct company. McDonald, who worked for Lehman for four years, was laid off in early 2008, at a time when the company's death spiral was already well underway but the world hadn't quite figured it out yet. But even then, McDonald writes, it was obvious to him that Lehman CEO Dick Fuld and his right-hand-man Joe Gregory made decisions that led directly to the company's demise. ……Lehman, says McDonald, went down because of hubris and arrogance. It bought too high, sold too low -- and oh yeah, leveraged itself up the wazoo in the process.
“……..One darkly funny anecdote finds McDonald and a colleague sitting in the
parking lot of New Century Financial in
“It was much too late to save the ship. The government opted not to save Lehman……In the early morning hours of September 15, Lehman died -- almost taking the world's economy along with it. A mistake for the financial system? Perhaps. But if McDonald's account of Lehman's final days is accurate, it was essentially built to fail.”
Lehman filed for bankruptcy protection on the 15th of September and
Barclays Capital wasted no time in acquiring the main Lehman US operation on the 17th of September. Common sense?
Lehman Brothers Building New York now Barclays Capital ©2009 Am Ang Zhang
A Colossal Failure of Common Sense is published by Crown Business, Random House.