Review by Choice Review
Recent events in the financial markets have generated a variety of books written by participants and financial journalists. Some cover specific individuals (e.g., Erin Arvedlund's Too Good to Be True, CH, Feb'10, 47-3272, devoted to Bernie Madoff), while others cover specific firms (e.g., J. P. Morgan in Gillian Tett's Fool's Gold, CH, Mar'10, 47-3932) or specific securities (credit-default swaps and collateralized debt obligations in Karen Ho's Liquidated, CH, Feb'10, 47-3259). In Too Big to Fail, Sorkin, a New York Times columnist, offers a broad overview that encompasses firms such as Merrill Lynch, Bear Stearns, Lehmann Brothers, and AIG; their managers; and the efforts by Washington to stave off the developing financial crisis. As in the previously mentioned books, Sorkin relies on personal interviews and published materials to weave a story of human greed, ego, and arrogance combined with risk taking and regulatory failure. The amount of factual information is massive, but analysis of the causes of the crisis is minimal. Readers interested in the facts and personalities associated with the financial crisis will find this book fascinating, but those wanting to better understand the causes of the financial meltdown will be disappointed. Summing Up: Recommended. General readers. H. Mayo The College of New Jersey
Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
Review by Library Journal Review
This blow-by-blow narrative centers on the near implosion of Wall Street in September 2008. Sorkin, chief mergers and acquisitions reporter at the New York Times, concentrates his story on Lehman Brothers, AIG, and Merrill Lynch. With these and other financial firms at risk, Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, other government officials, and hundreds of bankers scrambled to avoid what they thought could be financial Armageddon. From hundreds of interviews and other sources, Sorkin constructs a detailed account of the meetings, phone calls, and even the thoughts of the participants, depicting scenes of bankers and government officials under extreme stress as Lehman went bankrupt, Merrill merged with Bank of America, and AIG became essentially a ward of the government. Sorkin's analysis ends with Paulson's forcing Troubled Asset Relief Program funds on the nine largest banks in October 2008. Verdict The level of detail and the multiple typos in the published edition will test many readers' patience. General readers may not find this the introduction and explanation that they were looking for, but Sorkin's historical account of this critical time is highly recommended for motivated readers already in the know. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 6/15/09.]-Lawrence Maxted, Gannon Univ. Lib., Erie, PA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.