Too Big To Fail – Andrew Sorkin, Book Review
Too Big to Fail is the book that has most clear explanation event by event about the biggest financial crisis since the Great Depression. Even though Too Big to Fail is Andrew Sorkin’s first book, he made it possible to most of readers understand what really happened in 2008 with the failure of Lehman Brothers and the resulting misfortunes.
Coming out in less than a year after the disaster, the book covered the whole catastrophic event, thanks to the meticulous research and countless interviews (made by the author) with those involved in the hassle. The title of this book basically covers what is spoken throughout the course of the story; companies that believed to be Too Big to Fail.
Sorkin starts writing about the months after the sale of Bearn Stearns that was a global investment bank and securities trading and brokerage sold in 2008 to JP Morgan Chase at the low price of 2$ per share then introducing us to the collapse of the Lehman Brothers and finally leading us to the bailout or how the government officially call it; TARP or Troubled Asset Relief Program, a program that was announced on 9-19-08 by Secy Paulson that basically consisted in a series of grants and outright purchases of illiquid assets that would extricate the problem areas weighing down the economy. In addition, money funds were to be guaranteed.
The details that make the history so interesting are the detailed information provided by the book of the behavior, personality and way to make decisions of the main characters.
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Sorkin focus seems to be almost exclusively on the human failings and human suffering on Wall Street that the fall of Lehman Brothers caused. In the story there are no specific villains but plenty of arrogant, blind and irresponsible decisions taken by some. However there are some people such as Henry Paulson, Timothy Geitner and Ben Bernake that may be considered heroes for their wise way to make decisions on pressure moments.
The book would be a handy guide to people who want a clear and concise picture of the series of decisions that led Lehman Brothers directly go to bankrupt and of course the resulting chaos that this situation meant to Wall Street and the rest of the world. The book pleased me personally because it was very realistic in all it was the attitude of each character on the problem itself. I liked how in some cases it became reflected how the main U. S. business leaders were unable to conceal their greed when it came defending their interests.