When Genius Failed - Roger Lowenstein

When Genius Failed

By Roger Lowenstein

  • Publication Date: 2000-09-12
  • Genre: Finance
4.5 Score: 4.5 (From 69 Ratings)

Book Overview

With a new Afterword addressing today’s financial crisis

A BUSINESS WEEK BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR

In this business classic—now with a new Afterword in which the author draws parallels to the recent financial crisis—Roger Lowenstein captures the gripping roller-coaster ride of Long-Term Capital Management. Drawing on confidential internal memos and interviews with dozens of key players, Lowenstein explains not just how the fund made and lost its money but also how the personalities of Long-Term’s partners, the arrogance of their mathematical certainties, and the culture of Wall Street itself contributed to both their rise and their fall.

When it was founded in 1993, Long-Term was hailed as the most impressive hedge fund in history. But after four years in which the firm dazzled Wall Street as a $100 billion moneymaking juggernaut, it suddenly suffered catastrophic losses that jeopardized not only the biggest banks on Wall Street but the stability of the financial system itself. The dramatic story of Long-Term’s fall is now a chilling harbinger of the crisis that would strike all of Wall Street, from Lehman Brothers to AIG, a decade later. In his new Afterword, Lowenstein shows that LTCM’s implosion should be seen not as a one-off drama but as a template for market meltdowns in an age of instability—and as a wake-up call that Wall Street and government alike tragically ignored.

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Users Reviews

  • A riveting, cautionary tale

    4
    By AmateurAsian
    This fascinating story, masterfully told, proved prophetic in light of the later financial crisis and government bailout of Wall Street in 2008. My only negative criticism of this text is the poor proofreading of the final chapters that contain a number of distracting typos.
  • A must read

    5
    By Former Texas Football Player
    A brilliant book on financial models run amuck. All models have assumptions, and assumptions are set by humans. And leverage can be your best friend and your worst enemy.
  • When Genius Failed

    5
    By James Ann Fung
    Once in your hand you don't want to put it down till you finish reading it. It is totally worth your time to read it.
  • Leverage at its best

    5
    By SFMusic
    Must read as it reminds us how history can be prone to repeat itself. This should find itself on the bookshelf for generations to come as part of the history for current finance.