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3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (261 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: William D. Cohan Narrator: Rob Shapir Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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From the outside, Goldman Sachs is a perfect company. The Goldman PR machine loudly declares it to be smarter, more ethical, and more profitable than all of its competitors. Behind closed doors, however, the firm constantly straddles the line between conflict of interest and legitimate deal making, wields significant influence over all levels of government, and upholds a culture of power struggles and toxic paranoia. And its clever bet against the mortgage market in 2007, unknown to its clients, may have made the financial ruin of the Great Recession worse.

Money and Power reveals the internal schemes that have guided the bank from its founding through its remarkable windfall during the 2008 financial crisis. Through extensive research and interviews with the inside players, including current CEO Lloyd Blankfein, William Cohan constructs a nuanced, timely portrait of Goldman Sachs, the company that was too big, and too ruthless, to fail.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “The best analysis yet of Goldman’s increasingly tangled web of conflicts…The writing is crisp and the research meticulous.”


  • “The frankest, most detailed, most human assessment of the bank to date. Cohan portrays a firm that has grown so large and hungry that it’s no longer long-term greedy but short-term vicious. And that’s the wonder—and horror—of Goldman Sachs.”


  • “Brings the bank’s sometimes ‘schizophrenic’ behavior to vivid life…Cohan evinces an eye for telling images and an ear for deadpan quotations…and puts his skepticism to good use.”

    Bloomberg News

  • "[A] definitve account of the most profitable and influential investment bank of the modern era....recounts these events capably.....[and explains] Goldman's cultivation of a reputation for brilliance unique even in the rarefied precincts of Wall Street.....gives readers the information they need to ponder whether investment banking has moved in a constructive direction. The New York Times Book Review

  • "[Money and Power] offers the best analysis yet of Goldman's increasingly tangled web of conflicts...The writing is crisp and the research meticulous, drawing on reams of documents made publicly available by congressional committees and the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission. The Economist
  • [E]xhaustive, revelatory account of the rise and rise of Goldman Sachs....engrossing....penetrating....Cohan revels in a good bust-up and lingers over anecdotes involving intrigue....All the senior partners still living spoke to him, often very candidly, and only a few from the next ranks seem to have refuse....a vast trove of material The Financial Times
  • A former Lazard Freres & Co. banker and newspaper reporter, Cohan brings the bank's sometimes 'schizophrenic' behavior to vivid life...Drawing on more than 100 interviews with clients, competitors and Goldman leaders including Chief Executive Officer Lloyd C. Blankfein, Cohan evinces an eye for telling images and an ear for deadpan quotations. Bloomberg
  • In MONEY & POWER, journalist and former investment banker William D. Cohan launches a quixotic quest to show that Mr. Blankfein and his peers are money-sucking evil-doers that came to their riches mostly by nefarious means...(full disclosure: I was once a Goldman Sachs employee myself)....Mr. Cohan's complaints against Goldman seem to be that it is 'ruthless' in pursuit of profit; doesn't do enough to protect its instutitional clients from making bad decisions; works too closely with government; too often advises clients on both sides of a deal; and skirts close to the line of 'insider trading'. Mary Kissel, The Wall Street Journal
  • Like Michael Lewis’s ‘Liar’s Poker’ and Bryan Burrough and John Helyar’s ‘Barbarians at the Gate,’ this volume turns complex Wall Street maneuverings into high drama that is gripping .... [His] account of its death spiral not only makes for riveting, edge-of-the-seat reading, but it also stands as a chilling cautionary tale about how greed and hubris and high-risk gambling wrecked one company. Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times
  • Fascinating. The Wall Street Journal
  • A riveting blow-by-blow account. The Economist
  • Masterfully reported....[Cohan] has turned into one of our most able financial journalists....he deploys not only his hands-on experience of this exotic corner of the financial industry but also a remarkable gift for plain-spoken explanation... It's impossible to do justice to his reportorial detail in a brief review... Los Angeles Times
  • Cohan’s portrayal of the firm's dominant partners—whose gargantuan appetites and mercurial habits provide the unifying force behind the book’s operatic melodramas— makes this an epic . . . In fact, The Last Tycoons bears a striking resemblance to F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Last Tycoon. New York Times Book Review
  • Breezy and highly readable . . . For those of us who enjoy high-level gossip (most people) and an inside look at the machinations, triumphs, failures, and foibles of some of Wall Street’s and America’s most exalted personages, Cohan’s book is entertaining and seductively engrossing. Chicago Tribune
  • Cohan not only knows where the bodies are buried but got a guided tour of the graveyard. Financial Times
  • Rips the roof off of one of Wall Street’s most storied investment banks. Vanity Fair

  • “Well done and absorbing. Cohan’s grasp of the…recent inside politics of the firm is sure and convincing.”

    Washington Post

  • “A revelatory account of the rise and rise of Goldman Sachs…A vast trove of material.”

    Financial Times

  • Destined to be a runaway bestseller...There's no shortage of Goldman clients, rivals, and former employees willing to explain how greed and recklessness led Goldman to become too big, too powerful, and even too conflicted to fail. As one Goldman alum puts it, 'I saw what they did to their customers...They'd steal from them, rape them, anything they could do.' It worked like a charm...[Cohan] has produced the frankest, most detailed, most human assessment of the bank to date. Cohan portrays a firm that has grown so large and hungry that it's no longer long-term greedy but short-term vicious. And that's the wonder -- and horror -- of Goldman Sachs. Businessweek
  • A well-researched history and analysis of the world’s most powerful investment bank. Written with the co-operation of the top people at Goldman, Cohan’s book is neither a hatchet-job nor a whitewash – and all the better for that. The Financial Times
  • A New York Times Bestseller

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Dave | 1/19/2014

    " Investment banks is a synonym for mafia and Goldman Sachs is the Don. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Charles Stutsman | 11/28/2013

    " Takes endurance but enlightening as to the evolution of big banking. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Ashwin | 8/11/2013

    " After reading most books based on Goldman Sachs, it doesnt live upto my expectations "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Mary | 7/30/2013

    " I am amazed at how William Cohan can take a topic as dry as the finanial crises and make it read like a novel. I'm up the part where Jon Corzine takes over. But now that I've finished the book I have to say that I guess I just wasn't that interested in Goldman Sachs. "

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