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4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (8,684 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Andrew Ross Sorkin Narrator: William Hughes Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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A real-life thriller about the most tumultuous period in America’s financial history by an acclaimed New York Times reporter

Andrew Ross Sorkin delivers the first true, behind-the-scenes, moment-by-moment account of how the greatest financial crisis since the Great Depression developed into a global tsunami.

From inside the corner office at Lehman Brothers to secret meetings in South Korea and the corridors of Washington, Too Big to Fail is the definitive story of the most powerful men and women in finance and politics grappling with success and failure, ego and greed, and, ultimately, the fate of the world’s economy.

“We’ve got to get some foam down on the runway!” a sleepless Timothy Geithner, the then-president of the Federal Reserve of New York, would tell Henry M. Paulson, the Treasury secretary, about the catastrophic crash the world’s financial system would experience. Through unprecedented access to the players involved, Too Big to Fail re-creates all the drama and turmoil, revealing never-before disclosed details and elucidating how decisions made on Wall Street over the past decade sowed the seeds of the debacle.

This true story is not just a look at banks that were “too big to fail”; it is a real-life thriller with a cast of bold-faced names who themselves thought they were too big to fail.

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Quotes & Awards

  • Sorkin's book, like its author, is a phenom...an absolute tour de force. The American Prospect
  • Andrew Ross Sorkin pens what may be the definitive history of the banking crisis. The Atlantic Monthly
  • Andrew Ross Sorkin has written a fascinating, scene-by-scene saga of the eyeless trying to march the clueless through Great Depression II. Tom Wolfe
  • ...Sorkin has succeeded in writing the book of the crisis, with amazing levels of detail and access. Reuters
  • Sorkin can write. His storytelling makes "Liar's Poker" look like a children's book. SNL Financial
  • ...meticulously researched...told brilliantly. Other blow-by-blow accounts are in the works. It is hard to imagine them being this riveting. The Economist
  • Sorkin's densely detailed and astonishing narrative of the epic financial crisis of 2008 is an extraordinary achievement that will be hard to surpass as the definitive account...as a dramatic close-up, his book is hard to beat. Financial Times
  • ...comprehensive and chilling... TIME
  • ...his action scenes are intimate and engaging... The New Yorker
  • Sorkin's prodigious reporting and lively writing put the reader in the room for some of the biggest-dollar conference calls in history. It's an entertaining book, brisk book...Sorkin skillfully captures the raucous enthusiasm and riotous greed that fueled this rational irrationality. The New York Times Book Review
  • ...brings the drama alive with unusual inside access and compelling detail...A deeply researched account of the financial meltdown. BusinessWeek
  • “Andrew Ross Sorkin has written a fascinating, scene-by-scene saga of the eyeless trying to march the clueless through Great Depression II.”

    Tom Wolfe 

  • “Sorkin’s prodigious reporting and lively writing put the reader in the room for some of the biggest-dollar conference calls in history. It’s an entertaining book, brisk book…Sorkin skillfully captures the raucous enthusiasm and riotous greed that fueled this rational irrationality.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “Comprehensive and chilling.”

    Time

  • “His action scenes are intimate and engaging.”

    New Yorker

  • “Meticulously researched…told brilliantly. Other blow-by-blow accounts are in the works. It is hard to imagine them being this riveting.”

    Economist 

  • “Sorkin’s densely detailed and astonishing narrative of the epic financial crisis of 2008 is an extraordinary achievement that will be hard to surpass as the definitive account…As a dramatic close-up, his book is hard to beat.”

    Financial Times 

  • “Brings the drama alive with unusual inside access and compelling detail…A deeply researched account of the financial meltdown.”

    BusinessWeek 

  • “Andrew Ross Sorkin pens what may be the definitive history of the banking crisis.”

    Atlantic Monthly 

  • “Sorkin has succeeded in writing the book of the crisis, with amazing levels of detail and access.”

    Reuters

  • “Sorkin’s book, like its author, is a phenom…an absolute tour de force.”

    American Prospect 

  • “Sorkin uses his considerable knowledge and skills as a business reporter to present a comprehensible chronology and analysis of this monumental event...[Hughes’] presentation is clear, with the straightforward delivery that such an intricate narrative demands. He achieves the necessary balance of a pace that is brisk enough to engage yet sufficiently measured to allow the listener to absorb the incredible amount of detail that makes Sorkin’s book so fascinating. This combination of a skilled author’s accessible text and a talented narrator’s performance makes Too Big to Fail too good to miss.”

    AudioFile

  • “Sorkin’s historical account of this critical time is highly recommended.”

    Library Journal

  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • A 2010 Audie Award Nominee
  • An iTunes Best Nonfiction Pick
  • A Publishers Weekly Bestseller

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Babieca | 2/2/2014

    " Great book with a detailed analysis of the difficult period that the US had when Lehman Brothers collapsed. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Scott Walsh | 1/26/2014

    " I read this book because I recently started a new job with Citigroup and thought this book would provide useful background for me. I was not disappointed. What brings the book to life is its "behind the scenes" perspective, featuring reconstructed dialogue from supposedly private meetings among very senior participants in the events. Interestingly, my boss at Citigroup, who knows a number of current and former Citigroup executives who are mentioned throughout, tells me that they have confirmed that Sorkin's reporting is accurate. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Bruce Collett | 1/24/2014

    " So that's what happened. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by DoctorM | 1/21/2014

    " There's a variety of military history sometimes called "maps and chaps"--- often vivid, well-researched, and well-written ---that tells you everything that happened in a given battle or campaign, but without any context in politics or social costs. Andrew Ross Sorkin's "Too Big To Fail" is a kind of maps 'n' chaps version of the Global Economic Meltdown of the Year Eight--- a vivid, well-researched, very well-written account of the events that led up to financial chaos in September and October of the Year Eight and culminated with the TARP program and the effective nationalisation of a number of major banks and brokerages. Sorkin takes us inside the boardrooms and the Fed, and conveys the sense of panic and desperation and frenzied emergency dealmaking of those weeks. But it's all a bit...abstracted. Sorkin never really explains why all this is happening. It's like an account of Bonaparte's career that never really mentions the French Revolution or its effects. Sorkin's heroes--- especially Hank Paulson at Treasury, Tim Geithner and Ben Bernanke at the Fed, and Jamie Dimon at JP Morgan ---dash across the pages making deals and fighting off disaster. But there's no real sense of what's gone wrong with the financial system--- no description of the monsters lurking out beyond Midtown Manhattan and what created them. Assuming that Sorkin's informants and interviewees are mostly truthful, the story is one without many obvious villains. Even Dick Fuld at Lehman comes across as more hapless and clueless than anything else, as does Lloyd Blankfein at Goldman. The heads of the great banks and brokerages do seem to care about their employees and staffs, but they only vaguely understand what's happened in the markets and never understand the depth of post-bailout populist anger. "Too Big To Fail" is about how catastrophe was averted, but it's a view that doesn't explain the reasons for financial collapse, and it doesn't look at the effects the meltdown had beyond the windows of office towers in New York. Sorkin has written a fine account of what happened in the autumn of 2008, but it's like battle history that's only about generals and their maps, with no context and no history. "

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