The inside account of a financial meltdown that reshaped Wall Street
In 1983, Lew Glucksman, then co-CEO of the heralded investment bank Lehman Brothers, demanded the resignation of chairman Pete Peterson, with whom he had long argued over how to manage the company. Shockingly, Peterson, who had taken charge a decade earlier and led Lehman from near collapse to record profits, agreed to step down. In this meticulously researched volume, Ken Auletta details the turmoil, infighting, and power struggles that brought about Peterson’s departure and the eventual sale of one of Wall Street’s oldest and most prestigious firms.
Set against the backdrop of the 1980s stock exchange, where hotshot young traders made and lost millions in a single afternoon, the story of Lehman’s fall is a suspenseful battle of wills between bankers, traders, and executives motivated by greed, envy, and ego. Auletta, who conducted hundreds of hours of interviews and was granted access to private company records, has crafted a thorough, enduring, and engaging account of pivotal events that continued to influence this storied financial institution until its ultimate demise in 2008.
“A riveting chronicle of the lust for money, power and reputation . . . Invaluable.” —The New York Times
“One of the best business stories in recent memory.” —Newsweek
“Fascinating . . . Delivers the goods . . . A towering reportorial achievement.” —The Wall Street Journal
“As comfortable interrogating a network executive as he is interviewing a software genius or bottling a human tornado like Ted Turner, Auletta builds his . . . books the way a mason builds a wall—upon a firm foundation, one brick at a time and as level as the horizon.” —The Washington Post on Googled: The End of the World as We Know It
Ken Auletta (b.1942) has written for the New Yorker since 1977, where he has been the “Annals of Communications” columnist since 1992. He is the author of eleven books, five of which are national bestsellers. Early in his career, Auletta was the chief political correspondent for the New York Post, a columnist for the Village Voice and the New York Daily News, and a writer for New York magazine. For the New Yorker, he has probed corporate culture and the rise of the Internet, and profiled business leaders such as Bill Gates, Barry Diller, and Rupert Murdoch. Auletta won a National Magazine Award in 2001 for his New Yorker feature on Ted Turner, and he has been a judge for both the Pulitzer Prize and the Livingston Awards for Young Journalists. His books include The Underclass; Googled: The End of the World As We Know It; Greed and Glory on Wall Street: The Fall of the House of Lehman; The Highwaymen: Warriors of the Information Superhighway; and World War 3.0: Microsoft and Its Enemies. Auletta lives in Manhattan.