Summary of Too Big to Fail

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9 Overall

8 Applicability

8 Innovation

10 Style


The ever-growing pile of books about the Great Recession holds two kinds of tomes: those that pontificate about what went wrong and what should change, and those that detail the minute-by-minute action in the boardrooms of Wall Street and Washington. This book is the second kind. New York Times reporter Andrew Ross Sorkin, who gained access to many high-level financial players, provides an ambitious, remarkably detailed account of the collapse and bailouts of 2008. He accomplishes two noteworthy feats: He digs up information that wasn’t widely known, and he beautifully writes a page-turning yarn. getAbstract recommends his book to investors, policy makers and businesspeople who seek a clear observer’s perspective on Wall Street’s meltdown.

In this summary, you will learn

  • Why the U.S. government let Lehman Brothers fail in 2008, but not American International Group (AIG)
  • How the bailout process proceeded, starting with AIG
  • How U.S. financial officials convinced bankers to take bailout cash

About the Author

Andrew Ross Sorkin is the chief mergers-and-acquisitions reporter and columnist for The New York Times. He founded DealBook, an online daily financial report.



Lehman Teeters and Puts All of Wall Street on the Brink
In September 2008, Wall Street and the U.S. economy faced a calamitous collapse. Only a year before, the markets had celebrated eye-popping profits fueled by mortgage innovations. Those in the finance industry rewarded themselves ...

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