Summary of When Genius Failed

The Rise and Fall of Long-Term Capital Management

Random House,
First Edition: 2000 more...

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When Genius Failed book summary
Long-Term Capital Management had everything going for it: brilliant management, whiz-bang science, sweetheart financing, and it failed, anyway – because what's supposed to happen doesn't always happen.


9 Overall

8 Importance

8 Innovation

10 Style


This riveting page-turner reads like a financial thriller and is all the more compelling for being true. Author Roger Lowenstein has a knack for establishing character quickly and capturing the way that ego, hubris and Wall Street’s herd mentality came together to create a crisis that threatened a global financial meltdown unseen since the Great Depression, or perhaps never seen at all. At a time when markets have assumed an unprecedented stature, this is a powerful cautionary tale for financial professionals and those who idolize them. Lowenstein’s clear analysis shows that little has changed since the heyday of Long-Term Capital Management. In other words, brace yourself, because the conditions that made this crisis possible still exist. puts this book on the required reading list for investors, money managers, bankers and policymakers who are pondering the proper extent of regulation and financial

In this summary, you will learn

  • How Long-Term Capital Management was founded, grew and, eventually, failed; and
  • How the continuing impact of this failure lingers today.


The Rescue
On September 28, 1998, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and its president, William J. McDonough, hosted an unprecedented secret meeting of the heads of every major Wall Street bank. The reason for the meeting was the incipient failure of Long-Term Capital Management (LTCM...
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About the Author

Roger Lowenstein reported for The Wall Street Journal for more than a decade. He wrote the Journal's "Heard on the Street" column from 1989 to 1991 and the "Intrinsic Value" column from 1995 to 1997. He now writes for Smart Money magazine. He is the author of the bestseller, Buffett: The Making of an American Capitalist.

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