“Street Fighters” gives a blow by blow account of the last 72 hours of Bear Sterns. The book is an extension of Kelly’s acclaimed series of articles written for The Wall Street Journal.
Continuing with my latest obsession, this is my fifth consecutive book on 2008 meltdown. Street Fighters recounts the mad scramble at Bear Sterns, considered as the brashest among the Wall Street investment banks to save it from going under. It captures the last 72 hours in the life of the firm and its management team before it was unceremoniously sold off to J. P. Morgan.
What startles you is the fact that the supposedly best among the Wall Street bankers and traders were caught off-guard by the risks taken by them. Add to it, a management structure that worked in silos and the Chairman who was more interested in “The Big Picture”, long weekends, golf at vacation home and Bridge tournaments for 10 days thrice a year. So when the lighting struck, Bear Sterns being the smallest and less diversified than its peers was the first to face the trouble due to its more cavalier stance.
The book is racy as it recounts the frantic scramble of Bear executives CEO Alan Schawartz, CFO Sam Molinaro and others to save their firm from ruin. The book is noteworthy for its portrayal of the chief players from both the sides of the table – Bear Sterns, J. P. Morgan and Government agencies – Fed & Treasury. We learn in a first-hand manner about the thought process of the parties involved that led to the subsequent sale. If you are interested in knowing what transpired during that fateful weekend in March 2008 – “The beginning of the End”, then this book should be on your “To Read” list.
Thank you for reading. I appreciate your time.
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