|Author||William D. Cohan|
On the evening of March 16, 2008, Bear Stearns, a swashbuckling eighty-five-year-old institution in the financial world, sold itself for an outrageously low price to the $2 trillion global behemoth JP Morgan Chase. What went wrong? Here bestselling author and former investment banker William Cohan gives the reader a front-row seat to Bear Stearns' catastrophic unravelling at the seams. House of Cardsshows how the Bear Sterns saga was a microcosm of the disastrous financial bust that followed an irrational boom, involving subtle strands of blame that stretch around the globe. It was a boom that had 'the Bear' clocking in a record-high stock price, with Wall Street honchos throwing parties that would make Marie Antoinette blush for their blatant extravagance. Then the slumping housing market and hedge funds' bad bets on sub-prime mortgages swept into the market, and suddenly the once-flush Bear Stearns and other financial institutions were struggling to stay afloat. As Bear Sterns' stock price spiralled downward, an internal battle to find a scapegoat ensued, with all the drama of a daytime soap and backstabbing galore. House of Cardsis the deliciously thrilling story of corporate greed on a truly epic scale. Cohan relates how the lack of foresight and regulation in an uncertain economy forced the US government and Wall Street to take increasingly desperate, unprecedented measures to stop the carnage before the world's economy melted down.