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The Murder of Lehman Brothers: An Insider's Look At the Global Meltdown Hardcover – Oct. 16 2009

3.0 out of 5 stars 15 ratings

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Product details

  • Hardcover : 275 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 188328371X
  • Dimensions : 16.31 x 2.13 x 23.88 cm
  • ISBN-13 : 978-1883283711
  • Publisher : Ibooks, Inc. (Oct. 16 2009)
  • Item Weight : 552 g
  • Language: : English
  • Customer Reviews:
    3.0 out of 5 stars 15 ratings

Product description


"I recommend you read The Murder of Lehman Brothers to find out why the financial crisis happened."

"This is the only [financial crisis book] that brings Wall Street culture to life and shows how reckless excess was fed by Washington politicians" ""Joe" doesn't pull any punches with his mea culpas about "drinking the Kool-Aid," rationalizing away risks...of delusional financiers,"

"I'm touting this book not only because it rings true about the Wall Street I know, but because it implicates the Washington political leaders who paved the way for Wall Street's excessive risk taking and predatory lending" -----Capital Gains and Capital Games---

"What it does better than anything else is humanize a firm and its employees in a way that's been rare of late." ""The Murder of Lehman Brothers" is a better book [than A Colossal Failure of Common Sense]" "He [Tibman] presents a more nuanced portrait of the firm, its leadership, particularly CEO Richard Fuld, and the rank and file." "So who (or what) killed Lehman? Tibman presents a more complex and shifting judgment, which is one of the strengths of the book." "...moves quickly and inexorably" "...the lesson from Tibman's memoir of Lehman is the profound ambiguity of a seductive culture and an all-powerful, if Wizard of Oz-like leader." -----The Deal Magazine/thedeal.com---

"Tibman has probably written the most user-friendly account of LB’s demise and guide to the economic collapse of 2008."

"His first-person perspective provid[es] a connection with the events and the firm that is missing from the many other books on LB."

"...much of what he has written appears sincere and genuine, written with a welcome bluntness and honesty."

"...if you’re looking for something with a first-hand slant, then this is perfect." -----Civilian Reader --- Stefan Fergus

"Explosive" --N'Digo Chicago Weekly, Matthew Sapaula, Host of Money Smart

PROLOGUE--- While I was not present for what I describe below, the story is true and, at Lehman, was legend, especially among us lifers who broke bread in the executive dining room. On this one page, I have allowed myself reasonable poetic license. Still, as I have known and observed both of the men I describe, I believe I have nailed the tenor of this event. Piled high with the usual paperwork, Allan Kaplan, an old-school senior executive, whom many came to regard as the "conscience of Lehman Brothers," sat as his desk. Dick Fuld, one of the fixed income1 traders, appeared in his office door. Kaplan, as always, continued methodically working through the piles stacked and arranged in perfect right angles before him. He glanced expressionlessly in Fuld's direction, returned his gaze to the work on his desk. Kaplan acknowledged the figure in his office doorway, just loud enough for Fuld to hear, and then ignored him as he continued his progress through the great volume of paper that required his attention, his sanction. Fuld was unable to shuffle his feet in the threshold of Kaplan's office for very long, and like a shark that must keep moving to live, strode to the senior executive's desk, announcing that he required a signature so that he could complete a profitable, time-sensitive trade. Kaplan lifted his head, placed his half-smoked Cohiba in an ashtray and blankly looked at the impertinent, headstrong Fuld. Moving only his lips, he informed Fuld in crisp words that seemed to disappear into the pile of the carpet, that he, Kaplan, from his mile-high aerie, would consider approval of Fuld's trade once his desk was clear of the many piles. Fuld, his veins filled with adrenaline rather than blood, could not sit on this trade. Every second that passed increased the risk that he would lose it. For Fuld, it was all about the moment. In this one, as in so many others, he saw the purpose of his very existence and that of his firm as one: to make money. It was written in stone that no one wanted to rub Kaplan the wrong way. To do so could precipitate unpredictable wrath. But Kaplan was increasingly an anachronism. Time would not stand still to accommodate the outdated approval process that tied Fuld's hands. To consummate the trade, Fuld required Kaplan's immediate sanction. Making the situation doubly frustrating was a clear expectation, undoubtedly shared by Kaplan, that the trade would be quickly approved once the titan's eyes fell on the paperwork. Slam-dunk. But Fuld was tangled in the red tape of this powerbroker, known for his traditional, understated manner, as well as limited tolerance for hotheads who came to him halfcocked, ill-prepared, or disrespectful of the process. Still there was a monetary bottom line and it flashed neon in Fuld's eyes: the trade will not wait. Kaplan, still ignoring him, had become an intolerable brick wall. And so, acting on pure impulse and instinct, the very innards of the best traders, Fuld cleared Kaplan's desk with a single sweep of his arm, scattering the exalted one's neat piles around his desk. Sucking in his breath, Fuld told the implicitly fearsome Allan Kaplan that now he could approve the trade; his desk was clear. If Kaplan flinched, it was not visible to the human eye. But he did fix his stare on Fuld, eyes widening, this, the only discernible reaction. Fuld's cheeks filled with blood as he awaited his fate. Inwardly, Kaplan smiled puckishly. Yes, he was amused and impressed. This Fuld had potential. Kaplan silently reviewed the documents requiring his approval of the insubordinate trader's transaction, and with dispatch, delivered his signature. Fuld rotated on heels of wing tips, utterly in the dark as to what the poker-faced Kaplan had in store for him. Would he even have a job the next day? But Fuld was in the moment, like the best of traders, the risk takers, and held the authorization to trade in his hand. Many years later, in May of 2003, Dick Fuld stood before a packed chapel of mourners, including numerous employees of the firm that Fuld, now CEO, transformed into a major force on Wall Street. He lauded and joked affectionately about Kaplan, making great mention of his deceased colleague's integrity and ethics, and about the suit pants Kaplan belted so high--Fuld affectionately chuckled--that they reached Kaplan's chin. Until a week before, Allan Kaplan had been fully engaged at Lehman, despite a festering illness, serving the firm he had made his second home for thirty-six years. In summing up Kaplan's tenure, Richard Fuld, the hard-assed titan, one of the most powerful men on Wall Street, always bursting with testosterone, choked tearfully on his closing words: "Allan was my friend." Fuld would later honor Kaplan by naming the auditorium on the lower level of Lehman's majestic Time Square tower after him. He wanted to do something. And it was a fine gesture. But the man called the conscience of Lehman had expired. ----- THE pROLOGUE TO THE BOOK ---

From the Publisher

The Murder of Lehman Brothers sheds light on the perfect, complex storm that led to Lehman's collapse and the ensuing global consequences. It includes a brief history of Lehman, highlighting certain notable events, including a previous near collapse, the rise of Richard Fuld and the one-firm culture, the repeated mistakes made by providers of credit, inventing new financings--rationalizing that while profitable, these risky endeavors are actually not risky, more specifically subprime mortgages and Lehman's role, as well as an internal battle over Lehman's embrace of a massive real estate book, the emergence of Lehman as a top tier firm, the unraveling that began with the subprime meltdown, and gained vigor with the fall of Bear, and the consequences of Lehman's fall.

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Simon Rotelli
5.0 out of 5 stars Davvero ottimo, si legge tutto d'un fiato!
Reviewed in Italy on December 21, 2019
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Kim W. Rellahan
2.0 out of 5 stars Nothing You Didn't Know
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 12, 2009
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4.0 out of 5 stars this book complement others about the financial crisis
Reviewed in the United States on January 25, 2015
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Richard T. Leitner
2.0 out of 5 stars A bit whiny, and the Kindle version stinks
Reviewed in the United States on December 22, 2012
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Michael K. Crowley
3.0 out of 5 stars Takes a while to get moving, but helpful insight
Reviewed in the United States on November 18, 2009
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