The Last Tycoons
about the formerly private but still very prestigious investment banking firm known as Lazard.
And Cohan's having scribed Tycoons has more than a little to do with why it's his byline on this piece in the current issue of Vanity Fair about recently-deceased Bid 'Em Up Bruce Wasserstein, the former CEO of Lazard and one of the most legendary dealmakers to ever walk on the street called Wall. In the profile, Cohan gives you as many goods as he can dig up on Bruce such as the fact that Bruce hated the Bid 'Em Up nickname, had a penchant for divorcing wives for scorching young ladies, liked to pay himself monstrous amounts of coin at the expense of friends and colleagues, groomed some of the leading names in M&A now working at many of the top investment banks on the planet, liked to eat meat and sometimes survived on burgers for lunch and steak for dinner, was not in good health (likely as a result of said voracious meat-eating habit), was secretive, was losing his dealmaking abilities later in his life, and was not well liked inside Lazard when he died, etc.
Cohan's other piece of interest today (which was actually published yesterday but only found by me today) is this op-ed in the Times about the lack of women in high places on Wall Street. It's a subject that has been oft-written about as of late, in light of it being mainly men responsible for messing up the financial system, and one that heated up the past two weeks in light of a few discrimination suits filed against big banks, including Goldman Sachs, Bank of America and BofA's newish prized possession Merrill Lynch. In addition to his own thoughts on the matter, Cohan offers up notes and quotes from a forum held this past Monday in Washington about the state of women on Wall Street (including a passing quote from President Obama on the subject). As Cohan accurately points out, Wall Street is indeed imbalanced, the scales tipping very much in favor of testosterone-possessing workers, especially at the top of organizational charts.
Finally, this article from the Wall Street Journal asks the age old question: Would you tattoo your body with the image of a skeleton wearing a sombrero and riding atop a cob of corn with wheels if it meant you could eat free tacos for the rest of your life?
Two of which were written by William D. Cohan, the author of the acclaimed 2007 book