Too Big to Fail

by Vault Law Editors | October 21, 2009

  • My Vault

Andrew Ross Sorkin's highly-anticipated book Too Big To Fail published yesterday. If this preview excerpt that ran in The Times is any indication, the book is chockfull of fly-on-the-wall details of the machinations on Wall Street and in DC as the global financial system started to melt.

Particularly triking from a lawcentric perspective: the starring role played by S&C’s Rodge Cohen. According to the AmLawDaily, Cohen was no passive counselor, but actively took the initiative on deals—not all of which were realized (e.g. “a shotgun wedding between Goldman and Wachovia”).

More generally, the book’s big reveal must be its account of the secret meeting Hank Paulson had with the board of Goldman (in Moscow!) in June of 2008. In the words of Felix Salmon:

How on earth did Paulson think this was OK? Goldman Sachs was a hugely powerful for-profit investment bank, and there he is, giving private chapter and verse on his opinions about the US and global economy, talking about internal Treasury matters, and previewing an upcoming (and surely market-moving) speech. All in secret, at a “social event” which somehow got kept off his official calendar. Oh, yes, and one other thing — the whole shebang took place in the Moscow Marriott Grand Hotel, in the context of Goldman directors joking about how all the Moscow hotels were surely bugged.

Elsewhere, The Huffington Post puts together an entertaining slideshow of the book’s best quotes (e.g., “So I’m the schmuck?” – Dick Fuld).

-posted by brian

Filed Under: Law

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