Monday, October 05, 2009

Sorkin Book Excerpt: "Too Big to Fail"

by Calculated Risk on 10/05/2009 10:48:00 PM

From Vanity Fair: Wall Street’s Near-Death Experience (ht jb)

The Vanity Fair piece is an excerpt from Andrew Ross Sorkin's "Too Big to Fail: The Inside Story of How Wall Street and Washington Fought to Save the Financial System---and Themselves" to be released on October 20th.

Sunday, September 21, 2008: The Last Stand
Upstairs, [Morgan Stanley CEO John] Mack was on the phone with Mitsubishi’s chief executive, Nobuo Kuroyanagi, and a translator trying to nail down the letter of intent. His assistant interrupted him, whispering, “Tim Geithner is on the phone—he has to talk to you.”

Cupping the receiver, Mack said, “Tell him I can’t speak now. I’ll call him back.”

Five minutes later, Paulson called. “I can’t. I’m on with the Japanese. I’ll call him when I’m off,” he told his assistant.

Two minutes later, Geithner was back on the line. “He says he has to talk to you and it’s important,” Mack’s assistant reported helplessly.

Mack was minutes away from reaching an agreement. He looked at Ji-Yeun Lee, who was standing in his office helping with the deal, and told her, “Cover your ears.”

“Tell him to get fucked,” Mack said of Geithner. “I’m trying to save my firm.”
The Vanity Fair excerpt is a page-turner.