Those were the words given by Colm Kelleher, Morgan Stanley’s 51 year old CFO to John Mack, the company’s CEO as they helplessly watched their stock fall 42% by mid day. And that was only day #1. These nine pages of excerpts from Andrew Ross Sorkin’s new book Too Big To Fail detail the the incredible scramble that took place following the fall of Lehman Brothers in 2008. The desperate phone calls, seat-of-the-pants merger proposals, flaring tempers—as Washington got tough and Wall Street titans Lloyd Blankfein and John Mack fought for survival. I was riveted to these pages and highly recommend the read.
More from the book:
- “Nevertheless, Stanley Druckenmiller, a George Soros acolyte worth more than $3.5 billion, had taken most of his money out earlier that week, concerned about the firm’s [Goldman Sachs] solvency. If word got around that a hedge-fund manager of Druckenmiller’s reputation had lost confidence in Goldman, that alone could cause a run.”
- “Jamie [Dimon] is always hanging around the hoop.… You know Jamie’s saying, ‘Let’s make friends with these guys before I eat them.’”
- Paulson, who had been living on barely three hours of sleep a night for a week, was beginning to feel nauseated. Watching the financial industry crumble in front of his eyes—the world he had inhabited his entire career—was getting to him. For a moment, he felt light-headed. From outside his office, his staff could hear him vomit.