When Genius Failed: The Rise and Fall of Long-Term Capital Management

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Random House Publishing Group, Jan 18, 2001 - Business & Economics - 288 pages
“A riveting account that reaches beyond the market landscape to say something universal about risk and triumph, about hubris and failure.”—The New York Times

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY BUSINESSWEEK

In this business classic—now with a new Afterword in which the author draws parallels to the recent financial crisis—Roger Lowenstein captures the gripping roller-coaster ride of Long-Term Capital Management. Drawing on confidential internal memos and interviews with dozens of key players, Lowenstein explains not just how the fund made and lost its money but also how the personalities of Long-Term’s partners, the arrogance of their mathematical certainties, and the culture of Wall Street itself contributed to both their rise and their fall.

When it was founded in 1993, Long-Term was hailed as the most impressive hedge fund in history. But after four years in which the firm dazzled Wall Street as a $100 billion moneymaking juggernaut, it suddenly suffered catastrophic losses that jeopardized not only the biggest banks on Wall Street but the stability of the financial system itself. The dramatic story of Long-Term’s fall is now a chilling harbinger of the crisis that would strike all of Wall Street, from Lehman Brothers to AIG, a decade later. In his new Afterword, Lowenstein shows that LTCM’s implosion should be seen not as a one-off drama but as a template for market meltdowns in an age of instability—and as a wake-up call that Wall Street and government alike tragically ignored.

Praise for When Genius Failed

“[Roger] Lowenstein has written a squalid and fascinating tale of world-class greed and, above all, hubris.”—BusinessWeek

“Compelling . . . The fund was long cloaked in secrecy, making the story of its rise . . . and its ultimate destruction that much more fascinating.”The Washington Post

“Story-telling journalism at its best.”The Economist

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - EricCostello - www.librarything.com

This book examines the history of Long Term Capital Management, a firm that failed during the 1998 financial crisis, and explains how the firm was built and constructed, and why it collapsed. Pretty ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - willszal - LibraryThing

This book is about the four-year journey of one of the most infamous hedge funds in history. It outlines it's four-year lifecycle, from 1994 to 1998, starting with an monumental raise of $1.5 billion ... Read full review

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About the author (2001)

Roger Lowenstein, author of the bestselling Buffett: The Making of an American Capitalist, reported for The Wall Street Journal for more than a decade, and wrote the Journal's stock market column "Heard on the Street" from 1989 to 1991 and the "Intrinsic Value" column from 1995 to 1997. He now writes a column in Smart Money magazine, and has written for The New York Times and The New Republic, among other publications. He has three children and lives in Westfield, New Jersey.

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