Crash of the Titans - Greed, Hubris, the Fall of Merrill Lynch and the Near-collapse of Bank of America-logo

Crash of the Titans - Greed, Hubris, the Fall of Merrill Lynch and the Near-collapse of Bank of America

Greg Farrell

The intimate, fly-on-the wall tale of the decline and fall of an America icon With one notable exception, the firms that make up what we know as Wall Street have always been part of an inbred, insular culture that most people only vaguely understand. The exception was Merrill Lynch, a firm that revolutionized the stock market by bringing Wall Street to Main Street, setting up offices in far-flung cities and towns long ignored by the giants of finance. With its "thundering herd" of financial advisers, perhaps no other business, whether in financial services or elsewhere, so epitomized the American spirit. Merrill Lynch was not only "bullish on America," it was a big reason why so many average Americans were able to grow wealthy by investing in the stock market. Merrill Lynch was an icon. Its sudden decline, collapse, and sale to Bank of America was a shock. How did it happen? Why did it happen? And what does this story of greed, hubris, and incompetence tell us about the culture of Wall Street that continues to this day even though it came close to destroying the American economy? A culture in which the CEO of a firm losing $28 billion pushes hard to be paid a $25 million bonus. A culture in which two Merrill Lynch executives are guaranteed bonuses of $30 million and $40 million for four months' work, even while the firm is struggling to reduce its losses by firing thousands of employees. Based on unparalleled sources at both Merrill Lynch and Bank of America, Greg Farrell's Crash of the Titans is a Shakespearean saga of three flawed masters of the universe. E. Stanley O'Neal, whose inspiring rise from the segregated South to the corner office of Merrill Lynch-where he engineered a successful turnaround-was undone by his belief that a smooth-talking salesman could handle one of the most difficult jobs on Wall Street. Because he enjoyed O'Neal's support, this executive was allowed to build up an astonishing $30 billion position in CDOs on the firm's balance sheet, at a time when all other Wall Street firms wer

The intimate, fly-on-the wall tale of the decline and fall of an America icon With one notable exception, the firms that make up what we know as Wall Street have always been part of an inbred, insular culture that most people only vaguely understand. The exception was Merrill Lynch, a firm that revolutionized the stock market by bringing Wall Street to Main Street, setting up offices in far-flung cities and towns long ignored by the giants of finance. With its "thundering herd" of financial advisers, perhaps no other business, whether in financial services or elsewhere, so epitomized the American spirit. Merrill Lynch was not only "bullish on America," it was a big reason why so many average Americans were able to grow wealthy by investing in the stock market. Merrill Lynch was an icon. Its sudden decline, collapse, and sale to Bank of America was a shock. How did it happen? Why did it happen? And what does this story of greed, hubris, and incompetence tell us about the culture of Wall Street that continues to this day even though it came close to destroying the American economy? A culture in which the CEO of a firm losing $28 billion pushes hard to be paid a $25 million bonus. A culture in which two Merrill Lynch executives are guaranteed bonuses of $30 million and $40 million for four months' work, even while the firm is struggling to reduce its losses by firing thousands of employees. Based on unparalleled sources at both Merrill Lynch and Bank of America, Greg Farrell's Crash of the Titans is a Shakespearean saga of three flawed masters of the universe. E. Stanley O'Neal, whose inspiring rise from the segregated South to the corner office of Merrill Lynch-where he engineered a successful turnaround-was undone by his belief that a smooth-talking salesman could handle one of the most difficult jobs on Wall Street. Because he enjoyed O'Neal's support, this executive was allowed to build up an astonishing $30 billion position in CDOs on the firm's balance sheet, at a time when all other Wall Street firms wer
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The intimate, fly-on-the wall tale of the decline and fall of an America icon With one notable exception, the firms that make up what we know as Wall Street have always been part of an inbred, insular culture that most people only vaguely understand. The exception was Merrill Lynch, a firm that revolutionized the stock market by bringing Wall Street to Main Street, setting up offices in far-flung cities and towns long ignored by the giants of finance. With its "thundering herd" of financial advisers, perhaps no other business, whether in financial services or elsewhere, so epitomized the American spirit. Merrill Lynch was not only "bullish on America," it was a big reason why so many average Americans were able to grow wealthy by investing in the stock market. Merrill Lynch was an icon. Its sudden decline, collapse, and sale to Bank of America was a shock. How did it happen? Why did it happen? And what does this story of greed, hubris, and incompetence tell us about the culture of Wall Street that continues to this day even though it came close to destroying the American economy? A culture in which the CEO of a firm losing $28 billion pushes hard to be paid a $25 million bonus. A culture in which two Merrill Lynch executives are guaranteed bonuses of $30 million and $40 million for four months' work, even while the firm is struggling to reduce its losses by firing thousands of employees. Based on unparalleled sources at both Merrill Lynch and Bank of America, Greg Farrell's Crash of the Titans is a Shakespearean saga of three flawed masters of the universe. E. Stanley O'Neal, whose inspiring rise from the segregated South to the corner office of Merrill Lynch-where he engineered a successful turnaround-was undone by his belief that a smooth-talking salesman could handle one of the most difficult jobs on Wall Street. Because he enjoyed O'Neal's support, this executive was allowed to build up an astonishing $30 billion position in CDOs on the firm's balance sheet, at a time when all other Wall Street firms wer

Language:

English

Narrators:

Dan Woren

Length:

16h 28m


Chapters

Chapter 1
Chapter 1

00:12


Chapter 2
Chapter 2

07:06


Chapter 3
Chapter 3

06:15


Chapter 4
Chapter 4

06:48


Chapter 5
Chapter 5

08:00


Chapter 6
Chapter 6

07:55


Chapter 7
Chapter 7

07:58


Chapter 8
Chapter 8

07:42


Chapter 9
Chapter 9

07:24


Chapter 10
Chapter 10

07:01


Chapter 11
Chapter 11

04:23


Chapter 12
Chapter 12

05:28


Chapter 13
Chapter 13

09:12


Chapter 14
Chapter 14

07:20


Chapter 15
Chapter 15

04:33


Chapter 16
Chapter 16

05:15


Chapter 17
Chapter 17

07:14


Chapter 18
Chapter 18

07:06


Chapter 19
Chapter 19

07:08


Chapter 20
Chapter 20

08:01


Chapter 21
Chapter 21

08:43


Chapter 22
Chapter 22

07:16


Chapter 23
Chapter 23

06:23


Chapter 24
Chapter 24

07:43


Chapter 25
Chapter 25

06:48


Chapter 26
Chapter 26

07:37


Chapter 27
Chapter 27

07:12


Chapter 28
Chapter 28

05:09


Chapter 29
Chapter 29

05:55


Chapter 30
Chapter 30

08:11


Chapter 31
Chapter 31

07:14


Chapter 32
Chapter 32

07:07


Chapter 33
Chapter 33

07:51


Chapter 34
Chapter 34

07:20


Chapter 35
Chapter 35

07:51


Chapter 36
Chapter 36

05:34


Chapter 37
Chapter 37

06:40


Chapter 38
Chapter 38

07:12


Chapter 39
Chapter 39

08:00


Chapter 40
Chapter 40

08:04


Chapter 41
Chapter 41

07:26


Chapter 42
Chapter 42

07:40


Chapter 43
Chapter 43

08:09


Chapter 44
Chapter 44

06:02


Chapter 45
Chapter 45

04:39


Chapter 46
Chapter 46

06:46


Chapter 47
Chapter 47

07:25


Chapter 48
Chapter 48

07:30


Chapter 49
Chapter 49

06:56


Chapter 50
Chapter 50

07:05


Chapter 51
Chapter 51

06:39


Chapter 52
Chapter 52

07:36


Chapter 53
Chapter 53

07:14


Chapter 54
Chapter 54

07:40


Chapter 55
Chapter 55

05:44


Chapter 56
Chapter 56

05:54


Chapter 57
Chapter 57

06:38


Chapter 58
Chapter 58

07:40


Chapter 59
Chapter 59

05:12


Chapter 60
Chapter 60

05:31


Chapter 61
Chapter 61

07:44


Chapter 62
Chapter 62

07:15


Chapter 63
Chapter 63

07:36


Chapter 64
Chapter 64

07:46


Chapter 65
Chapter 65

06:20


Chapter 66
Chapter 66

07:22


Chapter 67
Chapter 67

05:44


Chapter 68
Chapter 68

07:26


Chapter 69
Chapter 69

07:15


Chapter 70
Chapter 70

07:50


Chapter 71
Chapter 71

07:35


Chapter 72
Chapter 72

07:09


Chapter 73
Chapter 73

06:26


Chapter 74
Chapter 74

07:18


Chapter 75
Chapter 75

07:25


Chapter 76
Chapter 76

07:01


Chapter 77
Chapter 77

06:13


Chapter 78
Chapter 78

05:40


Chapter 79
Chapter 79

05:49


Chapter 80
Chapter 80

07:34


Chapter 81
Chapter 81

07:56


Chapter 82
Chapter 82

07:51


Chapter 83
Chapter 83

07:32


Chapter 84
Chapter 84

07:51


Chapter 85
Chapter 85

06:15


Chapter 86
Chapter 86

07:16


Chapter 87
Chapter 87

05:39


Chapter 88
Chapter 88

05:35


Chapter 89
Chapter 89

08:07


Chapter 90
Chapter 90

08:01


Chapter 91
Chapter 91

07:17


Chapter 92
Chapter 92

07:29


Chapter 93
Chapter 93

08:02


Chapter 94
Chapter 94

07:37


Chapter 95
Chapter 95

04:37


Chapter 96
Chapter 96

05:44


Chapter 97
Chapter 97

07:49


Chapter 98
Chapter 98

06:07


Chapter 99
Chapter 99

06:45


Chapter 100
Chapter 100

07:06


Chapter 101
Chapter 101

07:52


Chapter 102
Chapter 102

07:49


Chapter 103
Chapter 103

07:15


Chapter 104
Chapter 104

06:11


Chapter 105
Chapter 105

07:33


Chapter 106
Chapter 106

07:52


Chapter 107
Chapter 107

07:30


Chapter 108
Chapter 108

07:53


Chapter 109
Chapter 109

09:09


Chapter 110
Chapter 110

07:14


Chapter 111
Chapter 111

04:25


Chapter 112
Chapter 112

08:01


Chapter 113
Chapter 113

07:47


Chapter 114
Chapter 114

08:08


Chapter 115
Chapter 115

05:16


Chapter 116
Chapter 116

08:21


Chapter 117
Chapter 117

07:07


Chapter 118
Chapter 118

07:16


Chapter 119
Chapter 119

05:44


Chapter 120
Chapter 120

07:12


Chapter 121
Chapter 121

08:09


Chapter 122
Chapter 122

05:22


Chapter 123
Chapter 123

06:40


Chapter 124
Chapter 124

06:55


Chapter 125
Chapter 125

07:58


Chapter 126
Chapter 126

07:05


Chapter 127
Chapter 127

05:18


Chapter 128
Chapter 128

07:24


Chapter 129
Chapter 129

07:30


Chapter 130
Chapter 130

06:56


Chapter 131
Chapter 131

06:06


Chapter 132
Chapter 132

08:46


Chapter 133
Chapter 133

07:34


Chapter 134
Chapter 134

07:49


Chapter 135
Chapter 135

07:47


Chapter 136
Chapter 136

07:42


Chapter 137
Chapter 137

07:28


Chapter 138
Chapter 138

08:34


Chapter 139
Chapter 139

08:30


Chapter 140
Chapter 140

04:15


Chapter 141
Chapter 141

06:37


Chapter 142
Chapter 142

00:28