Read time: 2 minutes

Jon Stewart Interviews "House Of Cards" Author William Cohan

[media id=7823] The Daily Show's Jon Stewart sits down with House of Cards author William Cohan. From the LA Times review of Cohan's book: It seems

The Daily Show's Jon Stewart sits down with House of Cards author William Cohan. From the LA Times review of Cohan's book:

It seems almost achingly quaint to recall those warm and hazy days when "banker" was a synonym for sobriety and propriety -- a time when those who worked in finance, as well as those who reported on it, believed that a pinstriped suit connoted one thing and a chalk stripe something else entirely.

Anyone who still retains such antique illusions will lose them in fewer than 10 pages into "House of Cards: A Tale of Hubris and Wretched Excess on Wall Street," William D. Cohan's masterfully reported account of the collapse of Bear Stearns, the investment banking house whose implosion a year ago this month signaled the beginning of the worst global financial crisis since the Great Depression.

Cohan, a former senior investment banker who has turned into one of our most able financial journalists, is the author of 2007's "The Last Tycoons," a highly regarded history of Lazard Frères & Co., Wall Street's most storied investment bank. In this new book, he deploys not only his hands-on experience of this exotic corner of the financial industry but also a remarkable gift for plain-spoken explanation. That's essential, because it may be that only quantum physics defies the descriptive powers of ordinary language quite so completely as the derivatives markets whose meltdowns have devastated Wall Street.

The other great strength of this important book is the breadth and skill of the author's interviews. Essentially, with pauses for needed explanation, he has used them to construct a staccato narrative of the frantic 10 days in March of 2008 that began with the first doubts about Bear Stearns' liquidity and ended when the Federal Reserve and U.S. Treasury forced the firm to sell itself at a fire-sale price to JP Morgan Chase. That and the subsequent bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers, the sale of Merrill Lynch, the collapse of insurance giant AIG and the virtual incapacitation of much of the banking sector, including behemoths Bank of America and Citibank, marked the end of Wall Street's second Gilded Age and the onset of the current global financial crisis.

Essentially, then, what Cohan has given us is a day-by-day, conversation-by-conversation account of a financial debacle equivalent to the failure of Credit Anstalt, the Vienna bank whose default signaled the globalization of the Great Depression.

Read the rest of the review here.

Can you help us out?

For 16 years we have been exposing Washington lies and untangling media deceit. We work 7 days a week, 16 hours a day for our labor of love, but with rising hosting and associated costs, we need your help! Could you donate $20 for 2020? Please consider a one time or recurring donation of whatever amount you can spare, or consider subscribing for an ad-free experience. It will be greatly appreciated and help us continue our mission of exposing the real FAKE NEWS!

More C&L Coverage

Comments

NOTE: We will be changing to a new commenting platform in the next couple of weeks. We will supply more details as we get closer to the change. We understand some users are having problems with comments loading and this will hopefully remedy that problem

We welcome relevant, respectful comments. Any comments that are sexist or in any other way deemed hateful by our staff will be deleted and constitute grounds for a ban from posting on the site. Please refer to our Terms of Service (revised 3/17/2016) for information on our posting policy.