WRITING STYLE: 2/5
ENTERTAINMENT QUOTIENT: 4/5
The Weekend that changed Wall Street is a book about the events that unfolded in the second week of September 2008 and that changed the whole modern day Financial System. It answers questions like “How the crisis unravelled?” & “How all of it started?”. Written by Maria Bartiromo, CNBC’s top anchor, famously dubbed as the “Money-Honey” and the first person ever to report live from the floor of New York Stock Exchange, this lady is sure known to turn heads and not just because of her impeccable looks but also because of her close association with one of the biggest names on the Wall Street. Well, in this book, it is this association of hers with the head honchos of Wall Street that she utilises to put together a detailed story of what exactly happened at the Wall Street in that ill-fated week of September 2008.
The Weekend that changed Wall Street talks about all the big names on the Wall Street, from Bear Stearns, Merill Lynch to Lehman Brothers, American International Group, and even Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Maria gives us an insider account of each event which took place during that weekend. Though the book makes a good attempt at explaining the crisis, there was still a major gap in establishing the link between ‘the fall of Lehman Brothers’ and the crisis that unravelled in its aftermath. Another thing which was most talked about but least explained in the book was how Lehman fell in just a matter of few hours. Of how, in the morning it was business as usual for Lehman, but by the day’s end, it was all lost.
In the middle of all this financial mumbo-jumbo, Maria’s personal memories which are embedded very carefully in the book gives a sense of legitimacy, genuinity and reality to the book. It is this description due to which the concept “Insiders’ account” holds true. Certain accounts of conversation with the normal American public inserted at careful points also becomes interesting and adds to the flow of the book.
Overall, The Weekend that changed Wall Street is a good read and definitely a must for anybody even minutely associated with finance. It takes you through an adventurous ride in the mysterious world of Credit Default Swaps and the drastic implications of their imprudent and highly leveraged use. So, if you are a finance guy, this book is a must on your to-read list.