Origins of the Crash: The Great Bubble and Its Undoing

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Penguin, Jan 1, 2004 - Business & Economics - 270 pages
This inquiry into the rise and fall of the great Wall Street boom of the 1990s, from bestselling author Roger Lowenstein, has all the hallmarks of a financial classic.

Roger Lowenstein, recognized as one of the best financial reporters of our time, turns his focus to the 1990s stock market and economic boom and bust in Origins of the Crash. With his singular gift for turning complex financial events into eminently readable stories, Lowenstein lays bare the labyrinthine events of the manic 1990s-including the collapse of Enron, the dot-com bubble, the accounting scandal at Andersen, and much more.

Drawing on his sense of history, Lowenstein inquires how a financial system that arose out of the wreckage of the Depression and that was intended to avert the miscues of that era could ultimately repeat the very same scenario of massive speculation and corruption leading to collapse. He discovers the roots of the recent crisis in the financial culture that cropped up in the 1970s and 1980s as America encouraged companies to hand out ever greater packages of stock options to their executives. In an enthralling narrative, Lowenstein ties together all of the characters of the great boom and bust: Alan Greenspan, Jack Grubman, Jack Welch, Abby Cohen, Henry Blodget, and a host of dot-com pioneers. But it is the collective rendering of such figures-the unique portrayal of the culture of the era-that truly distinguishes Origins of the Crashas the book that will frame our appreciation of the period.

Just as John Kenneth Galbraith's The Great Crashwas the canonical text of 1929, Lowenstein's Origins of the Crashis destined to become the definitive account of the 1990s.
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Exocet - LibraryThing

Very poor treatment of the topic, and this is a shame because the author is an excellent journalist that produced other fine works. However, this title should be avoided by anyone who is interested in knowing what went wrong during the go-go years. Read full review

ORIGINS OF THE CRASH: The Great Bubble and Its Undoing

User Review  - Kirkus

A wide-ranging examination of the stock-market boom of the 1990s and its resounding crash.Ken Lay, Jack Welch, Steve Case, and their ilk may have been the guys who burst the great bubble. But, writes ... Read full review

Contents

ORIGINS OF A CULTURE
1
EARLY NINETIESA CULTURE Is RICH
15
ENLIGHTENMENT GETS OUT OF HAND
35
NUMBER GAMES
55
DOORMEN AT NOON
79
NEW ECONOMY OLD ERRORS
101
ENRON
127
BANKRUPT
157
YEAR OF THE LOCUSTS
189
EPILOGUE
219
Nous
227
Copyright

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About the author (2004)

Roger Lowenstein, author of the bestselling Buffett: The Making of an American Capitalistand When Genius Failed: The Rise and Fall of Long-term Capital Management, reported for the Wall Street Journalfor more than a decade and wrote the Journal's stock market column "Heard on the Street" and also its "Intrinsic Value" column. He now contributes articles and reviews to the Journaland the New York Times Magazineand is a columnist for SmartMoneyMagazine.

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