The Devil's Casino. Friendship, Betrayal, and the High Stakes Games Played Inside Lehman Brothers

  • ID: 2213710
  • Book
  • 288 Pages
  • John Wiley and Sons Ltd
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"Lehman Brothers, the oldest partnership on Wall Street, was always a brilliant but cursed child. Its life, and death, tells us why it was a magnet for talent, and why it was toxic. There have been a slew of terrific books on how Wall Street brought the economy to its knees, but inThe Devil′s Casino, Vicky Ward does something unusual. She takes the reader inside. Not just inside the financial instruments, but inside the culture that sired them; inside the families, including the spouses and children that enjoyed lavish riches; and inside the internal rivalries and mismanagement that speeded the fall. Readers of this remarkable tale do not stand outside looking in, their noses pressed to the glass; we are inside looking out. We feel the seething greed and jealousies—the stuff that makes novels come alive. In the end, the child dies. But because of the way Vicky Ward unspools the saga of Lehman, its life and death will both instruct and forever sear your memory."

KEN AULETTA, author ofGoogled: The End of the World as We Know It andGreed and Glory on Wall Street: The Fall of the House of Lehman

"The Devil′s Casino tells the riveting story of the four best friends who rebuilt Lehman Brothers, vowing to be ′the good guys of Wall Street,′ only to find themselves corrupted by the poisonous culture there. With its illicit affairs, treachery, séances, boardroom backstabbing, and friendships and families torn apart, the book reads like a page–turning thriller. Who would guess that the story of life at Lehman would turn out to be even more dramatic than the firm′s headline–grabbing, economy–shaking demise."
ARIANNA HUFFINGTON, cofounder and Editor in Chief of The Huffington Post

"The Devil′s Casino is the totally compelling true story, deeply researched but as exciting as a thriller—the almost mythical saga of four friends destroyed by money, sex, and ambition, with a cast of greedy larger–than–life Wall Street monsters, and an intimate history of the fall of Lehman. As exciting and important as Barbarians at the Gate, it′s a gripping portrait of American society and financial culture that explains much of what is happening today. I can already see the movie."
SIMON SEBAG MONTEFIORE, author of Stalin: The Court of the Red Tsar

"The Devil′s Casino is more than a history of Lehman Brothers; it is a saga of four friends who were prepared to sacrifice everything—including each other—in the quest for money and power. The devil here is not in the details, but in the souls of the men who lost their moral compass while looking for the corner suite. Vicky Ward has written a superb social history that should serve as a warning and a reminder to all who work on Wall Street."
Dr. AMANDA FOREMAN, author of Georgiana: Duchess of Devonshire

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Cast of Characters.


Part One: The Ponderosa Boys.

Chapter 1 A Long, Hot Summer.

Chapter 2 The Beginning.

Chapter 3 The Captain.

Chapter 4 The “Take–Under”.

Chapter 5 Slamex.

Chapter 6 The Phoenix Rises.

Chapter 7 Independence Day.

Chapter 8 The Stiletto.

Chapter 9 The Ides of March.

Chapter 10 Eulogies.

Part Two: The Echo Chamber.

Chapter 11 Russian Winter.

Chapter 12 Lehman’s Desperate Housewives.

Chapter 13 The Young Lions.

Chapter 14 9/11.

Chapter 15 No Ordinary Joe.

Chapter 16 The Talking Head.

Chapter 17 The Sacrificial Ram.

Chapter 18 Korea’s Rising Sum.

Chapter 19 The Wart on the End of Lehman’s Nose.

Chapter 20 Damned Flood?

Chapter 21 Closing the Books.


A Note About the Sources.





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Vicky Ward
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