December 3, 2009
I’ve just finished reading Larry McDonald‘s ‘A Colossal Failure‘ book on the collapse of LEH. I greatly enjoyed it’s mixture of first hand experience of trading at Lehman’s with airport thriller style page turning narrative drive. The Jeffery Archerish rattling good yarn story momentum comes from Patrick Robinson’s ghost writing – Robinson is a thriller writer. The Lehman experience from McDonald is not just entertaining description of senior LEH people and their machinations, but also lots of good detail on the trades he put on.
Some of the Amazon reviewers have objected to the slightly breathless Dan Brown tone of the writing. It is a different approach to business writing, which is often too sober, boring even. There aren’t may comparable books, but I would mention Ferguson’s High Stakes, and Lewis’s Liar’s Poker. I wonder if McDonald has another book in him ? He could be the next Michael Lewis. Or maybe he’ll be too busy advising for a film project, because Colossal Failure would make a geat Hollywood movie in the vein of Trading Places or Gordon Gekko.