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Posts Tagged ‘When Genius Failed’

AIG and LTCM

Posted by Larry Doyle on March 18th, 2009 3:50 PM |

A precursor to the turmoil roiling our economy and markets today occurred on a smaller, but certainly very dramatic, scale in 1998. The meltdown of the hedge fund Long Term Capital Management brought the market to its knees at the time. LTCM was effectively taken over by a consortium of Wall Street banks at the behest of New York Federal Reserve Chairman, William McDonough. The firms injected approximately $3 billion dollars in order to stabilize LTCM and then unwound it in an orderly fashion.

The lessons learned in the LTCM crisis were obviously not learned well enough because we are experiencing them again a multiple hundred fold. The centerpiece of our current fiasco is AIG (known here at Sense on Cents as “Ain’t It Great”).

The dramatic story of Long Term Capital Management is captured in a book I strongly recommend for anybody interested in the history of the financial markets. When Genius Failed, by Roger Lowenstein, is a great read and truly captures the intrigue, egos, and tension of that period. As the current turmoil unwinds I look forward to the books published on this period as well. (more…)






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