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The Last Partnerships combines rigorous scholarship with journalism at its best to present a panoramic history of the rise and fall of the great financial houses—from the “Yankee Bankers,” at the turn of the 19th century, up to Goldman Sachs’ historic IPO in 1999—tracing their origins, their successes and failures over the years, and the reasons for their ultimate demise. The Last Partnerships is must-reading for history buffs and everyone interested in the world of finance behind the business-page headlines
|1||The Yankee Banking Houses: Clark Dodge and Jay Cooke||9|
|2||"Our Crowd": The Seligmans, Lehman Brothers, and Kuhn Loeb||40|
|3||White Shoes and Racehorses: Brown Brothers Harriman and August Belmont||81|
|4||Crashed and Absorbed: Kidder Peabody and Dillon Read||114|
|5||Corner of Broad and Wall: J. P. Morgan and Morgan Stanley||157|
|6||Corner of Wall and Main: Merrill Lynch and E. F. Hutton||209|
|7||Unraveled by Greed: Salomon Brothers and Drexel Burnham||240|
|8||The Last Holdouts: Goldman Sachs and Lazard Freres||282|
Posted December 10, 2002
"The Last Partnerships" made the financial world easily accessible to outsiders. Charles Geisst used historical facts in such a way as to familiarize readers with Wall Street's greats. His varied vocabulary made simple stories transform into adventures "inside the great Wall Street money dynasties". The organization of chapters enabled me to focus on the two companies featured in each. Although, many figures carried over from one chapter to the next, some even appeared prior to their formal introduction in a chapter of their own. This made things confusing at times. Especially when J.P. Morgan was an established banker in one chapter and a child in the next. The chronology was slightly disorganized at times. I enjoyed reading about the trials and tribulations of partnerships just starting out. I was intrigued by the number of firms started by immigrant family members who slowly paid for the transfer of other relatives from their motherland to immigrate and join in the ever-growing family business. Geisst brought up aspects of life on Wall Street that I'd never considered in this book. The chapter on "Our Crowd" made me admire the trouble Jewish bankers endured to withstand prejudices and excel. The most interesting and applicable part of the book was how events that occurred pre-Civil War affect me today. Companies started that long ago are still around. Their names may have changed, family members may no longer hold executive offices, and they may have finally gone public, however, their stories of survival are inspiring. Culminating all the facts I'd learned about American history, "The Last Partnerships" brought meaning to it all and showed just how interconnected everything really is. From muckrakers to Hollywood, Geisst addressed the stories of Lazard Freres, the Salomon Brothers, Morgan, and Cooke, among others, in relation to the America surrounding them. This brought their stories to life and made the book both informative and entertaining.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 7, 2001
Geisst as usual writes knowingly about Wall Street. For those whose personal experience with investment banking is limited to the 1980'and 90's, this book is required reading. Geisst explores the origins of most of the major investment banking houses, their partnership forms of ownership for over a century and, most importantly, why in spite of multiple mergers they were finally forced to surrender their partnership structures and go public.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.