Jonathan A. Knee had a ringside seat during the go-go, boom-and-bust decade and into the 21st century, at the two most prestigious investment banks on Wall StreetGoldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley. In this candid and irreverent insider's account of an industry in free fall, Knee captures an exhilarating era of fabulous deal-making in a free-wheeling Internet economyand the catastrophe that followed when the bubble burst.
Populated with power players, back stabbers, celebrity bankers, and godzillionaires, here is a vivid account of the dramatic upheaval that took place in investment banking. Indeed, Knee entered an industry that was typified by the motto "first-class business in a first-class way" and saw it transformed in a decade to a free-for-all typified by the acronym IBG, YBG ("I'll be gone, you'll be gone"). Increasingly mercenary bankers signed off on weak deals, knowing they would leave them in the rear-view mirror. Once, investment bankers prospered largely on their success in serving the client, preserving the firm, and protecting the public interest. Now, in the "financial supermarket" era, bankers felt not only that each day might be their last, but that their worth was tied exclusively to how much revenue they generated for the firm on that dayregardless of the source. Today, most young executives feel no loyalty to their firms, and among their clients, Knee finds an unprecedented but understandable level of cynicism and distrust of investment banks.
Brimming with insight into what investment bankers actually do, and told with biting humor and unflinching honesty, The Accidental Investment Banker offers a fascinating glimpse behind the scenes of the most powerful companies on Wall Street.
|Publisher:||Oxford University Press|
|Edition description:||New Edition|
|Product dimensions:||6.10(w) x 9.40(h) x 1.10(d)|
About the Author
Jonathan A. Knee is now a partner at a boutique investment banking firm. He is also Adjunct Professor of Finance and Economics and Director of the Media Program at the Columbia Graduate School of Business. His writing has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, and elsewhere.
What People are Saying About This
"In his new book, Jonathan Knee takes a sharp look at the fundamental changes that have taken place in the investment banking business. It's an important story, and thanks to the skillful way Knee mixes in the tale of his own experience as a banker, it reads like a novel. The book is hard to put down."
—Bethany McLean, author of The Smartest Guys in the Room: The Amazing Rise and Scandalous Fall of Enron and Senior Writer, Fortune
"What Liars' Poker did for the trading room, Jonathan Knee does for the investment banking floor, with one big difference—The Accidental Investment Banker also sets a colorful and highly readable story into the broader strategic context of the transformation of financial services over the past twenty years."
—Thomas Glocer, CEO, Reuters Group PLC
"The Accidental Investment Banker is a must-read for anyone in business who is impacted by Wall Street—and that is just about everyone. Knee's book is a humorous and very clever insider's look at the ever-seismically-changing financial services industry—but without the bias of an insider, rather just with incredible knowledge and insight. I learned things I didn't expect to learn but realized I needed to. A truly exceptional book and a powerful, powerful read."
—Leo Hindery Jr. , Managing Partner, InterMedia Partners, former CEO of TCI and author of It Takes a CEO: It's Time to Lead With Integrity
"Investment bankers play a crucial, if little understood, role in our economy. In this engaging and insightful book, Jonathan Knee describes the work that investment bankers do and the ways in which the business of investment banking has been transformed-not altogether for the better-in the past two decades. Knee combines a depth of personal experience with sharp-eyed observation. For anyone interested in the history of investment banking, and its present state, The Accidental Investment Banker is must reading."
—Anthony Kronman, Sterling Professor of Law and Former Dean, Yale Law School
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Whenever there are dramatic upheavals on Wall Street, shock waves ricochet throughout the U.S. and world economies. And, when you say Wall Street, most people think of its storied investment banks ¿ Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan Chase. Who built and ran these firms? What makes them tick? How did they fare in the booming 1990s? And what is happening to them (at least, what was happening just before the autumn 2008 crackup). Investment banker Jonathan A. Knee, a Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley alumnus, reports on his career and on the investment banking industry. He explains how these firms have changed radically from the days when J.P. Morgan Jr. advised his peers to do ¿first-class business in a first-class way¿ to the Wall Street motto of the 1990s, ¿IBG-YBG¿ (¿I¿ll be gone, you¿ll be gone¿), meaning, ¿Who cares what happens long-term regarding the deals we do today?¿ This shockingly shortsighted viewpoint led to the recent bitter harvest. If you want to understand how Wall Street works ¿ and sometimes doesn¿t work ¿ getAbstract recommends this informative, insightful and witty book.