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

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

by Vicky Ward


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The inside story of what really happened at Lehman Brothers and why it failed

In The Devil's Casino: Friendship, Betrayal, and the High Stakes Games Played Inside Lehman Brothers, investigative writer and Vanity Fair contributing editor Vicky Ward takes readers inside Lehman's highly charged offices. What Ward uncovers is a much bigger story than Lehman losing at the risky game of collateralized debt obligations, swaps, and leverage.

A can't put it down page turner that opens the world of Wall Street to view unlike any book since Bonfire of the Vanities, except that The Devil's Casino isn't fiction.

  • Details what went on behind-the-scenes the weekend Lehman Brothers failed, as well as inside Lehman during the twenty years preceding it
  • Describes the feudal culture that proved both Lehman's strength and its Achilles' heel
  • Written by Vicky Ward, one of today's most connected business and finance writers

On Wall Street, Lehman Brothers was cheekily known as "the cat with nine lives." But as The Devil's Casino documents, this cat pushed its luck too far and died-the victim of men and women blinded by arrogance.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781118011492
Publisher: Wiley
Publication date: 04/05/2011
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 643,117
Product dimensions: 5.60(w) x 8.60(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

VICKY WARD has been a contributing editor to Vanity Fair since 2001, specializing in investigative reporting. She has profiled, among others, Jean-Marie Messier, Carly Fiorina, CIA agent Valerie Plame, businesswoman Louise MacBain, Morgan Stanley, the late Bruce Wasserstein, counterterrorism expert Richard Clarke, François Pinault, the Getty, the Guggenheim, Fairfield Greenwich Group (a Madoff feeder fund), Brooke Astor, and Kate Moss. Ward is a columnist for the Huffington Post and a former contributor to CNBC and Bloomberg TV. She was previously the executive editor of Talk magazine. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, the Financial Times, the London Times, and the Daily Telegraph. A native Briton, Ward was the runner-up for the Catherine Pakenham Award in 1994, Britain's most prestigious award for young women writers. She holds a master's degree in English literature from Cambridge University and has lived in New York City since 1997.

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Table of Contents

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.





What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

"There is more juicy, salacious, icky stuff in this book than youcan put in five books . . I kind of like all the icky stuff in it .. . all of the stuff going on with the wives and that. And sex anddrugs. . . I'm begging you to read this. It reads like anintellectual Jackie Collins novel."
Don Imus

“The really juicy details behind the Lehman Bros.collapse. Behind-the-scenes account skips geeky economic discourseto examine the underlying history of backstabbing and greed thathelped bring down the investment bank. It is not often that a bookon the financial crisis makes you want to get a big bowl ofpopcorn. But Vicky Ward's page-turning yarn about Lehman Bros., thefailed investment bank, is the closest thing to a bodice-ripperthat the 2008 meltdown is likely to produce. . . . Ward writesabout helicopter rides and corporate jets, multimillion-dollar artcollections and constant backbiting. . . But for all the book'sapparent fluffiness, Ward hones in on Lehman's central problemsbetter than even she could have known. In a series of incidentsstretching back decades, she shows how Lehman's traders routinelyhid the riskiness of their trades from senior managers and thepublic. . . To Ward, the rest of the tale is an unstoppableoperatic tragedy, albeit one that took 12 years to play out. But itis chock-full of designer clothes and fancy yachts that make for afascinating read.”
Los Angeles Times

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