Shadow Banking: April 2011 Archives

Reshaping the banks has only just begun

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The US media has been buzzing with reviews and comments about William D Cohan's new 670-page blockbuster Money and Power, How Goldman Sachs Came to Rule the World, his third Wall Street "history" in just three years.

by Roy C. Smith

Charles D Ellis spent 10 years writing The Partnership, his much praised 2008 effort to capture the "culture" of Goldman Sachs, and so Cohan's latest effort seems a rush job to catch the last of the lingering public rage against the big banks that played so rough during the financial crisis.

Cohan interviewed former senior partners, who turned out to be much more loquacious than expected for a firm known for its secretive ways.

The glitzy New York version in Vanity Fair included a lengthy, pre-publication excerpt covering 1989-1999 when the firm had five chief executives. This was truly a messy period in the firm's history, full of juicy bits for gossips to savour.

But the piece never mentioned that these were very difficult times in both Wall Street and the City of London, when firms changed their business models drastically to survive and a great many distinguished names either failed or disappeared into mistaken or unwanted mergers.

Goldman is one firm that sailed through this period, despite its management changes and other tumultuous events, without slowing down much at all. Indeed, it emerged after its initial public offering in 1999 as the unquestioned leader of the global capital markets industry.

read the full opinion-editorial on efinancialnews.com

About RegulatingWallStreet.com

The Dodd-Frank Act, signed into law in July 2010, represented the most significant and controversial overhaul of the U.S. financial regulatory system since the Great Depression. Forty NYU Stern faculty, including editors Viral V. Acharya, Thomas F. Cooley, Matthew P. Richardson, and Ingo Walter, provide a definitive analysis of the Act, expose key flaws and propose solutions to inform the rules’ adoption by regulators, in a new book, Regulating Wall Street: The Dodd-Frank Act and the New Architecture of Global Finance (Wiley, November 2010).

About Restoring Financial Stability

Previously, many of these faculty developed 18 independent policy papers offering market-focused solutions to the financial crisis, which were published in a book, Restoring Financial Stability: How to Repair a Failed System (Wiley, March 2009).

About the Authors