A Brewing Fiasco at the Conglomerate Blog

fiasco.jpgOr, more accurately, a terrific bookclub conversation about Frank Portnoy’s FIASCO. From David Zaring’s first introductory post:

Ten years, later, derivatives are going south on the banks again, and it’s worth thinking about what FIASCO has to say about it. Back then, the derivatives business seemed to be all about currency hedging (to the extent it wasn’t about moving liabilities off books); now, it’s mortgages. Back then, Morgan Stanley was managed by people more notable for their tempers than their understanding of exotic financial instruments. Today, Citigroup and Merrill Lynch (maybe Bear Stearns will be next) have rid themselves of tempestuous CEOs seemingly addicted to golf. Are there meaningful parallels that can be drawn? Would Frank like to be able to rethink any of the conclusions he drew in 1997 in light of what has happened since then (fortunes made, markets grown, and so on)?

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