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The Partnership: The Making Of Goldman Sachs (2008)

by Charles D. Ellis(Favorite Author)
3.71 of 5 Votes: 4
1594201897 (ISBN13: 9781594201899)
Penguin Press HC, The
review 1: Despite the length of the book, I enjoyed it tremendously. It is a great read with very deep insight into the formation of the company over the years and its evolution over the decades, generations, and changes in the marketplace. The most interesting part for me was the description of new market challenges and the approaches that the firm took to establish its leadership. The book was published prior to the unfolding of the financial crisis, with little discussion given to the development of the toxic derivatives. The author definitely favors the firm, which sometimes is made to look like it can do no wrong. The disturbing part was watching the company gradually stepping away from the fundamental principles established by the early partners and the outcomes that this has ... moreled to.
review 2: The Economist this week has a great statement regarding GS: "When GS went public in 1999 its prospectus began: 'Our clients' interests always come first. Our experience shows that if we serve our clients well, our own success will follow.' Only the most naive investor read that as a commitment to go-goodery rather than calculated self-interest." Unfortunately, the book takes these platitudes at face value - when GS does something right, the book gushes about Goldman Values, but when ethical lapses occur, we enter a universe of technicalities and nitpicking, plausible alternative hypotheses, and GS telling its partners to "learn to live with the conflicts of interest." The amazing thing about the GS story is that it managed to recruit, develop, and promote talent and had a system to have them work together and keep their interests aligned even as it grew and expanded. One only has to look at 80s Salomon Brothers, 90s LTCM, and 00s Enron and Lehman to see how easy it is to have a bunch of incredibly smart and ambitious people working together devolve into a Lord of the Flies free-for-all of greed and self-interest. less
Reviews (see all)
Great start to finish. Starting from the late 1800s and going through the financial crisis.
Long, but interesting. Goldman Sachs is the Apple Inc of the financial world.
It's the "updated and revised" version, and so far, is rather entertaining.
Great history on Goldman Sachs, lots of behind the scene stories
Has moments that are interesting, too much detail for my liking
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