When Genius Failed

“A riveting account that reaches beyond the market landscape to say something universal about risk and triumph, about hubris and failure.”—The New York Times NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY BUSINESSWEEK In this business ...

Author: Roger Lowenstein

Publisher: Random House

ISBN: 0375506446

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 288

View: 884

“A riveting account that reaches beyond the market landscape to say something universal about risk and triumph, about hubris and failure.”—The New York Times NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY BUSINESSWEEK In this business classic—now with a new Afterword in which the author draws parallels to the recent financial crisis—Roger Lowenstein captures the gripping roller-coaster ride of Long-Term Capital Management. Drawing on confidential internal memos and interviews with dozens of key players, Lowenstein explains not just how the fund made and lost its money but also how the personalities of Long-Term’s partners, the arrogance of their mathematical certainties, and the culture of Wall Street itself contributed to both their rise and their fall. When it was founded in 1993, Long-Term was hailed as the most impressive hedge fund in history. But after four years in which the firm dazzled Wall Street as a $100 billion moneymaking juggernaut, it suddenly suffered catastrophic losses that jeopardized not only the biggest banks on Wall Street but the stability of the financial system itself. The dramatic story of Long-Term’s fall is now a chilling harbinger of the crisis that would strike all of Wall Street, from Lehman Brothers to AIG, a decade later. In his new Afterword, Lowenstein shows that LTCM’s implosion should be seen not as a one-off drama but as a template for market meltdowns in an age of instability—and as a wake-up call that Wall Street and government alike tragically ignored. Praise for When Genius Failed “[Roger] Lowenstein has written a squalid and fascinating tale of world-class greed and, above all, hubris.”—BusinessWeek “Compelling . . . The fund was long cloaked in secrecy, making the story of its rise . . . and its ultimate destruction that much more fascinating.”—The Washington Post “Story-telling journalism at its best.”—The Economist

When Genius Failed

Founded by John Meriweather, a notoriously confident bond dealer, along with two Nobel prize winners and a floor of Wall Street's brightest and best, long-term capital management was from the beginning hailed as a new gold standard in ...

Author: Roger Lowenstein

Publisher:

ISBN: 9781841155036

Category: Hedge funds

Page: 264

View: 710

Founded by John Meriweather, a notoriously confident bond dealer, along with two Nobel prize winners and a floor of Wall Street's brightest and best, long-term capital management was from the beginning hailed as a new gold standard in investing. It was to be the hedge fund to end all other hedge funds: a discreet private investment club limited to those rich enough to pony up millions.

The End of Wall Street

Watch a Video Watch a video Download the cheat sheet for Roger Lowenstein's The End of Wall Street » The roots of the mortgage bubble and the story of the Wall Street collapse-and the government's unprecedented response-from our most ...

Author: Roger Lowenstein

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 1101197692

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 384

View: 406

Watch a Video Watch a video Download the cheat sheet for Roger Lowenstein's The End of Wall Street » The roots of the mortgage bubble and the story of the Wall Street collapse-and the government's unprecedented response-from our most trusted business journalist. The End of Wall Street is a blow-by-blow account of America's biggest financial collapse since the Great Depression. Drawing on 180 interviews, including sit-downs with top government officials and Wall Street CEOs, Lowenstein tells, with grace, wit, and razor-sharp understanding, the full story of the end of Wall Street as we knew it. Displaying the qualities that made When Genius Failed a timeless classic of Wall Street-his sixth sense for narrative drama and his unmatched ability to tell complicated financial stories in ways that resonate with the ordinary reader-Roger Lowenstein weaves a financial, economic, and sociological thriller that indicts America for succumbing to the siren song of easy debt and speculative mortgages. The End of Wall Street is rife with historical lessons and bursting with fast-paced action. Lowenstein introduces his story with precisely etched, laserlike profiles of Angelo Mozilo, the Johnny Appleseed of subprime mortgages who spreads toxic loans across the landscape like wild crabapples, and moves to a damning explication of how rating agencies helped gift wrap faulty loans in the guise of triple-A paper and a takedown of the academic formulas that-once again- proved the ruin of investors and banks. Lowenstein excels with a series of searing profiles of banking CEOs, such as the ferretlike Dick Fuld of Lehman and the bloodless Jamie Dimon of JP Morgan, and of government officials from the restless, deal-obsessed Hank Paulson and the overmatched Tim Geithner to the cerebral academic Ben Bernanke, who sought to avoid a repeat of the one crisis he spent a lifetime trying to understand-the Great Depression. Finally, we come to understand the majesty of Lowenstein's theme of liquidity and capital, which explains the origins of the crisis and that positions the collapse of 2008 as the greatest ever of Wall Street's unlearned lessons. The End of Wall Street will be essential reading as we work to identify the lessons of the market failure and start to reb...

America s Bank

Roger Lowenstein—acclaimed financial journalist and bestselling author of When Genius Failed and The End of Wall Street—tells the drama-laden story of how America created the Federal Reserve, thereby taking its first steps onto the ...

Author: Roger Lowenstein

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 1101614129

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 368

View: 865

A tour de force of historical reportage, America’s Bank illuminates the tumultuous era and remarkable personalities that spurred the unlikely birth of America’s modern central bank, the Federal Reserve. Today, the Fed is the bedrock of the financial landscape, yet the fight to create it was so protracted and divisive that it seems a small miracle that it was ever established. For nearly a century, America, alone among developed nations, refused to consider any central or organizing agency in its financial system. Americans’ mistrust of big government and of big banks—a legacy of the country’s Jeffersonian, small-government traditions—was so widespread that modernizing reform was deemed impossible. Each bank was left to stand on its own, with no central reserve or lender of last resort. The real-world consequences of this chaotic and provincial system were frequent financial panics, bank runs, money shortages, and depressions. By the first decade of the twentieth century, it had become plain that the outmoded banking system was ill equipped to finance America’s burgeoning industry. But political will for reform was lacking. It took an economic meltdown, a high-level tour of Europe, and—improbably—a conspiratorial effort by vilified captains of Wall Street to overcome popular resistance. Finally, in 1913, Congress conceived a federalist and quintessentially American solution to the conflict that had divided bankers, farmers, populists, and ordinary Americans, and enacted the landmark Federal Reserve Act. Roger Lowenstein—acclaimed financial journalist and bestselling author of When Genius Failed and The End of Wall Street—tells the drama-laden story of how America created the Federal Reserve, thereby taking its first steps onto the world stage as a global financial power. America’s Bank showcases Lowenstein at his very finest: illuminating complex financial and political issues with striking clarity, infusing the debates of our past with all the gripping immediacy of today, and painting unforgettable portraits of Gilded Age bankers, presidents, and politicians. Lowenstein focuses on the four men at the heart of the struggle to create the Federal Reserve. These were Paul Warburg, a refined, German-born financier, recently relocated to New York, who was horrified by the primitive condition of America’s finances; Rhode Island’s Nelson W. Aldrich, the reigning power broker in the U.S. Senate and an archetypal Gilded Age legislator; Carter Glass, the ambitious, if then little-known, Virginia congressman who chaired the House Banking Committee at a crucial moment of political transition; and President Woodrow Wilson, the academician-turned-progressive-politician who forced Glass to reconcile his deep-seated differences with bankers and accept the principle (anathema to southern Democrats) of federal control. Weaving together a raucous era in American politics with a storied financial crisis and intrigue at the highest levels of Washington and Wall Street, Lowenstein brings the beginnings of one of the country’s most crucial institutions to vivid and unforgettable life. Readers of this gripping historical narrative will wonder whether they’re reading about one hundred years ago or the still-seething conflicts that mark our discussions of banking and politics today.

Structured to Fail

Mullins was considered the top contender for Alan Greenspan's job as Fed Chairman until LTCM failed, at which point his association with the failed trading ... 10 When Genius Failed, by Roger Lowenstein, Random House, New York, 2000.

Author: William A. MacPhee

Publisher: FriesenPress

ISBN: 1460243552

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 368

View: 636

Structured to Fail is a fact-based novel that examines the Eurodollar, Hedge Funds, and subprime financial disasters that led to the evaporation of $23 trillion in global wealth between 2006 and 2014, far exceeding the losses of the Great Depression. The subprime fiasco alone tanked the U.S. housing market, stock market and ultimately the global economy. Many believe that these dramatic events resulted from a banking conspiracy. In fact, it was a conspiracy of ignorance, stupidity, greed, and hubris at the highest levels of banks and governments. Wesley Stanton is a man on a mission. He predicted all three financial debacles and worked tirelessly to contain them and keep the American and world economy intact. Through him, you’ll learn about the inner workings of major corporations, banks, governments, and the Federal Reserve Bank in the face of the largest financial collapses in history. "Structured to Fail" is both a primer on financial management and a treasure trove of case studies for how investment banking should and should not be managed.

The House Advantage

3. Eric Rosenfeld, 15.437 Presentation, MIT, February 19, 2009, http://techtv. mit.edu/videos/2450-eric-rosenfeld-15437-presentation-21909. 4. Roger Lowenstein, When Genius Failed: The Rise and Fall of ...

Author: Jeffrey Ma

Publisher: St. Martin's Press

ISBN: 9780230109681

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 272

View: 115

As part of the notorious MIT Team depicted in Ben Mezrich's now classic Bringing Down the House, Jeff Ma used math and statistics to master the game of blackjack and reap handsome rewards at casinos. Years later, Ma has inspired not only a bestselling novel and hit movie, but has also started three different companies—the latest of which, Citizen Sports, is an innovative marriage of sports, betting, and digital technology—and launched a successful corporate speaking career. The House Advantage reveals Ma's cutting-edge mathematical insights into the world of statistics and makes them applicable to a wide business audience. He argues that numbers are the key to analyzing nearly everything in the world of business, from how to spot and profit from global market inefficiencies to having multiple backup plans in anticipation of every probability. Ma's stories and business lessons are as intriguing as they are universally applicable.

While America Aged

Cumulative retirement deficits are approaching $1 trillion, and Lowenstein warns that these are only the first.

Author: Roger Lowenstein

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 144063940X

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 288

View: 477

The retirement crisis facing America-and the road map for a way out-from The New York Times bestselling author of Origins of the Crash In the last several decades, corporations and local governments made ruinous pension and healthcare promises to American workers. With these now coming due, they threaten to destroy twenty-first- century America's hopes for a comfortable retirement. With his trademark narrative panache, bestselling author Roger Lowenstein analyzes three fascinating case studies-General Motors, the New York City subway system, and the city of San Diego-each an object lesson and a compelling historical saga that illuminates how the pension crisis developed. Cumulative retirement deficits are approaching $1 trillion, and Lowenstein warns that these are only the first. Retirement pensions will continue to be a critical issue as the country ages, and While America Aged is the urgent call to action and prescription for reform.

The Oxford Magazine

JULIAN CORBETT is known as a writer of historical a time when genius failed to evince itself because it had no and imaginative tales , as a master of an excellent narrative career ! Is not the removal of barriers one of the readiest ...

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Value Investing And Behavioral Finance

Lowe, Janet; Warren Buffett Speaks: Wit and Wisdom from the World's Greatest Investor; Wiley, 2nd edition (August 31, 2007). Lowenstein Roger; When Genius Failed: The Rise and Fall ofLong-Term Capital Management; Random House (October 9 ...

Author: by Parag Parikh

Publisher: Tata McGraw-Hill Education

ISBN: 0070077630

Category:

Page: 325

View: 942

Smart and successful way of investing calls for a thorough understanding of behavioral finance not just market sentiments, crowd behavior or company performance. This book studies investing and behavioral trends in Indian capital markets, and shows the follies of collective behavioral biases and their impact on investor decisions and returns.

Termites of the State

Lowenstein, R., 2000, When Genius Failed. The Rise and Fall of Long-Term Capital Management (New York, NY: Random House). Lucas, Robert, 1990a, “Supply Side Economics: An Analytical Review,” Oxford 4I2 ...

Author: Vito Tanzi

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 1108420931

Category: Business & Economics

Page:

View: 157

A sweeping historical account of the crises of income inequality and crony capitalism from a world-renowned public economist.

History and Financial Crisis

When genius failed: The rise and fall of long-term capital management. New York: Random House. Lucas, R. (2009, August 8). Economic focus: In defence of the dismal science. The Economist. MacKenzie, D. (2006).

Author: Christopher Kobrak

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1317981650

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 142

View: 394

One striking weaknesses of our financial architecture, which helped bring on and perhaps deepen the Panic of 2008, is an inadequate appreciation of the past. Information about how the system functioned and the reliability of organizations and institutional controls were drawn from a relatively narrow group of recent examples. History and Financial Crisis: Lessons from the 20th Century is an attempt to broaden the range of historical sources used by policy makers to understand and treat financial crises. Many recent discussions of the 2008 panic and the economic turmoil have found the situation to either be unprecedented or greatly similar to that of 1931. However, the book's wide range of contributors suggest that the economic crisis of 2008 cannot be categorised in this way. This book was originally published as a special issue of Business History.

Capital Failure

London: Pimlico. Lewis, M. (2010). The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine. New York: Norton. Lowenstein, R. (2000). When Genius Failed: The Rise and Fall of Long-Term Capital Management. London: Random House.

Author: Nicholas Morris

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 019102077X

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 392

View: 534

Adam Smith's 'invisible hand' relied on the self-interest of individuals to produce good outcomes. Economists' belief in efficient markets took this idea further by assuming that all individuals are selfish. This belief underpinned financial deregulation, and the theories on incentives and performance which supported it. However, although Adam Smith argued that although individuals may be self-interested, he argued that they also have other-regarding motivations, including a desire for the approbation of others. This book argues that the trust-intensive nature of financial services makes it essential to cultivate such other-regarding motivations, and it provides proposals on how this might be done. Trustworthiness in the financial services industry was eroded by deregulation and by the changes to industry structure which followed. Incentive structures encouraged managers to disguise risky products as yielding high returns, and regulation failed to curb this risk-taking, rent-seeking behaviour. The book makes a number of proposals for reforms of governance, and of legal and regulatory arrangements, to address these issues. The proposals seek to harness values and norms that would reinforce 'other-regarding' behaviour, so that the firms and individuals in the financial services act in a more trustworthy manner. Four requirements are identified which together might secure more strongly trustworthy behaviour: the definition of obligations, the identification of responsibilities, the creation of mechanisms which encourage trustworthiness, and the holding to account of those involved in an appropriate manner. Financial reforms at present lack sufficient focus on these requirements, and the book proposes a range of further actions for specific parts of the financial industry.

Financial Reckoning Day Fallout

13, no. 1 (Winter 1999). Locke Christopher, Levine Rick, Doc Searls, and David Weinberger. The Cluetrain Manifesto:The End of Business as Usual. New York: Perseus Publishing, 2001. Lowenstein, Roger. When Genius Failed.

Author: Addison Wiggin

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons

ISBN: 9780470564349

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 416

View: 896

How to harness inspiration for successful, long-term innovation Why does real innovation elude so many companies, including the biggest corporations with top resources? The problem, in all cases, is that they are lacking inspiration. In Look At More, Andy Stefanovich outlines inspiration as a discipline and a systematic approach for innovation that when applied consistently, brings long-term, sustainable results. It is about learning to think differently and getting others to do the same. By focusing on the front end of the Inspiration?Creativity?Innovation continuum, Look at More brings a fresh perspective to a popular conversation that is experiencing fatigue. Inspiration is the most effective way of unleashing innovation and this book shows you how. Introduces Play's LAMSTAIH process, which stands for Look At More Stuff; Think About It Harder, a systematic approach for harnessing inspiration Outlines the five key drivers for finding new ideas that lead to innovation--Mood, Mindset, Mechanisms, Measurement, Momentum Filled with strategies, tactics, insights, and cases that show how to instill inspiration at all levels CEOs, managers and entrepreneurs alike will find Look At More an invaluable tool for navigating the ever-hungry innovation mandate and turning inspiration into a strategic competitive advantage.

Sovereign Debt

"The Geography of Chinese Power.” Foreign Affairs. May/June, 22—41. Lowenstein, Roger. 2000. When Genius Failed: The Rise and Fall of LongTerm Capital Management. New York: Random House. Wilson, Dominic, and Roop Purushothaman. 2003.

Author: Robert W. Kolb

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons

ISBN: 9781118017555

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 449

View: 415

An intelligent analysis of the dangers, opportunities, and consequences of global sovereign debt Sovereign debt is growing internationally at a terrifying rate, as nations seek to prop up their collapsing economies. One only needs to look at the sovereign risk pressures faced by Greece, Spain, and Ireland to get an idea of how big this problem has become. Understanding this dilemma is now more important than ever, that's why Robert Kolb has compiled Sovereign Debt. With this book as your guide, you'll gain a better perspective on the essential issues surrounding sovereign debt and default through discussions of national defaults, systemic risk, associated costs, and much more. Historical studies are also included to provide a realistic framework of reference. Contains up-to-date research and analysis on sovereign debt from today's leading practitioners and academics Details the dangers of defaults and their associated systemic risks Explores the past, present, and future of sovereign debt The repercussions of a national default are all-encompassing as global markets are intricately interwoven in the modern world. Sovereign Debt examines what it will take to overcome the challenges of this market and how you can deal with the uncertainty surrounding it.

Proceedings of the First Interdisciplinary Chess Interactions Conference

R. Lowenstein, When Genius Failed, New York (2001). Ibid, p.29. J.M. Keynes, quoted in Lowenstein, p. 123. 4.V. Baran, M. Colonna, M. Di Toro and V. Greco, Phys. Rev. Lett. 86, 4492 (2001). QUANTUM PROBABILITY APPLIED TO SOCIAL AND ...

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ISBN: 981446550X

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Big Farms Make Big Flu

When Genius Failed: the Rise and Fall of LongTerm Capital Management. Random House, New York. Mayr E (1982/2003). The Growth of Biological Thought: Diversity, Evolution and Inheritance. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA.

Author: Rob Wallace

Publisher: NYU Press

ISBN: 1583675906

Category: Medical

Page: 400

View: 195

Thanks to breakthroughs in production and food science, agribusiness has been able to devise new ways to grow more food and get it more places more quickly. There is no shortage of news items on hundreds of thousands of hybrid poultry – each animal genetically identical to the next – packed together in megabarns, grown out in a matter of months, then slaughtered, processed and shipped to the other side of the globe. Less well known are the deadly pathogens mutating in, and emerging out of, these specialized agro-environments. In fact, many of the most dangerous new diseases in humans can be traced back to such food systems, among them Campylobacter, Nipah virus, Q fever, hepatitis E, and a variety of novel influenza variants. Agribusiness has known for decades that packing thousands of birds or livestock together results in a monoculture that selects for such disease. But market economics doesn't punish the companies for growing Big Flu – it punishes animals, the environment, consumers, and contract farmers. Alongside growing profits, diseases are permitted to emerge, evolve, and spread with little check. “That is,” writes evolutionary biologist Rob Wallace, “it pays to produce a pathogen that could kill a billion people.” In Big Farms Make Big Flu, a collection of dispatches by turns harrowing and thought-provoking, Wallace tracks the ways influenza and other pathogens emerge from an agriculture controlled by multinational corporations. Wallace details, with a precise and radical wit, the latest in the science of agricultural epidemiology, while at the same time juxtaposing ghastly phenomena such as attempts at producing featherless chickens, microbial time travel, and neoliberal Ebola. Wallace also offers sensible alternatives to lethal agribusiness. Some, such as farming cooperatives, integrated pathogen management, and mixed crop-livestock systems, are already in practice off the agribusiness grid. While many books cover facets of food or outbreaks, Wallace's collection appears the first to explore infectious disease, agriculture, economics and the nature of science together. Big Farms Make Big Flu integrates the political economies of disease and science to derive a new understanding of the evolution of infections. Highly capitalized agriculture may be farming pathogens as much as chickens or corn.

The Handbook for Teaching Leadership

When genius failed: The rise and fall of Long-Term Capital Management. London: Fourth Estate. Mayer, J.D., & Salovey, P. (1993). The intelligence of emotional intelligence. Intelligence, 17, 433–442. Miller, D.T. (1999).

Author: Scott Snook

Publisher: SAGE Publications

ISBN: 1483305953

Category: Education

Page: 600

View: 983

The last twenty-five years have witnessed an explosion in the field of leadership education. This volume brings together leading international scholars across disciplines to chronicle the current state of leadership education and establish a solid foundation on which to grow the field. It encourages leadership educators to explore and communicate more clearly the theoretical underpinnings and conceptual assumptions on which their approaches are based. It provides a forum for the discussion of current issues and challenges in the field and examines the above objectives within the broader perspective of rapid changes in technology, organizational structure, and diversity.

Catching Lightning in a Bottle

The gravityofthe situation was described by Roger Lowenstein inhis award- winning book, When Genius Failed: “If Long-Term defaulted, allofthe banks inthe room would be left holding one side ofa contract forwhich the other sideno longer ...

Author: Winthrop H. Smith, Jr

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons

ISBN: 1118967615

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 608

View: 896

The fascinating story behind the company that revolutionized thefinancial world Catching Lightning in a Bottle traces the completehistory of Merrill Lynch and the company's substantial impact onthe world of finance, from the birth of the once-mighty company toits inauspicious end. Throughout its ninety-four year history,Merrill Lynch revolutionized finance by bringing Wall Street toMain Street, operating under a series of guidelines known as thePrinciples. These values allowed the company to gain the trust ofsmall investors by putting the clients' interests first, driving abusiness trajectory that expanded capital markets and fueled thegrowth of the American post-war economy. Written by the son ofMerrill Lynch co-founder Winthrop H. Smith, this book describes thecreation and evolution of the company from Charlie Merrill'sone-man shop in 1914 to its acquisition by Bank of America in2008. Author Winthrop H. Smith Jr. spent twenty-eight years at thecompany his father co-founded, bringing a unique perspective tobear in telling the story of the company that democratized thestock market and eventually fell from its lofty perch. Learn why the industry initially scoffed at Charles Merrill's"radical" investment ideas Discover the origin of the Principles, and how they droveoperations for nearly a century Find out why the author left a successful Wall Street career,and why it was such a smart move Examine the culture and values that built Merrill Lynch intoone of the world's most successful and respected companies Revolutionary vision is rare, and enduring success is even moreso. When a single organization demonstrates both of thosecharacteristics, it is felt throughout the world. Discover thefascinating story behind Merrill Lynch and the men who built itfrom an insider's perspective in Catching Lightning in aBottle.

The Tao of Public Service

When Genius Failed: The Rise and Fall of Long-Term Capital Management, Random House Trade Paperbacks, New York (2001) at 131. Id. at 147. Id. at 159. Id. at 180. 39. 40. 41. “42. 43. 44. 45. 46. 47. 49. 238.

Author: Eric Z. Lucas

Publisher: BalboaPress

ISBN: 145256342X

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 282

View: 239

As a little one, hearing JFK speak for the first time made me want to be just like him. For some reason, his words went straight to my heart, filling my heart with something wonderful. It is a feeling that I later came to understand as a desire to serve—to pursue a life of public service. My desire was for this ideal. These feelings have taken me on a long and tortuous journey. I have been a public servant most of my life. I have gone from a poor little black child, laborer, contractor, and teacher, to politician, lawyer, and judge. But strangely enough, my journey did not end there. My journey did not end with political success. Strangely enough, I discovered that my desire and my ideal meant something deeper and even more wonderful. I discovered that it meant something above and beyond politics—something for everyone. I discovered something good for every single person: the ideal life, a life of true purpose. Not something for the far-distant future, but something that can be achieved in the here and now. And I want to share my experiences of this process (the Tao) with you.

Empire of the Fund

When Genius Failed: The Rise and Fall of LongTerm Capital Management (2001). Mallaby, Sebastian. More Money Than God: Hedge Funds and the Making of a New Elite (2011). McLean, Bethany, & Peter Elkind. The Smartest Guys in the Room: The ...

Author: William A. Birdthistle

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199398585

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 272

View: 282

Empire of the Fund is an exposé and examination of the way we save now. With the rise of the 401(k) and demise of the pension, the United States has embarked upon the richest and riskiest experiment in our financial history. Over the next twenty years, nearly eighty million baby boomers will retire at a pace of ten thousand per day. The hypothesis of our experiment is that millions of ordinary, untrained, busy citizens can successfully manage trillions of dollars in a financial system dominated by wealthy, skilled, and powerful financial institutions, many of which have a record of treating individual investors shabbily. The key tools in our 401(k) plans and individual retirement accounts are mutual funds, which have ballooned to hold more than $16 trillion. But these funds pose dangers to our savings in three ways: through structural vulnerabilities that give money managers the incentive to focus on marketing over investing; through the very human challenges of managing our savings decades into the future; and through the peril of financial professionals behaving badly, to our economic harm. Though Americans often hear of the importance of low fees in fund investing, few are aware of the astonishing panoply of ways that some financial advisers have illegally diverted money out of mutual funds: from abetting hedge funds to trade after the legal deadline, to inflating the assets on which they are paid a percentage, to paying kickbacks for brokers to sell their funds. This book will forewarn and forearm Americans by illustrating the structural flaws, perverse incentives, and litany of scandals that have bedeviled mutual funds. And by setting forth a pair of policy solutions to improve Americans' financial literacy and bargaining power, it will also attempt to safeguard our individual financial destinies and our nation's fiscal strength.