The Greed Merchants: How the Investment Banks Played the Free Market Game

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9781591840879: The Greed Merchants: How the Investment Banks Played the Free Market Game

A controversial analysis of investment banking offers insider information on how banks make money by acting simultaneously for buyers, sellers, and themselves while avoiding fee-based competition, sharing insights into how the investment banking system actually works and what practices are relevant to shareholders.

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About the Author:

Philip Augar is the former head of Schroders Securities. He is now a full- time writer whose books include The Death of Gentlemanly Capitalism and (as co-author) The Rise of the Player Manager.

From Publishers Weekly:

Augar's The Death of Gentlemanly Capitalism (2001) described how the cozy club of British merchant banking collapsed due to mismanagement and scandal. It was an insider's account; Augar was the head of Schroder Securities, a London merchant bank founded in 1804. (He sold the company to U.S. financial services giant Citigroup.) This book takes stock of similar doings on this side of the Atlantic. While many firms have met ignominious fates in the past few years, Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs and Merrill Lynch managed to avoid the worst of the scandals; through what Augar sees as superior management, they command investment banking. Three other firms, Lehman Brothers, Salomon Brothers (now part of Citigroup) and First Boston (now part of CSFB) proved "impossible to kill," making what Augar characterizes as huge errors but somehow surviving as a solid second tier. Finally, JPMorgan and Bear Stearns—along with two European banks that made U.S. acquisitions, UBS and Deutsche Bank—managed to find niche positions near the top. Despite the inflammatory title and cover, the author offers only mild and familiar criticisms: bankers are overpaid, the industry is too powerful and banks sometimes put their own interests above their clients (or one client's interests above another's). The heavy reliance on anonymous personal interviews of bankers gives a strong inside feel to the story, but one that undercuts its power as objective journalism. (On sale Apr. 25)
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Augar, Philip
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