Origins of the Crash
THE GREAT BUBBLE AND ITS UNDOING
A brilliant dissection of why 1990s corporate America and Wall Street went off the rails.
With his singular gift for turning complex financial events into eminently readable stories, Roger Lowenstein lays bare the labyrinthine financial turmoil of the manic and tumultuous 1990s. In an enthralling narrative, he ties together not just the wet-behind-the-ears entrepreneurs, the gulling stock promoters, and the haughty theoreticians of the dot-com bubble—among them, those who contended that successful investment vehicles no longer needed to be profitable —but also the truly villainous financial characters that made Enron a household name. He also offers a unique synthesis of the culture of the era, tying corporate America’s manifold excesses to the misapplied theory of “shareholder value” and to Academia’s simplistic belief that stock options could be a panacea for lagging corporate returns. Just as John Kenneth Galbraith’s The Great Crash was a defining text of the Great Depression, Lowenstein’s Origins of the Crash is destined to be the book that will frame our understanding of the 1990s.
"The perfect epitaph to an era of monumental avarice and folly on Wall Street. This is financial history at its best."
"A crucial account of an era of excess and folly...riveting...will only seem fresher with time."
"As a premier business journalist and author, Lowenstein has the chops to deliver what this book promises: 'the definitive account' of Wall Street's latest unraveling."
—Jeffrey M. O'Brien, Wired