From Publishers Weekly
Despite the subtitle, this book doesn’t throw wide the back-room doors of major investment banking and brokerage firms like Merrill Lynch and Salomon Brothers. Instead, it provides a general history of Wall Street, organized in chronological chapters, each featuring two famous houses. The first chapter covers 1812 to 1873, focusing on Clark Dodge and Jay Cooke. The last chapter runs from the 1930s to the present, featuring Lazard Freres and Goldman Sachs. Most of the material can be found in the author’s previous works, 100 Years of Wall Street and Wall Street: A History. This reorganization might have yielded new insights had it shown how certain firms helped shape their time and place, and vice versa, or perhaps if it had focussed on the passing of the torch from era to era. As it stands, Ron Chernow’s The Death of the Banker and Martin Mayer’s The Bankers and even Geisst’s previous works are more compelling and better written. Still, Geisst has more understanding of finance than most popular financial historians; despite the drawbacks of this Wall Street history, it represents the various firms fairly and aptly.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
–This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Library Journal
Geisst (Wall Street: A History; Monopolies in America: Empire Builders and their Enemies from Jay Gould to Bill Gates) here provides a history of U.S. investment banking over the past 200 years. As the title indicates, investment banking has shifted from partnership activity to corporate ownership. Geisst creditably describes the forces at work in the creation of capital, providing some sociological context through ethnicity and gender issues. Geisst accounts for a number of factors that have caused investment banking to undergo a sea change: increasingly high dollar amounts, the ability of inexperienced traders to bankrupt firms, and the demise of relationship banking. He shows how cutthroat competition changed investment banking from a business based on relationships to one based on the deal itself. This book’s appeal will be limited to those interested in financial history. Steven Silkunas, Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority, Philadelphia Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc. –This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Geisst is the author of Monopolies in America: Empire Builders and Their Enemies from Jay Gould to Bill Gates (2000) and Wall Street: A History (1997). He now turns his attention to the investment banking houses that helped finance American growth. Although the names of these financial dynasties are still familiar, the partnerships on which they were built have ceased to exist. From the War of 1812 until the end of World War II, however, they were conferred celebrity status and were also the “subjects of folklore, envy, and political vilification, and notorious symbols of wealth and power.” They sold Union war bonds to fund the Civil War, financed the first transatlantic steamship service, supplied capital for industry, and helped build this country’s cultural institutions. Geisst profiles Clark Dodge and Jay Cooke; the Seligmans, Lehman Brothers, and Kuhn Loeb; Brown Brothers Harriman and August Belmont; Kidder Peabody and Dillon Read; J. P. Morgan and Morgan Stanley; Merrill Lynch and E. F. Hutton; Salomon Brothers and Drexel Burnham; and Goldman Sachs and Lazard Freres. David RouseCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved–This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
“The Last Partnerships is an enormously enjoyable read.”–United Press International
From the Back Cover
The First Behind-the-Scenes Account of the Rise and Fall of Wall Street’s Family Financial Empires
Morgan Stanley … Goldman Sachs … Kidder Peabody … Lehman Brothers … These firms lay America’s financial foundations and fueled her grandiose dreams. Through a combination of financial genius, political muscle, and old-world tenacity, these Wall Street partnerships wielded unprecedented influence over the landscape of 19th and 20th century America. With rigorous scholarship and fascinating stories, The Last Partnerships relives the formative years of American finance and reveals an account both global in its scope and distinctly human in its character.
“Geisst’s chronicle of runaway greed and phenomenal success provides a captivating and unique picture of the secret deals, monumental transactions, colorful characters, earth-shaking plummets and exuberant highs of the most famous street in the world.”–Accounting Today
“Geisst’s comprehensive history of Wall Street qualifies as a major reference work on the subject.”–Fort-Worth Star Telegram
“The Last Partnerships is … an enormously enjoyable read.”–United Press International
About the Author
Charles R. Geisst a professor of finance at Manhattan College, is the author of 10 books, including Wall Street: A History, which was a New York Times Business Bestseller. Geisst is a frequent guest on CNBC and Bloomberg Television.
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