Trader. Most of the books I’ve read about the current financial crisis have been written by economists, journalists and other experts. Lawrence McDonald was a trader at Lehman Brothers and his book, A Colossal Failure of Common Sense: The Inside Story of the Collapse of Lehman Brothers, presents a personal perspective on Lehman and its demise. Reading this book is like sitting in a bar listening to a regular guy tell his work stories in colorful language, loaded with personal opinions about people and events. McDonald told his tales to Patrick Robinson who wrote this book. If a reader keeps in mind that McDonald was one of 25,000 employees at Lehman, that he was there only a few years before the company failed, and that he was fired before the bankruptcy, expectations about insight and perspective can be contained. Rather than the subtitle’s claim to be the inside story of the collapse of Lehman, A Colossal Failure of Common Sense is a personal story of one person’s work experience on a small team of people with a bucket of opinions about what was happening all around him.
Rating: Three-star (Recommended)