Crash of the Titans

Greed, Hubris, the Fall of Merrill Lynch, and the Near-Collapse of Bank of America Recommends “Crash of the Titans” for a Weekend Read

Steve Schaefer, who writes the "Exile on Wall Street" column for, recommended "Crash of the Titans" for weekend reading. He says

"[Author Greg] Farrell tells a story based on hundreds of hours of interviews that builds like a hurricane. A storm that began with a mounting pile of of toxic debt that ultimately resulted in massive losses and [CEO Stan] O’Neal’s ouster, paused briefly after [following CEO John] Thain took over in December 2007 and set about raising billions in capital …

"The strength of “Crash Of The Titans” comes in the nearly 200 pages that detail that weekend, when Merrill would agree to a BofA takeover, and the months that followed before Thain’s departure from the combined company in January amid criticism over bonuses paid out by the firm before the deal closed, a story that Farrell broke at the FT."

You can read more of his review here.

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Author, Greg Farrell

GREG FARRELL is a correspondent for the Financial Times. In January 2009, he broke the news that Merrill Lynch had paid out its 2008 bonuses a month ahead of schedule, in December, even though Merrill was in the process of losing $28 billion for the year, and Bank of America needed an extra $20 billion in taxpayer funds to complete its acquisition of the firm. That story sparked an investigation by New York attorney general Andrew Cuomo. Greg is a past winner of the American Business Press’s Jesse Neal Award for investigative reporting and a recipient of the Knight-Bagehot Fellowship for business journalism. He earned a BA from Harvard University and an MBA from the Graduate School of Business at Columbia University.