Crash of the Titans

Greed, Hubris, the Fall of Merrill Lynch, and the Near-Collapse of Bank of America

New York Magazine UnCovers the Wolfman of “Crash of the Titans”

Jessica Pressler, of New York Magazine's Daily Intel, writes yesterday about "Crash of the Titans":

"As is indicated by the subtitle, no one really comes off well in Crash of the Titans: Greed, Hubris, The Fall of Merrill Lynch and the Near-Collapse of Bank of America, the latest financial-crisis snuff book from FT reporter Greg Farrell.

From the CEOs to the administrative assistants, Crash is populated with singularly awful individuals who are power-hungry, clueless, conniving — or in most cases, all three. They're cartoon villains in the Wall Street mode, and just as entertaining. Unfortunately, they're all too real."

One of those characters is J. Steele Alphin, the head of human resources at Bank of America, of whom she writes:

"As you might imagine, Bank of America is filled with even more awful people. Among the clan is a man so awesomely awful as to bring a spot of relief to the proceedings — a man known by the comically sinister name of J. Steele Alphin."

As the excerpt included in New York's post reveals, he is also BofA's Wolfman …

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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.