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When Genius Failed: The Rise and fall of Long-Term Capital Management By Roger Lowenstein - Book Report/Review Example

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Roger Lowenstein, an American financial writer and journalist was born in 1955 to Helen and Louis Lowenstein of Larchmont, New York. He studied at and graduated from Cornell University…
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When Genius Failed: The Rise and fall of Long-Term Capital Management By Roger Lowenstein
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When Genius Failed: The Rise and fall of Long-Term Capital Management By Roger Lowenstein

Roger Lowenstein has reported for the Wall Street Journal for over a decade. He spent two years, 1989 to 1991 writing Heard on the Street column, 1989 to 1991. Roger Lowenstein who is also a director at Sequoia Fund is married to Judith Slovin. Louis Lowenstein, his father was a Columbia University law professor and an attorney who wrote articles and books critical of the American financial industry (Krastyo, 2012). In Roger Lowenstein’s book, When Genius Failed: The Rise and fall of Long-Term Capital Management, he draws to the new Afterword parallels to the recent witnessed financial crisis. I like the way Roger Lowenstein grasps the gripping roller coaster ride of the Long Term Capital Management. It is interesting how the author explains not only how funds were made and lost, but also how the culture of Wall Street itself, the personalities of the partners of the Long Term, and the arrogance of their mathematical certainties contributed to their rise and fall. The characters in this book in my opinion contributed to their own rise and fall just as the author has captured their contributions to the financial crisis. The Roger Lowenstein’s book is a story of the unprecedented move by the New York Fed and the implausible heights that were reached by the Long Term Capital Management, and its ultimate demise (Lowenstein, 2001). Roger Lowenstein's book illustrates the story of Long-Term Capital Management; a remarkable firm that got was set up by a cosmological cast of partners in 1994 in the United States. These partners brought about the skills in arbitrage in a modern finance as well as in upper sections of the finance profession. Robert C. Merton and Myron Scholes, who are among the stellar partners who set up the firm, exemplified the talent quality that was attracted by Long Term for pricing derivatives. The two brought in the smartest minds into Long Term from academic finance. According to Roger Lowenstein's book, the Long Term Capital Management was a hedge fund in which a limited number of partners invest extremely huge amounts of money. Roger Lowenstein explains in his book how Long Term worked incredibly well at the beginning. The book details that Long Term had maintained focus on its vision and avoided speculations. With the minds that the firm had, it directed its focus on arbitrage problem and offered very generous and favorable loans. For the first few years, Roger Lowenstein explains that Long Term worked so well (Lowenstein, 2010). In my own personal tidbit, Long Term was brought up as one of the most impressive hedge fund in the history of Wall Street. However, four years after it was founded in 1993, it suffered so suddenly a catastrophic loss when a firm dazed Wall Street as a $100 billion money juggernaut. This jeopardized not only the historically stable financial system, but also the biggest banks on Wall Street. In my opinion, the Roger Lowenstein’s book is today a chilling herald of the financial crisis that would smack Wall Street in general ranging from AIG to Lehman Brothers a decade later. Roger Lowenstein’s book is actually one of those rare breeds and educational nerds. This is because of the way it tells the compelling financial crisis story without shying away from the engineering and technical details (Lowenstein, 2001). On the other hand, there are some few details I disliked about Roger Lowenstein’s book. He at many instances confused in the understanding of financial models, derivatives, as well as the role of judgment and models in the process of trading in his book. Roger Lowenstein views the Long Term’s failure as evidence that the Scholes and Merton’s mathematical models were wrong. He also suggests that going back to the happy ... Read More
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