Last Man Standing

by Ryan Barr on March 5, 2011

in Book Review,Economics

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Over the last few years, I’ve developed quite an enjoyment of reading.  After taking a great course (Managerial Leadership) at Kellogg taught by Edward Hughes, my back log of books has grown substantially.  As a part of this course, he did a great little thing called the “Book-O-Rama” where all of the students read a book and we basically shared them at the end of the course.

One of the boks read by my peers in this course was Last Man Standing, a biography of Jamie Dimon.  It piqued my interest, so I picked it up recently.  This was a great book, a quick read and really quite interesting.  This was also my first attempt at reading anything using the Kindle for iPad app -it is awesome.

The book chronicles the life and career of Jamie from his time at Harvard to his tumultuous relationship with Sandy Weil and his accent to the top of JP Morgan Chase.  This is a very favorable account of Jamie, so those looking for a deep critical view of his career may find this reads a bit like a puff piece on his career.

For me, the book got really interesting as it dove into the depths of the financial crisis and the events that led to the purchase of Bear Sterns and Washington Mutual.  While there are many other books that do a great job diving into the nuts and bolts of what happened, Last Man Standing focuses on a lot of the political issues and some of the core reasons that JP Morgan was such a key player in the Bear and WaMu dispositions.  I also enjoyed some of the accounts of Jamie and Sandy burning the candle on both ends as they worked though transforming Commercial Credit into Citigroup.

On the balance, this is a great read, and I’d highly recommend it to anyone who is looking for a great financial story or is simply interested in banking, Jamie or the political and power struggles in the financial crisis.

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