The true story of how risk destroys, as told through the ongoing saga of AIG
From the collapse of Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers, the subject of the financial crisis has been well covered. However, the story central to the crisis-that of AIG-has until now remained largely untold. Fatal Risk: A Cautionary Tale of AIG's Corporate Suicide tells the inside story of what really went on inside AIG that caused it to choke on risk and nearly brining down the entire economic system. The book
• Reveals inside information available nowhere else, including the personal notes and records of key players such as the former Chairman of AIG, Hank Greenberg
• Takes readers behind the scenes at the U.S. Treasury and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York
• Details how an understanding of risk built AIG, but a disdain for government regulators led to a run-in with New York State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer
Fatal Risk is the comprehensive and compelling true story of the company at the center of the financial storm and how it nearly caused the entire economic system to collapse.
There are dozens of books on the financial crisis: I have read many of them and the Kindle samples for just about all of them. There are only two I would recommend: those are Bethany McLean and Joe Nocera’s excellent All the Devils are Here and the much more specifically detailed Fatal Risk from Roddy Boyd. Roddy's book is solely concerned with the failure of AIG.
But for me (and because I was familiar with the broad details of the crisis anyway) the best book of the crisis is Roddy Boyd’s Fatal Risk. It is not a good first financial book to read and I had to think quite hard as to the details that Roddy glossed over - but that was because Roddy had to make a choice - was he writing for someone who vaguely knew what a credit default swap was or was he writing for someone who had actually read a “credit support annexe (a CSA)”.
- John Hempton, Fatal Risk: The Must-Read Story Of AIG's Downfall, Bronte Capital, April 2011
Roddy Boyd is an investigative reporter who has been uncovering financial market shenanigans for more than a decade. Most recently at Fortune magazine, he also worked at the New York Post's business desk, the New York Sun and Institutional Investor News, and has written for Slate's "The Big Money." In addition to founding the financial investigative reporting website TheFinancialInvestigator.com, he has worked on both the buy- and sell-sides of Wall Street.