The Rise and Fall of Long Term Capital Management.
How one small bank created a trillion dollar hole . . .
Founded by John Meriweather, a notoriously confident bond dealer, along with two Nobel prize winners and a floor of Wall Street's brightest and best, Long-Term Capital Management was from the beginning hailed as a new gold standard in investing. It was to be the hedge fund to end all other hedge funds: a discreet private investment club limited to those rich enough to pony up millions. It became the banks' own favourite fund and from its inception achieved a run of dizzyingly spectacular returns.
But as competitors began to mimic Meriweather's fund, he altered strategy to maintain the fund's performance, leveraging capital with credit on a scale not fully understood and never seen before. When the markets in Indonesia, South America and Russia crashed in 1998, LCTM's investments crashed with them and mountainous debts accumulated. The fund was in melt-down, and threatening to bring down into its trillion-dollar black hole a host of financial institutions from New York to Switzerland.
This is a tale of vivid characters, overwhelming ambition, and perilous drama told with brilliant style and panache.