House of Cards (Cohan book)

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House of Cards: A Tale of Hubris and Wretched Excess on Wall Street
House of Cards book coverart.jpg
Hardcover edition
Author William D. Cohan
Country United States
Language English
Subject Corporate History, Finance, Financial crises, Investment banking
Publisher Doubleday
Publication date
March 10, 2009 (2009-03-10)
Media type Print (hardback)
Pages 468 pp.
ISBN 0-385-52826-4
Preceded by The Last Tycoons
Followed by Money and Power

House of Cards: A Tale of Hubris and Wretched Excess on Wall Street is the second book written by William D. Cohan. It was released on March 10, 2009 by Doubleday.[1]


The book chronicles the history of Bear Stearns, from its founding in 1923 to its fire sale to JP Morgan in 2008, following the subprime mortgage crisis. It also gives the reader an inside glance of Bear Stearns senior management and the company's growth into the fifth largest investment firm, before its collapse.

Profiles of bank executives[edit]

The book documents the rise of Alan "Ace" Greenberg, and his unsuccessful power struggle with bridgemaster & bond trader James Cayne, the power struggle between "co-presidents" Warren J. Spector & Alan Schwartz, and the recklessness of the over-leveraged hedge fund supervised by Richard A. Marin and Ralph R. Cioffi. The text also tells the story of Salim Lewis.


The book was on the long list for the 2009 Financial Times and Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year Award.[2] Tim Rutten characterized the book as a "masterfully reported account", and credited the author with a "remarkable gift for plain-spoken explanation."[3]


  1. ^ "House of Cards by William D. Cohan". Retrieved 2014-01-28. 
  2. ^ "Business books - 2009 long list". Financial Times. 7 August 2009. Retrieved 2011-03-20. ...William Cohan, the 2007 winner of the prize, was quick enough off the mark with House of Cards, which documents the fall of Bear Stearns in spring 2008, while David Wessel’s In Fed We Trust, an account of how Ben Bernanke, chairman of the US Federal Reserve, tackled the crisis, brings the story right up to this summer. 
  3. ^ Rutten, Tim (March 6, 2009). "'House of Cards' by William D. Cohan". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2011-03-20. 

External links[edit]