William D. Cohan

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William David Cohan[1]
Born (1960-02-20) February 20, 1960 (age 55)[1]
Worcester, Massachusetts[1]
Residence New York City
Education Phillips Academy
Alma mater Duke University[2]
Columbia School of Journalism[2]
Columbia University Graduate School of Business[2]
Occupation financial journalist
mergers and acquisitions
Notable work The Price of Silence (2014)
Money and Power (2011)
House of Cards (2009)
The Last Tycoons (2007)
Partner(s) Deborah Gail Futter[2]
Relatives Peter Cohan, brother
Awards 2007 Financial Times and Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year Award for The Last Tycoons
Website WilliamCohan.com

William David Cohan is an American business writer. He has written books about the Wall Street industry and is a contributor to Vanity Fair, The Financial Times, Bloomberg BusinessWeek, The Atlantic, ArtNews, The Irish Times, The Washington Post, The New York Times, and Fortune Magazine.

He also appears regularly on MSNBC, on Bloomberg TV, where he is a contributing editor, and on CNN, CurrentTV, BBC-TV, and C-Span.

He has also appeared as a guest on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart, The NewsHour, The Charlie Rose Show and the Tavis Smiley Show, as well as on numerous NPR, BBC and Bloomberg radio programs.

After graduating from Duke University in 1981, he was an investigative reporter for the Raleigh Times and won several awards. He then worked on Wall Street for seventeen years as a mergers and acquisitions banker. He spent six years at Lazard Frères in New York, then Merrill Lynch & Co., and later became a managing director at JP Morgan Chase. He also worked for two years at GE Capital. Cohan is a graduate of Duke University, Columbia University School of Journalism, and Columbia University Graduate School of Business.



The Last Tycoons[edit]

In 2007, he published The Last Tycoons: The Secret History of Lazard Frères & Co., about Lazard Frères. It won the 2007 Financial Times and Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year Award.

House of Cards[edit]

His book House of Cards, describing the last days of Bear Stearns & Co., was published in March 2009. The book has received excellent reviews and was described as a "masterfully reported account" by Tim Rutten in The Los Angeles Times.[3] In a talk about the book at Cal State Long Beach, Cohan said he felt it was his mission to get a response to questions left unanswered by Wall Street CEOs. [4] It remained on the New York Times Bestseller list for several months.

Money and Power[edit]

His 2011 book, Money and Power: How Goldman Sachs Came to Rule the World, examines the historical role and influence of Goldman Sachs. [5]

The Price of Silence[edit]

His book, The Price of Silence: The Duke Lacrosse Scandal, the Power of the Elite, and the Corruption of Our Great Universities, about the story of the Duke lacrosse case, was published in April, 2014 by Scribner. [6]

The book has led to a number of polarized reviews and online discussions about the book and the author's depiction of its contents during television and radio interviews (see The Price of Silence (Controversy)).



In an op-ed article in the New York Times, Cohan said in March 2009 that Bear Stearns CEO Alan Schwartz and Lehman CEO Dick Fuld had engaged in a "tsunami of excuses" when they were responsible for their firms' collapse.[7]

In an op-ed written with Sandy B. Lewis in June 2009 he said that the current economic crisis is not over yet, and that "many of the fixes that the Obama administration has proposed will do little to address them and may make them worse."[8]


  • Cohan, William D. (September–October 2009). "Crisis Manager". Duke Magazine 95 (5). Retrieved 22 May 2014. 

Personal life[edit]

Cohan was born in Worcester, Massachusetts on February 20, 1960.[1] His father was an accountant and his mother worked in administration.[2]

In 1991 he married editor Deborah Gail Futter in a Jewish ceremony.[2]



  1. ^ a b c d Search Results | City of Worcester, MA
  2. ^ a b c d e f Ms. Futter Weds William D. Cohan - New York Times
  3. ^ Rutten, Tim (March 6, 2009). "'House of Cards' by William D. Cohan". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved November 17, 2009. 
  4. ^ Rider, Tiffany (November 23, 2009). "Former banker examines US financial meltdown; Cohan says his mission is to get a response to questions left unanswered by Wall Street CEOs". Daily 49er LIX (177) (www.daily49er.com). Retrieved 2014-05-22. 
  5. ^ "Long on chutzpah, short on friends; Goldman Sachs". The Economist [US]. 16 April 2011. p. 88(US). Retrieved 2012-03-04. 
  6. ^ "The Price of Silence: The Duke Lacrosse Scandal, the Power of the Elite, and the Corruption of Our Great Universities". Scribner. Retrieved 20 May 2014. 
  7. ^ Cohan, William D. (March 12, 2009). "A Tsunami of Excuses". The New York Times. 
  8. ^ Lewis, Sandy B.; Cohan, William D. (June 7, 2009). "The Economy Is Still at the Brink". The New York Times. 

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