By Andrew Ross Sorkin
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Extra info for Too Big to Fail: The Inside Story of How Wall Street and Washington Fought to Save the Financial System from Crisis — and Themselves
I’ll talk to my trader. ” Fuld began reaching out to his key deputies for help. He called the London office and spoke to Jeremy Isaacs, who ran the firm’s operation there. When he got off the phone with Fuld, Isaacs told his team, “I don’t think we’re going bust this afternoon, but I can’t be one hundred percent sure about that. ” Despite his recent infatuation with leverage, Fuld believed in liquidity. He always had. You always needed a lot of cash on hand to ride out the storm, he would say.
He went into his home library and dialed into a conference call with two dozen members of his management team. “You are about to experience the most unbelievable week in America ever, and we have to prepare for the absolutely worst case,” Dimon told his staff. “We have to protect the firm. ” His staff listened intently, but no one was quite certain what Dimon was trying to say. Like most people on Wall Street—including Richard S. , Lehman’s CEO, who enjoyed one of the longest reigns of any of its leaders—many of those listening to the call assumed that the government would intervene and prevent its failure.
That’s all that matters. ” The ROTC was only the latest in a series of disappointments for Fuld, but it was also a sign that he was slowly coming into his own. Richard Severin Fuld Jr. grew up in the wealthy suburb of Harrison in Westchester County, New York, where his family owned United Merchants & Manufacturers, a textile company whose annual revenue ultimately grew to $1 billion. United Merchants had been cofounded by his maternal grandfather, Jacob Schwab, in 1912 as the Cohn-Hall-Marx Company.